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Cup “Runneth” Over As SAA Gears Up for the World Coming to South Africa in 2010

South African Airways is Flying Thousands of Visitors from North America to the Big Soccer Matches in Nine different Cities throughout South Africa; SAA Airline Seats Still Available

Fort Lauderdale, FL (Feb. 12, 2010) – South African Airways (SAA), Africa’s most awarded airline, is finalizing elaborate plans to ensure the best travel experience possible for fans heading to the 2010 World Soccer Championships, taking place in South Africa from June 11-July 11, 2010.   Everyone at South Africa’s national airline shares in the excitement of their country playing host to the first FIFA World Cup™ to be held on the African continent, and has adapted a “whatever it takes” attitude to give visitors to their country a great travel experience on SAA.

A complete corporate division within the airline has been created to ensure that the airline is prepared to host the revelers that will descend on South Africa for the tournament.  One key initiative in place is that South African Airways is partnering with MATCH, the official hospitality provider for FIFA, to lease additional aircraft in order to operate a round-the-clock domestic schedule in South Africa during the tournament.  The additional flights will complement the airline’s already extensive flight schedule in South Africa.  This schedule will enable fans to select a base city such as Johannesburg, and take day trips from their base city to the different cities in which the matches are being played.  Late night flights will allow fans to return to their base city, even after most evening matches.

The airline has also invested in upgrading its facilities, with all of its flights now operating from the new, state-of-the-art Terminal B at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.  A brand-new, luxurious lounge will debut in the spring, ready to welcome Premium Business Class passengers in new heights of comfort and amenities.

“We can’t overstate our excitement at South Africa hosting the World Cup.  As South Africa’s national airline, we look forward to introducing soccer fans to our homeland and to flying them to South Africa as well as to matches in nine different cities across South Africa,” said Marc Cavaliere, executive vice president, North America for South African Airways.  “South African Airways has invested time and resources in ensuring that fans have a smooth travel experience.  Flying SAA to the tournament will be the most comfortable and most convenient method for fans to get to the World Cup.”

SAA has also been working closely with the four MATCH-approved U.S. tour operators that are exclusively offering air-inclusive travel packages paired with game tickets.  Cartan Tours, Destination Southern Africa, Great Atlantic Travel and Sportsmark are each holding space on South African Airways flights for the tournament.  Soccer fans can also call South African Airways directly to book their seats to South Africa. SAA will help fans shop for the lowest fares on the best available dates. 

“Fans shouldn’t assume that they can’t get to the World Cup,” added Cavaliere.  “There are still reasonably-priced airline seats available during the tournament, so we encourage them to call and inquire about flights in order to follow their favorite teams.  But they should act quickly, as the excitement is building up and the demand for seats on our flights is also going up.”

To book seats on South African Airways, fans should call 1-800-722-9675, or visit www.flysaa.com.

South African Airways features daily nonstop service from the U.S. to South Africa with morning departures from New York JFK, and afternoon direct service from Washington Dulles (with a stop in Dakar, Senegal) that offer travel convenience and award-winning service.   Travelers in Premium Business Class enjoy 180° fully flat-bed seats, and in economy class enjoy the most legroom versus competitors.  Every seat on board offers an individual on-demand entertainment system, plush pillow, warm blanket and amenity kit.  SAA’s unrivaled network, featuring seamless connections to more than 20 destinations within South Africa, and more than 20 cities across the rest of the continent, makes the airline the savvy traveler’s “gateway to Africa.”  To complement this network, a world of privileges awaits those who join Voyager, South African Airways’ premier mileage program.  To sign up, visit www.flysaa.com, and link to the Voyager icon. As a Star Alliance member, South African Airways is able to offer its customers 1,071 destinations in 171 countries and more than 19,534 flights daily, including convenient connections from more than 25 cities in the U.S. through code share service with Star Alliance member United Airlines. Members of United’s, Continental’s, US Airways’ and Air Canada’s frequent traveler programs are able to earn and redeem miles on all SAA flights.  For more information on South African Airways, please call (800) 722-9675 or visit www.flysaa.com, where travelers can sign up to be notified of other great travel deals and vacation packages.

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