SAA Also Wins “Best Airline to Africa” and “Best Business Class White Wine”

Johannesburg, 2012-12-21 — / — South African Airways (SAA) has won Global Traveler’s highest honor, being named “Airline of the Year” by the venerable publication for global business travelers and fans of luxury travel.  SAA received the award at its annual awards gala that honours the best in travel.  In naming the recipient of the award, the magazine cited SAA as a “perennial favorite” among its readers and the “perfect representative of South Africa’s personality, promise and culture.”  It also added that SAA “is a standout in all aspects of the industry.”  At the Dec. 12th awards ceremony held in Los Angeles, Executive Vice President of North America Todd Neuman was joined by fellow SAA executives, as well as a representative from the Consulate General of South Africa and key travel industry and corporate partners – each of whom were on hand to celebrate this prestigious win with South Africa’s national airline.

“South African Airways would like to thank the Global Traveler ‘Year Committee’ for the great honor of being named ‘Airline of the Year.’ We would also like to thank the readers of the magazine for voting SAA as ‘Best Airline in Africa,’” said Neuman.  “These awards, plus the ‘Best White Wine International Business Class,’ are indicative that our efforts are working,” said Neuman.

Global Traveler’s recognition of SAA as “Best White Wine International Business Class” was for the Driehoek Sauvignon Blanc 2011, chosen by SAA and a panel of international judges during the airline’s annual comprehensive wine selection process, which is meant to showcase South African wines throughout the globe, while also complementing a carefully-designed selection of on-board cuisine and its accompanying services.

“Enhancements have been made to our onboard product for Premium Business Class customers, with added comfort to our flat-bed Premium Business Class seats, new menu choices from South African star chefs, expanded entertainment options and our award-winning South African wine cellar in the sky,” added SAA’s Neuman.  “Our enhancements in these areas will continue, as we strive to offer the fastest, most convenient and comfortable service to Africa for both business and leisure customers.”

South African Airways has introduced new service to cities such as Brazzaville (Republic of Congo), Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Cotonou (Benin), among other cities that it has added to its already-extensive route network on the African continent.  It is also featuring meal selections from South African star chefs, first with Chef Reuben Riffel, and now with Chef Benny Masekwameng, a judge on South Africa’s Master Chef TV series.

“Congratulations to South African Airways for being named 2012 Airline of the Year,” said Francis X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO, Global Traveler. “I couldn’t agree more with the decision of our Advisory Board in selecting the airline. The product, service and onboard amenities are among the best in the industry and the award-winning South African Airways is absolutely a leader in the marketplace.”


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

Dileseng Koetle
Head: Communication
Tel: +27 11 978 2298
Mobile: +27 83 400 0041

Kabelo Ledwaba
Communication Manager (External)
Tel: +27 11 978 2760
Mobile: +27 83 414 4720

Twitter: @flysaa