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South African Airways Travel Partner News September 2015

SAA Travel Partner News - September 2015
 
SAA celebrates inaugural flight from Washington D.C. to Accra, Ghana

SAA celebrates inaugural flight from Washington D.C. to Accra, Ghana

South African Airways continues to expand its West African network and celebrated its inaugural flights between Washington D.C. and Accra, Ghana, on August 3, 2015. SA #209 from Accra arrived at Washington D.C. Dulles International Airport at 6:05AM and SA #210 departed at 5.40pm under a ceremonial water cannon salute. Both flights were operated with Airbus A340-600 aircraft, featuring 42 full-flat 180° beds in Premium Business Class and 275 seats in Economy Class. Celebrations at Washington Dulles Airport included local Washington, D.C.-based Ghanaian drummers and dancers, who performed at the boarding gate for SAA's first passengers departing to Accra and representatives from the Ghanaian Embassy, the South African Embassy, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Destination D.C.

"We are proud to be the only airline flying between Washington D.C. and Ghana, and we are committed to better connecting North America to the entire African continent," said Marc Cavaliere, Executive Vice President Americas for South African Airways. "There is a large Ghanaian community in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Baltimore area, as well as significant business trade opportunities between the two countries. We are now providing convenient world-class service in this market."

"I am extremely pleased to welcome, on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana, this new direct flight between Accra and Washington D.C.," said His Excellency Joseph Henry Smith, Ambassador of Ghana to the United States. "I'm confident this will deepen trade and investment between the U.S. and Ghana, while reinforcing Accra's position as a strategic West African hub."

With the introduction of this new flight, SAA is providing the only nonstop flight between Washington D.C. and Ghana, as well as the only Skytrax 4-Star rated airline service and world-class quality from North America to the entire West Africa region. South African Airways also offers convenient connections from over 50 markets in the U.S. and Canada through its airline partners United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, American Airlines and Virgin America via Washington, D.C.-Dulles.

South African Airways' flights to Accra are available four days a week with continuing service to Johannesburg, South Africa, operating on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. SAA also provides nonstop service from Washington D.C.-Dulles to Dakar, Senegal and onwards to Johannesburg, three-times per week, operating on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

This new route is part of South African Airways' continued expansion in North America, where the airline is the only carrier to offer daily nonstop service from New York-JFK International Airport to Johannesburg, South Africa.

The new flight schedule is as follows (all times are local):

Washington D.C. - Accra - Johannesburg

SA #210 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) SA #209 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
Depart Washington D.C - IAD: 5.40pm Depart Johannesburg, South Africa: 5.25pm
Arrive Accra, Ghana: 7.40am +1 Arrive Accra, Ghana: 9.45pm
Depart Accra, Ghana: 8.40am +1 Depart Accra, Ghana: 10.45pm
Arrive Johannesburg, South Africa: 4.30pm +1 Arrive Washington D.C - IAD: 6.05am +1


Washington D.C. - Dakar - Johannesburg

SA #208 (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday) SA #207 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
Depart Washington D.C - IAD: 5.40pm Depart Johannesburg, South Africa: 6.30pm
Arrive Dakar, Senegal: 5.50am +1 Arrive Dakar, Senegal: 01.05am+1
Depart Dakar, Senegal: 6.50am +1 Depart Dakar, Senegal: 2.05am+1
Arrive Johannesburg, South Africa: 5.15pm +1 Arrive Washington D.C - IAD: 6.25am +1

For reservations and information, customers should visit www.flysaa.com or contact South African Airways' North America Reservations Center at 1-(800) 722-9675, or their professional travel consultant.

 
South Africa: a bargain for American travelers

South Africa: a bargain for American travelers

South Africa's currency has reached its lowest level since 2001, at over 13 rands to the U.S. dollar in recent weeks. This is great news for American travelers, who will be able to take advantage of a very favorable exchange rate on a vacation of a lifetime to South Africa. Now more than ever, South Africa offers tremendous value for money and has become one of the greatest vacation values for international travel.

As the predominant airline from the U.S. to South Africa, South African Airways (SAA) has developed the "Go See Southern Africa" campaign, to emphasize the great experiences and the great value that abounds for travel to South Africa. Participating tour operators are offering very affordable packages and unique value-added programs to the destination, starting at $2,799 per person* (restrictions apply) for 14 days, flights and taxes included. SAA currently has great low fares starting at $879* (restrictions apply).

