Date Published: 05/18/10
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS
17 May, 2010
SAA’s new A340-300 to replace B747-400 on Lagos-Johannesburg route
One of the new South African Airways A340-300 aircraft.
Ms. Siza Mzimela, CEO of SAA addressing journalists at the media briefing
at INDABA 2010 just concluded in Durban, South Africa.
South African Airways (SAA), a member of the Star Alliance is set to introduce a new Airbus 340-300 to replace Boeing 747-400 aircraft currently used on the Lagos-Johannesburg route by the end of this year.
SAA CEO, Siza Mzimela disclosed this at the airline’s annual CEO Breakfast forum and later reiterated same in the subsequent Media Briefing at the INDABA 2010-Africa premier travel show in Durban, South Africa.
She disclosed that SAA is prepared to take delivery of new aircrafts very soon for its continuous route expansion and as Nigeria is one of the leading markets in Africa, SAA finds it worthy to replace the existing B747-400 with one of the two new A340-300 that will be acquired before the end of 2010.
The SAA CEO confirmed that about 20 new aircrafts will be delivered by Airbus to the airline soon as it moves towards stabilization, sustainability and growth.
She said the airline is poised to consolidating on the restructuring gains, stabilizing the leadership status of the airline, creating a performance driven culture and providing service excellence as it continues it routes expansion and focus on being African carrier with a global reach.
“SAA is on a journey and we have gone through the most painful part, which is restructuring. Now our focus is on growing the business. We are going to review service delivery, product offering, lounges and check-ins. We have not just trained our pilots alone, we have good system in place to aid the skills they have acquired from the trainings,” she said.
Mzimela continued that, “what makes SAA different is our people, our crew. We have also identified those countries where we need frequencies and we are going to increase that accordingly.”
She added that there are plans to review the demand for the inclusion of some local menu in the in-flight menu on the Lagos-Johannesburg route.
On the state of preparedness of SAA for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, she said the airline is ready and prepared to overcome the challenges of the tournament.
She explained that as part of the strategy to cope with the demands of the mundial, SAA will be operating 24 hours services, which would be supported by the recruitment of temporary staff who would be trained in various operational capacities.
As a result, the airline, Mzimela said has increased its availability and the cabin crew and baggage handling have all been reinforced.
In addition, SAA’s role is to make a significant contribution towards South Africa’s continued success as one of the best tourism destinations in the world.
“We realized that our airline will create the first impression of South Africa when visitors fly SAA to support their respective team. SAA aims to pull out all the stops and lavish our warm African hospitality on all guests, encouraging repeat visits that will benefit the African economy,” she said.
Issued by TOPCOMM in Nigeria on behalf of SAA Group Corporate Affairs. TOPCOMM is a member of The Marketing Orchestra, the new global network for integrated communications. www.themarketingorchestra.com
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