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South African Airways rakes in the awards for brand awareness, product development

JOHANNESBURG. 12 July 2016. South African Airways (SAA) has raked in a number of awards confirming its position as the leading airline on the African continent when it comes to brand recognition and innovative product offering.

The most prominent of these awards is the Skytrax award for Best Airline in Africa, which SAA has now won for the fourteenth year in a row. The Skytrax awards, the brainchild of an independent aviation research organisation, have become an institution on the annual events calendar. These awards are based on unsolicited customer feedback which makes them the benchmark of airline excellence.

“We are rightfully excited and proud to have won the Skytrax Award as Best Airline in Africa, for the fourteenth consecutive year, which demonstrates that SAA is still one  of the foremost airlines in the world, and the leader on the continent. Awards are important as they instil a sense of pride from our employees and customers alike. The Skytrax Award as Best Airline in Africa is based on customer feedback, which sets SAA securely on course to reach its strategic objective of Excellent Customer Service,” says Musa Zwane, SAA Acting CEO.

Commenting on the Award, Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax said: “Air travellers continue to recognise the excellent passenger experience that South African Airways delivers across domestic, regional and long haul flights. The award for Best Airline in Africa is a great reward for the staff and management at SAA who should be proud of this fantastic achievement after more than a decade as Africa's best airline”.
Other recent awards confirm SAA’s position as one of the Coolest Brands in the country, with the airline voted in June as the coolest domestic airline by the youth of today. SAA’s low cost subsidiary, Mango, achieved second place. The 12th Sunday Times Generation Next Survey Awards recognised the best and the coolest brands in South Africa as indicated by South Africa’s youth.
In recognition of the innovative products SAA offers customers, the airline’s new VIA Domestic Lounge at OR Tambo International Airport won a prestigious design award in May at the International Yacht and Aviation Awards held in Venice, Italy, in the Commercial Aviation Category under Airport Lounges.

The lounge which opened in September 2015 is the first of its kind to be opened as a partnership between the airline and Investec Private Bank.  The lounge exemplifies the highest standard in design and delivers a world-class customer experience. “The Star Alliance VIA Lounge competed for this award with some of the best airport lounges in the world, which makes this win a remarkable achievement in the global airport-lounge design space,” says Kim Thipe, SAA Head of Marketing.

Another product offering which has received recognition is the growth in SAA’s ancillary revenue. SAA received the award for the highest growth of ancillary sales at the Amadeus Merchandising, Digital and Travel Intelligence Conference.


Other awards SAA has won this year:


1.    South African Airways Cargo Named Amongst the Top Three African Airlines at the Air Cargo News Awards 2016 in London. The Awards were organised by Air Cargo News and are an annual Gala event where the air cargo industry gather to recognise the very best of the industry across 14 categories. SAA Cargo participated in the African Cargo Airline category.
2.    Sawubona, the in-flight magazine of South African Airways (SAA) scooped the award for Africa’s leading in-flight magazine for the second year in a row. The award for Africa’s leading in-flight magazine was made at the World Travel Awards™ in Zanzibar, Tanzania, this past weekend and received by Ndalo Media, publishers of the magazine.  World Travel Awards™ is voted for by travel and tourism professionals worldwide. In the category for in-flight magazines Sawubona competed with inflight magazines from across the continent.

3.    South African Airways retains 4-Star ranking for 14th year in a row demonstrating that the airline’s place in the global aviation world is secure. The ranking was done by aviation experts Skytrax, whose name is associated with Quality Excellence throughout the world by the air transport industry, after detailed product and service standards audits throughout the airline in November 2015.  This process is not connected to any customer ratings. A 4-Star Airline rating signifies airlines providing a good standard of product and staff service across all travel categories, including: cabin seating, safety standards, cabin cleanliness, comfort amenities, catering, tax-free sales, reading materials, in-flight entertainment, and staff service.
4.    South African Airways named “Best Airline in Africa” and “Best Business Class to Africa” in the annual Best in Business Travel Awards survey by readers of Business Traveler Magazine by Business Traveler Magazine. The Best in Business Travel Awards distinguishes the achievements of the most deserving organizations in the business travel industry and the readers of Business Traveler Magazine have selected South African Airways among a variety of top travel products and services. 

About South African Airways:

South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 74 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 thirteen consecutive years and the winner of ‘Best Airline staff in Africa’ for four years. SAA has been named the coolest domestic airline at the Sunday Times Generation Next Awards.

For media information, please contact:
SAA Spokesperson
Tlali Tlali
Mobile: +27 82 333 3880
Office: +27 11 978 2298
Switchboard: +27 11 978 1000