SAA also has very competitive group travel fares, and offers one complimentary tour conductor ticket every 20 international paying passengers. The ticket is valid for travel in economy class on all South African Airways operated flights in the group itinerary.

What can travelers look forward to doing will all those extra rands? South Africa offers no shortage of refined and luxurious vacation options, including hotel and safari lodge accommodations, restaurants offering local and international cuisine, access to the Big Five wildlife and spectacular breath-taking scenery. The country's wine regions are noted and respected around the world for producing award-winning vintages.

"South Africa is the ultimate combination of nature, wildlife, culture, adventure, food and wine," said Marc Cavaliere, Executive Vice President Americas for South African Airways. "With our special fares and the current exchange rate, travelers can afford luxury or go on a budget but either way, they will still have money left for shopping and dining!"

To save American tourists money on their South African vacation, many tour operators are implemented special promotions and air-inclusive packages. One example is South African Airways Vacations, which is currently offering free car rental on its "Garden Route Splendor" self-drive package, bringing the price down to $3,399** per person (restrictions apply). After exploring stunning Cape Town and the wine region at your own pace, start driving along the False Bay coast, before ending your trip with a safari and a two-night stay at the Kichaka Game Lodge. The air-inclusive package includes 11 nights in renowned Five Star boutique hotels, as well as six lunches and six dinners.

There has never been a more affordable time to see so much of South Africa. For reservations and information, customers should visit www.flysaa.com or contact South African Airways' North America Reservations Center at 1-(800) 722-9675, or their professional travel consultant.

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We are bringing Africa to you: register for the SAA Africa Showcase 2015

We are bringing Africa to you: register for the SAA Africa Showcase 2015

South African Airways is bringing Africa to three U.S. cities and for the first time to Canada, in September and October.

Please save the date to attend our trade evening in:

• Los Angeles, CA: September 29th (at the Westin Bonaventure Downtown)
• Dallas, TX: October 1st (at the Intercontinental Dallas)
• Boston, MA: October 5th (at the Taj Hotel)
• Toronto, ON: October 7th (at the Hyatt Regency)

Enjoy the African entertainment and join us for a product seminar filled with productive meetings. Detailed scheduled is as follows in each city:

September 29th: Los Angeles (register here)
10:30 - 13:30 VIP Buyer Encounter
13:00 - 14:00 Destination Presentations
13:30 - 14:00 Registration and Break
14:00 - 18:00 Trade Event

October 1st: Dallas (register here)
14:00 - 17:00 VIP Buyer Encounter
16:00 - 17:00 Destination Presentation
17:00 - 18:00 Registration and Cocktail Reception
18:00 - 21:00 Trade Event

October 5th: Boston (register here)
14:00 - 17:00 VIP Buyer Encounter
16:00 - 17:00 Destination Presentation
17:00 - 18:00 Registration and Cocktail Reception
18:00 - 21:00 Trade Event

October 7th: Toronto (register here)
14:00 - 17:00 VIP Buyer Encounter
16:00 - 17:00 Destination Presentation
17:00 - 18:00 Registration and Cocktail Reception
18:00 - 21:00 Trade Event

Our Africa Showcase is the largest travel trade event in North America featuring exclusively African suppliers that represent hotels, safari lodges, destination tourism organizations and other attractions that are popular with North American travellers. It is well supported by a phenomenal line up of suppliers. We're pleased to have representation and product experiences from more than 12 African countries, providing a good cross section of what our dynamic destination has to offer.

The VIP Buyer Encounter participants will be:

• African Sun Hotels
• Airlink
• An African Anthology
• Cresta Hotels
• Gooderson Leisure • Isibindi Africa Lodges
• Newmark Hotels, Reserves and Lodges
• One & Only Cape Town
• Peermont Hotels and Casinos
• Rainbow Tourism Group
 

 

SAA and Airlink the first to offer flights between Pretoria and Cape Town

SAA and Airlink the first to offer flights between Pretoria and Cape Town

South African Airways and its feeder partner airline, Airlink, have entered into a joint commercial venture which as a first ever will offer scheduled air services at Tshwane City's Wonderboom Airport.

