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South African Airways celebrates eight decades of flying to Maputo, Mozambique

MAPUTO. 24 May 2015. South African Airways (SAA), the South African national flag carrier, celebrates almost eight decades of flying to Maputo, Mozambique.

In celebrating this remarkable achievement, the airline will be hosting a group of journalists in partnership with the Polana Serena Hotel, the stately Maputo icon, a home from home and meeting place for many business and leisure travellers for more than nine decades. Over this time SAA has flown a legion of holidaymakers and business travellers.

“Maputo is a star in our African route network and in keeping with the Strategic Objectives of our Long-Term Turnaround Strategy, we are focused on maintaining a commercially sustainable African route network and on further expanding those star performing African routes,” says Nico Bezuidenhout, SAA Acting Chief Executive Officer.
SAA, the leading carrier on the African continent, introduced flights to Maputo in 1937 when it began flying to what was then Lourenco Marques with an experimental flight on 18 July 1937, using an Airspeed Envoy, which was to connect with the Imperial Airways Flying boat en-route from London to Durban, to pick up airmail.  The service used the Junkers Ju 86 from 5 May 1938. After the war the De Havilland Doves were used on this service.

From humble beginnings the route has shown considerably growth. Frequencies were increased late last year and SAA now serves Maputo with three flights a day, (21 a week) on A319 aircraft.

SAA will continue to support and expand this route as Maputo is one of the most popular in its network serving SADC countries, with South Africa and Mozambique enjoying strong trade and social ties. The two countries have much in common, with Mozambique South Africa’s top trading partner in Africa.
Statistics from the African Development Bank states that Mozambique showed real GDP posted robust growth in 2013 of 7%, although lower than expected due to severe floods. The progressive increase in coal production and the implementation of large infrastructure projects, coupled with budgetary expansion, are expected to continue to drive growth, projected at 8.5% in 2014 and 8.2% in 2015.

About South African Airways (SAA)
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 56 destinations, in partnership with SA Express, SA Airlink and its low cost carrier, Mango, within South Africa and across the continent, and nine intercontinental routes 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 wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; and Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA. SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for twelve consecutive years and the winner of ‘Service Excellence Africa’ for three years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on - time airlines.

About Polana Serena Hotel
Built in 1922 along sweepingly splendid lines, the magnificent Polana Serena Hotel in Maputo has long been considered one of Africa’s finest hotels. Located on the leafy boulevards of one of Maputo’s most exclusive residential districts, the Polana Serena Hotel belongs to an elite class of world-famous luxury hotels, which includes such timeless legends as; Raffles Hotel, Singapore; The Dorchester, London and The Ritz in Paris.

As part of the Serena Group’s commitment towards showcasing the best of local architecture, culture and heritage, the 5 star Polana Serena Hotel in Maputo has recently emerged from an extensive renovation programme, which has resulted in the presentation of a landmark historic building whose classic charm has been fused with the ultimate in world-class amenities. Offering 142 rooms, many of which are spacious suites, the ‘Grande Dame’ of Maputo now also offers a choice of three restaurants: the all-day dining Varanda Restaurant, the Delagoa fine-dining experience in the French style; the Aquarius Sushi Bar, and the Polana Bar.
The hotel also offers the ‘Maisha’ Mind Body and Spirit Health Club and Spa, a stunning swimming pool, extensive gardens, an exclusive residents’ lounge, a business centre, a beauty salon and three gift shops. At the forefront of Maputo’s business venues, the hotel also offers its own conference and social events suite, which features a majestic ballroom. The hotel is located at the very heart of Maputo on one of the city’s most prestigious avenues and within easy reach of the international embassies, government buildings, presidential complex, shops, restaurants and sidewalk cafés. Mavalane International Airport is a 15 minute drive from the hotel.

Johannesburg Maputo Johannesburg flight schedule:

Flight Day of the week Departs Arrives
SA 142 Daily Johannesburg 09:45 Maputo 10:50
SA 143 Daily Maputo 11:35 Johannesburg 12:45
SA 144 Daily Johannesburg 13:50 Maputo 14:55
SA 145 Daily Maputo 15:40 Johannesburg 16:50
SA 146 Daily Johannesburg 20:15 Maputo 21:35
SA 147 Daily Maputo 07:30 Johannesburg 08:40

For media enquiries please contact:

SAA: Tlali Tlali
+27 82 333 3880
+27 11 978 2298

: Karin Sieberhagen
Sales and Marketing Manager - South Africa
Serena Hotels , Lodges and Resorts
Tel :  011-021-2607/8/9
Cell : 082-889-9979  /  Fax :  086664 8389