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SAA receives two major honours: most on-time airline in the world and Best Business Class product

Johannesburg, Wednesday, 17 April 2013. South African Airways (SAA) has received two major endorsements from respected industry experts. In the first, SAA topped the list of the most on-time airlines in the world in a report produced by an independent entity, FlightStats, Inc., the leading provider of global flight and airport information services.

According to the FlightStats report, South African Airways was one of the only two major international carriers that delivered over 90% of their flights on time in March. SAA took the number one spot with 92.26% whilst Gulf Air came in second at 92.11%.

The FlightStats March 2013 On-Time Airline & Airport Performance Report further states that major international airlines had on average delivered 78.76% of their flights to the arrival gate within 15 minutes of schedule in March, up slightly from February’s 77.64%. Cancellations for the same group in March were 1.35%, down from 1.57% last month.

According to SAA’s General Manager of Operations, Zuks Ramasia: “SAA’s above average operational showing among global competitors is the result of the skill and efforts of highly trained teams across all functions, working in tandem to ensure safe, efficient and value for money operations.”

Best Business Class Product

The On-Time Performance accolade comes hot on the heels of another accolade bestowed on South Africa’s national carrier by a Europe-based publication. Through its Mystery Shopper project, FVW, Germany’s leading travel trade magazine, voted SAA’s business class as the Best Business Class product amongst Star Alliance carriers.

The magazine’s incognito mystery shopper tested the Business Class products and services of Star Alliance carriers on long-haul flights out of Germany. SAA topped the list with 94 points out of 100, eclipsing three other renowned European airlines.  

SAA ranked the highest for its comfortable fully lie-flat seats, while its class-leading comfortable duvet, extra-large pillow and padded bedding also got the nod from the magazine’s mystery shopper. SAA also got 24 points out of 25 for its check-in and lounge facilities whilst the cuisine was rated 18 out of 20 points and service 19 out of 20.

“It is very humbling to note that those that we serve daily with our renowned South African hospitality recognise the effort that we put into making their travelling experience convenient, safe and comfortable. Every South African should take pride in the fact that their national carrier is Africa’s most awarded airline and held in high esteem by travellers from across the world,” said Ramasia.

With a route network of 26 African destinations as well as access to over 1300 airports in almost 200 countries through its Star Alliance membership, SAA is one of a handful of airlines that have direct flights to all continents.

“SAA practically brings the world to Africa and takes Africa to the world – and considering these awards, we do so on time and in unrivalled comfort.  Regardless of these recent accolades, we will continue to put concerted effort in improving our product offering and service levels,” Ramasia concluded.

Notes to Editor:

FlightStats is a leading provider of day-of-travel data services and applications to the travel industry and traveling public. The company delivers real-time global flight tracking and airport data services that power many of the world’s most popular travel applications. The company also provides web and mobile applications to the FlightStats community, helping travelers to better manage their travel day.

FVW – Germany’s leading bi-weekly trade magazine for tourism and business travel provides independent and objective information about the latest trends and current developments in the market. FVW is known as a synonym for reliable and objective journalism with a maximum of in-depth information and great variety of topics. Its analysis and background reports serve as basis for decision-making.
About SAA
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 26 destinations across the continent, as well as major destinations within South Africa and internationally from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC). SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for ten consecutive years and the winner of ‘Service Excellence Africa’ for three consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on - time airlines.

For more information contact:

SAA Group Corporate Affairs
Tlali Tlali
Executive: Group Corporate Affairs
Tel: +27 11 978 3819
Mobile: +27 82 333 3880  


Kabelo Ledwaba
Communications Manager (External)
Mobile: +27 83 414 4720

Twitter: @flysaa