Effective since August 16, the service operates between Wonderboom, and Cape Town, a key domestic route for the carriers. Wonderboom Airport has recently been upgraded and offers sophisticated facilities for an airline operator.

Airlink will operate the three times a day return air-service between the two cities using the SAA franchise intellectual property, including the SAA flight code (SA). Airlink and SAA have enjoyed a close working relationship for more than twenty years and Airlink has been operating as a franchisee of SAA since 1997.

"We are immensely excited by expanding our relationship with SAA, and with the opportunity to link our most important South African cities by air. This is a first for the country and we are pleased that our customers can benefit from this," says Rodger Foster, Airlink CEO.

The metropolitan area of Tshwane houses approximately three million residents, and several thousand businesses located in multiple business commercial and industrial nodes.

"All businesses, industries and communities located in and around Tshwane will benefit from the new services. In particular, manufacturing sectors such as in the case of the automotive industry located within the catchment and various diplomatic missions and NGO's located in the area, where there is a strong nexus with their counterparts on Cape Town will stand to benefit from air services at Wonderboom," says Foster.

Flights will depart from Wonderboom for Cape Town at 06:45am, with a second morning flight at 09:45am, then in the afternoon departing Wonderboom at 05:45pm. Flights from Cape Town to Wonderboom depart at 06:45am with afternoon flights at 03:00pm and 05:30pm.

For business class travelers, Airlink will offer an intra-continental style business class service on its 83 seater-Avro RJ85 quad jet aircraft which will be used to operate the route. Travelers on the new service will be able to earn Voyager Frequent Flyer loyalty miles.

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SAA honored as "Favorite Airline in Africa" by Trazee Travel's millennials readers

SAA honored as "Favorite Airline in Africa" by Trazee Travel's millennials readers

South African is proud to receive the first "Favorite Airline in Africa" Trazee Award by Trazee Travel, a unique interactive web publication for travelers aged 18-35, created by Global Traveler Magazine. Nominations for the first-annual Trazees were collected from the web publication's contributors, as well as via an online ballot completed by Trazee Travel's readers. The nominations were compiled and final winners were selected by a panel of travel experts.

"We are honored and grateful that Trazee Travel's readers selected SAA as their favorite airline in Africa," said Neuman. "Millennials are travel experts and a very important and discerning segment of the market that is continuing to evolve. We are very proud that they recognized SAA's products both in the air and on the ground as the best way to start an African adventure."

"Congratulations to South African Airways, the inaugural winner of Favorite Airline in Africa," said Kimberly Krol, Trazee Travel's Editor in Chief. "Offering exceptional services for myriad types of the travelers, it's no surprise Trazee readers, part of the sought-after 18 to 35 market, recognize the airline as their favorite way to discover the fascinating destination of South Africa."

South African Airways offers the most flights from the U.S. to South Africa with daily nonstop service from New York-JFK Airport and daily direct service from Washington, DC-Dulles Airport to Johannesburg via Dakar, Senegal. Beginning August 3, 2015, SAA will introduce new nonstop service from Washington, DC Dulles Airport to Accra, Ghana, operating four-days per week. SAA is the only Skytrax 4-Star carrier to offer world-class service between the U.S. and Africa.

For reservations and information about SAA, customers should visit www.flysaa.com or contact South African Airways' North America Reservations Center at 1-(800) 722-9675..

 
SAA at IMEX America 2015

SAA at IMEX America 2015

South African Airways North America Sale's Director for the MICE market, Michael Stevenson, will be an exhibitor at IMEX America in Las Vegas from October 13 to 15, 2015. SAA will be part of the South African exhibit in booth 3023. Please stop by with any air inquiries or pricing questions. Advance meeting appointments are encouraged and welcome.

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Cape Town scores as a destination for meetings and events

Cape Town scores as a destination for meetings and events

Article written by Ilona Kauremszky and published in Global Traveler USA (original story available here)

Five years ago, when the magic of the FIFA World Cup descended on Cape Town, the talk of the day was about the thousands of vuvuzela horn-blowing soccer fans wildly showing off their soccer love. But ever since the glory days of soccer madness, the picturesque coastal city has continued to attract large groups. Deepak Chopra, the New Age guru, showcased his wisdom at the Cape Town International Convention Center in March, and in April the world's most popular boy band, One Direction, took center stage at the Cape Town Stadium for its On the Road Again tour.

