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Outgoing Board of SAA bids the airline farewell

Johannesburg, 1st October 2009

The outgoing Board of South African Airways (SAA) would like to thank government, and particularly the Ministry of Public Enterprises, for the privilege of serving in this capacity; and for the guidance and support so generously given during the Board’s term of office.

The past five years have posed many challenges for the airline industry, SAA and the Board. In spite of this there have been significant achievements and a steady repositioning of the airline, culminating in the solid financial performance we could report this year.  Notable amongst these achievements was the decision to focus on growing SAA into Africa. Our current vision of being an African airline with global reach was defined during the period of the Board, and SAA’s operational and customer service initiatives have backed up this vision.

SAA’s restructuring programme has also been a notable achievement. The programme, which we embarked upon in March 2007, was concluded this year with tangible results such as cost reduction, revenue growth and efficiency gains. SAA is today operationally profitable due to the achievements forged under the restructuring programme, and a solid platform has been created on which to build in the future

Outgoing SAA chairperson Professor Jakes Gerwel says: “We are proud of the Board’s achievements over the past five years, particularly the decision to focus on Africa, and the completion of the restructuring programme.

“In the past year, the outgoing Board was confronted with several public controversies which we have worked hard to deal with. There will be a full handover of all current issues to the incoming Board, including the finalisation of the KPMG investigation and the appointment of a new CEO.”

We would also like to commend the management team, which has done exemplary work and remained steadfast over the past year. We wish the new Board well, and assure them of our support where required.”

Issued by: Outgoing SAA Board