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SAA spices up its route to India

Johannesburg - 25 August 2009

South African Airways (SAA) has taken up a number of initiatives to spice up and strengthen its route to India.

Following South Africa’s successful hosting of the IPL cricket event earlier this year where thousands of cricket fans poured into the country and offered constructive suggestions on product and service enhancement from customers, SAA is improving its offering on the route to India, traditionally a very popular route for traders.

Many South Africans have already discovered that India offers a host of exciting travel options, such as skiing in the Northern area, excellent beaches in the South and great shopping in Mumbai.

“India is very popular amongst our business customers due to the tremendous growth of business between the two countries and the presence of a number of South African companies in India”, says Ilse Kaya, Head of Sales for RSA, Africa and the Middle East.

SAA has enhanced its product offering and service delivery on flights between Johannesburg and Mumbai, India and the airline is running a marketing promotion in support of this.

As a further celebration and in keeping with the marketing message that India is “the fastest way to fall in love with the flavours of India”, the airline has flown in celebrity chefs from India, to cook the very best dishes India has to offer.

Amongst the top Indian chefs that SAA has flown in are Executive Chef Hubert Pereira; Sous Chef Bachaspati Painoli and Cook-Indian Cuisine chef Chandrakant Sutar. The chefs visiting South Africa from India, “the land of exotic spice”, will prepare a feast of mouth-watering dishes using only the finest ingredients and authentic Indian culinary styles.

These dishes will be served as part of the “Indian Food Festival” running this month, when the high season begins on the route, from 25 – 28 August at Aurelia’s restaurant, inside the D’Oreale Grand Hotel at Emperors Palace, near O.R Tambo International Airport (ORTIA), Johannesburg. The event is hosted by Emperors Palace in association with SAA in the Aurelia’s Restaurant at the entertainment resort and TAJ SATS Catering Mumbai.

SAA operates the only direct non-stop flights from Johannesburg to India from South Africa and offers four flights per week between Johannesburg and Mumbai. For customers wishing to travel from or to Durban, SAA offers excellent connections between this coastal city, Johannesburg and onwards to Mumbai, India.

SAA has also formed a code share agreement with Air India which has improved and expanded the connectivity between the two carrier’s networks. The agreement allows Air India passengers to code share on SAA’s route between Johannesburg and Mumbai, as well as on the domestic sectors between Johannesburg - Durban and Johannesburg - Cape Town. SAA in return will code share on Air India’s domestic operations between Mumbai and Delhi as well as operations between Bangalore, Chennai, Trivandrum and Hyderabad to Mumbai.

SAA uses the Airbus A340-200 on the Mumbai route. The aircraft has a configuration of 24 seats in Business class and 226 in Economy class. All seats in Business class are full lie-flat seats, with window or isle/aisle seats guaranteed.

SAA is currently offering a special promotional economy class fare on this route of R3200 return between Johannesburg and Mumbai; R3 350 for a ticket for the routing: Cape Town – Johannesburg – Mumbai – Johannesburg – Cape Town; and R3 350 for the routing: Durban – Johannesburg – Mumbai – Johannesburg – Durban. These are valid for sales until 31Aug 09 and travel until 30Sep 09. Fares exclude all taxes/levies.

Schedule
SA284 departs from Johannesburg 11h40 every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, arriving in Mumbai at 00h30 the following morning (flying time 9 hours, 20 minutes)
SA285 returns from Mumbai every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 02h30, to arrive in Johannesburg at 08h05 the same day (flying time 9 hours, 5 minutes). The arrival time provides ample time for those customers who wish to connect onwards on SAA’s expansive network into South Africa and the rest of Africa.

Issued by Group Corporate Affairs

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