So what's behind the allure? Located in the Western Cape Province on the southern tip of Africa surrounded by the swirling waters near the Cape of Good Hope, the city is enveloped by its signature landmark, Table Mountain, and is also situated near some of the world's finest wine routes. A temperate climate and a mélange of cultures with a vibrant cosmopolitan flair have all made Cape Town, an English-speaking city, an ideal place to conduct business.

Considered the digital gateway to Africa, Cape Town has been dubbed a future Silicon Valley for its thriving digital industry as Fortune 500 companies like Amazon set up shop. In 2014, The New York Times ranked Cape Town as the No. 1 place to visit, while Lonely Planet's Best in Travel list placed the Mother City as third-best city in the world. To boot, last year Cape Town also served as the World Design Capital.

"Cape Town is the most vibrant and captivating city in the Southern Hemisphere," notes Johan du Toit, sales manager, MICE, One&Only Cape Town. "From cable-car rides, hang gliding and hiking Table Mountain to exhilarating wildlife adventures at World of Birds and Boulders Penguin Colony, great white shark-cage diving and shopping in the Victoria & Alfred Shopping Mall." It's a value-for-money destination when it comes to infrastructure, sites to visit and leisure activities. This summer Cape Town is even rolling out free WiFi - made available at 61 buildings and numerous public access hot spots starting this month.

Only 12 miles from city center, the easily accessible world-class Cape Town International Airport handles nearly 5 million passengers annually. "We have a good international flight network and, due to European influences, the business customs and etiquette are similar," observes Rykie van Tonder, hospitality manager, the historic Boschendal Wine Estate, located in the heart of the Cape Winelands. One of the oldest wine estates in South Africa, between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, the newly refurbished property hosts workshops, auctions and small meeting groups.

The latest report from the International Congress and Convention Association ranks Cape Town and the Western Cape as the No. 1 business events destination in Africa. "The hospitality industry has been steadily growing and is expected to continue growing," says Mayor Patricia de Lille in the new joint report, "A Room with a View: Cape Town Hotels and Tourism," released in September 2014 by Wesgro (the Western Cape marketing agency), PricewaterhouseCoopers and the City of Cape Town. She adds, "Travelers to the Western Cape are attracted to Cape Town due to the tourism industry's various offerings, which include gorgeous landscapes, enjoyable weather, rich bio-diversity, outdoor activities and favorable exchange rates."

According to South African Tourism, international business traveler arrivals to the Western Cape increased from 12.1 percent in 2009 to 16.6 percent in 2012. "The share in business travelers representing key international source markets reflected robust growth," says Mmatšatši Ramawela, chairman, Hospitality Investment Conference Africa and chief executive officer, Tourism Business Council of South Africa.

The Western Cape reported 1.35 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2012, which "A Room with a View" accounts as 15 percent of all South African foreign tourist arrivals, the largest segments coming from Asia and Australasia (34.8 percent) and the Americas (13.3 percent).

Last year, U.S. tourism arrivals increased 9.8 percent from 2013 for the period January through March. The Western Cape experienced strong growth in foreign tourist arrivals in 2013 due to an improvement in global economic conditions. "Our research puts the directly measurable foreign-tourist spend in the Western Cape at more than R18 billion [about $1.5 billion] per annum," reports "A Room with a View."

For meeting venues, planners have plenty of choices, particularly around the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, South Africa's oldest working harbor and one of Africa's most successful urban redevelopment projects. Every year nearly 23 million arrivals visit the 300-acre property.

The city is also in the midst of new developments, one of which is the $123.7 million Silo Project, a mixed-use development of waterfront silos scheduled for completion in 2017. Plans include the recently opened local design hub called Watershed which showcases 150 trendy stands and the future home of Africa's largest contemporary art gallery, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, opening in 2016.

Situated by the V&A Waterfront, the Cape Town International Convention Centre will double its capacity in the next two years with a $68 million facility upgrade. "The CTICC's expansion is set to raise the global competitiveness of Cape Town as a premier world-class meetings and events destination, and it will allow the center to meet the growing demand to stage more events," says Julie-May Ellingson, CEO, CTICC.

Opened in 1997 by the iconic former South African president, Nelson Mandela, the 5-star Table Bay Hotel features five function venues. Located on the world-famous bay, the 329-room property has experienced more international bookings in the six months from July 2014 to February 2015 compared to all of last year. The property also trades on its close proximity to the convention center and location by the V&A Waterfront.

Also along the waterfront is the award-winning 131-room One&Only Cape Town. The luxury property offers various incentive travel programs such as meeting a cheetah and exploring the Cape Peninsula on a Harley-Davidson.

In addition, Hands Up Incentives, specializing in incentive trips, runs award-winning sustainability-focused programs in the Cape Town area. "There are many opportunities for companies to give back and improve their corporate social responsibility reputation," says Christopher Hill, founder, Hands Up Incentives, who notes over the past five years such give-back trips around Cape Town increased 300 percent. Groups can volunteer for socially sustainable travel experiences incorporating wildlife and communities.

There's no doubt Cape Town is on the cusp of a renaissance. No one would blame the city for tooting its own vuvuzela.

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What's cooking in South Africa?

What's cooking in South Africa?

Impress your guests with typical prawns Peri-Peri.
It's easy and delicious!

Ingredients:

• 18-24 large prawns (large shrimp)

• ¾ cup butter

• 2 teaspoons crushed garlic

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• Salt, milled black pepper

For the Peri-Peri sauce:

• 1 ½ ounces red chillies, very finely chopped

• 5 cloves garlic, crushed

• 2 cups olive oil

• Pared rind of 1 small lemon (use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin in thin strips)

Instructions:

Mix the Peri-Peri sauce ingredients together in a bottle and shake well. You can make the sauce ahead and store it in the fridge; the flavour improves with age, reaching its peak at two weeks.

Slit prawns down their backs and devein. Leave heads on, or remove them if you prefer. Depending on the size of your frying pan, cook them in one or two batches.

Heat the butter gently and add the garlic and lemon juice. Don't let the garlic burn. Add prawns and peri-peri sauce. (Shake first to make sure you get some of the chilli and garlic as well.)

Sizzle for 4-5 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked. Season with salt and pepper and tip into a warm serving bowl. Garnish, if you wish, with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with rice or bread and butter.

 

 
Luxury Cape Town and Safari - air-inclusive package from  $3,799† (price per person, restrictions apply

Luxury Cape Town and Safari - air-inclusive package from $3,799† (price per person, restrictions apply)

South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations) "Luxury Cape Town and Safari" package includes a stay at the premier urban chic resort One&Only Cape Town (voted "Best Hotel in Africa" by Conde Nast Traveler's readers), and a stay at Shamwari Private Game Reserve. Relax in the mother city for three days, before flying to Port Elizabeth and transferring to your lodge and go on your first game drive, and experience the sights and the sounds of South Africa's wildlife.

www.FlySAAVacations.com

 
† TERMS & CONDITIONS: Price is per person based on double occupancy. Valid as of September 1, 2015 for departures from New York (JFK) between August 11 - December 09, 2015 and May 01 - 31, 2016 and also August 11 - September 22, 2016 with the same itinerary available at higher prices during other travel periods. Other departure points and domestic flights within the U.S. can be booked. Price for other departure cities and/or travel dates may vary. Subject to availability and currency exchange rate fluctuations. Prices are valid for new bookings only, are not retroactive and may change without notice. Package includes all government and airline imposed taxes and fees. Baggage and optional service fees, cancellation charges and other restrictions may apply.
* TERMS & CONDITIONS: Fares are valid for roundtrip travel and include all government and airline imposed taxes and fees. For $879* (JFK) fare, travel is permitted 10/26/15 - 12/9/15 & 1/10/16 - 3/31/16. Minimum stay: must stay over one Sunday for fares to apply. Tickets must be purchased within 72 hours of reservation being made. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights. Fares must be purchased by 8/31/15. Cancellations before/after departure: fares and fuel surcharge (YR/YQ/Q) are non-refundable. Date change fee: $300 + any applicable fare difference. Administrative fees may also apply. Baggage and optional service fees may apply. Reservations made 7 days or more prior to scheduled departure may be canceled without penalty up to 24 hours after the reservation is made.
 
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