Tag Archives: FLySAA

South African Airways scales down capacity due to travel disruptions and restrictions caused by Coronavirus

JOHANNESBURG. 18 March 2020. South African Airways (SAA) has scaled down capacity in response to the low demand for air travel. The effects of the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have led to travel disruptions and restrictions across the world, leading to the grounding of aircraft, releasing employees, and cancelling flights for many airlines. SAA is not immune to these realities.

In the light of the substantial fall in demand for air travel, SAA has reviewed its flight schedule and has decided to operate flights only under circumstances where its load factors and other business considerations weigh in favour of scheduling flights. However, certain flights that have been negatively impacted more than others, are consequently cancelled.

“Notwithstanding the decline in demand, SAA continues to aggressively review its schedule to match capacity with demand to the extent possible. Where feasible, we will consider options that include cancelling and merging flights,” said SAA Chief Commercial Officer, Philip Saunders.

For the period 17 until 31 March 2020, SAA has cancelled a total of 162 flights. Of these, 38 are international and 124 are regional (destinations on the African continent) flights.

At the same time, the airline is continuing to provide a service on the domestic, regional and international networks for those passengers whose travel is essential and cannot be avoided. For the time being, the airline will continue to operate to and from destinations unaffected by travel restrictions aimed at combatting the spread of the Coronavirus.

“Our priority is to assist those travellers wishing to repatriate to their home countries to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible. Naturally, this includes South African citizens abroad wishing to return home,” Saunders explained. 

Subject to the conditions set out in the travel ban announced by government in South Africa, SAA will also facilitate the transfer of qualifying passengers to or from the destinations it flies to, which have been classified as high-risk areas.

Appreciating the impact of travel restrictions emanating from the outbreak of the Coronavirus, SAA has demonstrated its commitment towards looking after its customers by providing flexible rebooking options.

“We have updated our Customer Reservation Policy to help our passengers defer their travel plans where possible. To this end, we have offered our customers one free ticket change, in acknowledgement of travel restrictions that are not of our customers’ own making,” Saunders elaborated.

The Updated Reservation Policy now extends to the entire SAA route network.

Below is a summary of the amended travel policy, which is available on www.flysaa.com.

§  Must rebook / reissue ticket/s by 30 April 2020.

§  Complete travel by 28 February 2021.

§  Rebook same booking class with no additional collection and change fees waived.

§  Additional fare collection and taxes will apply to cases of seasonality change, but change fees will be waived.

§  If same booking class is not available, upgrade to lowest applicable booking class.  Additional fare collection and taxes will apply but change fees will be waived.

§  One (1) free change and ticket reissue permitted only.

§  Tickets to be endorsed “COVID-19 SA FLT/DATE”.

§  Applicable to all fare types.

§  Change of cabin will not be permitted.

§  Change of routing will not be permitted.

§  This travel advisory waives the 72-hour rule.

§  This policyis applicable to South African Airways flights only and does not apply to Mango, SA Express and Airlink, issued on SA (083) ticket stock and not on separate tickets of other airlines. This policywill apply when Mango, SA Express and Airlink forms part of the itinerary issued on SA (083) ticket stock.

§  No refunds are permitted as part of this advisory.

§  Other refunds are permitted according to the applicable fare rules.

§  Previous No-show passengers are not eligible for this waiver.

§  SAA reserves the right to withdraw or revise the terms and conditions without prior notice.

SAA regrets any inconvenience to our customers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and we encourage all customers to visit our website www.flysaa.com for further updates.

Customers are advised to contact either their travel agents, or for direct bookings, the  South African Airways Call Centre on +27 (0)11 978-1111 or 0861 606 606 or 0800 214 774 (South Africa only) or +27 (0)11 978-2888.

“We thank customers for their continued support and placing their trust in South African Airways with their travel plans,” concluded Saunders.

SAA will provide regular and timely updates through media statements and through our travel trade partners.

-Ends-

For media enquiries,  please contact:

SAA Spokesperson
Mr Tlali Tlali 
Email:               TlaliTlali@flysaa.com
Mobile:             +27 (0)82 333-3880
Office:               +27 (0)11 978-2298

Customers to contact:

South African Airways Call Centre on +27 (0)11 978-1111 or 0861 606 606 or 0800 214 774 (South Africa only) or +27 (0)11 978-2888.

General Enquiries:

Website: www.flysaa.com

Twitter (Primary): @flysaa – https://twitter.com/flysaa

Twitter (Customer Service): @flysaa_care – https://twitter.com/flysaa_care

Facebook: www.facebook.com/flysaa

SAA Adheres To World Health Organisation And IATA Protocols On COVID-19 Coronavirus

JOHANNESBURG, 12 March 2020 – South African Airways (SAA) assures customers that its operational health and safety procedures adhere to the World Health Organisation’s protocols to protect its customers and crew from contracting the COVID-19 (coronavirus) while flying with SAA.

SAA follows procedures, advice and guidelines from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organisation, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Civil Aviation Authorities as well as the airports and customs authorities’ directives to ensure the safety of its customers.

“The safety, health and wellbeing of our customers and crew is a number one priority.  To ensure their wellbeing, we adhere to the following procedures:

·       To clean the aircraft, SAA uses the disinfectants, which have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are effective against the COVID-19 (coronavirus).

·       The cleaning protocols our teams use to clean our aircraft have been intensified and focus among other things,  on high frequent touch points such as handles, seatbelt buckles, tray tables and armrests.

·       Hard surfaces such as lavatories, galley units and window shades are also thoroughly cleaned with multi-purpose cleaners.

·       The Airbus fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art, High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that sift out and remove dust, bacteria, allergens and other unhygienic particles.

·       SAA crew have been trained to handle situations involving communicable diseases or any other medical emergencies on board and they work closely with ground and inflight expert medical assistance.

·        All our aircraft are loaded with bio-hazardous spill kits in case of a contamination event (or to handle a contamination event) and cleaning materials.

“We assess all our passengers and advise that if they are feeling ill, they need to follow recommendations offered by medical professionals,” SAA said in a statement.

SAA said that although it is following customs limits and guidelines, passengers are welcome to travel with antibacterial wipes and hand sanitisers.

SAA crew use officially approved and industry recognised disinfectants on all flights. Cabin crew (Flight attendants) use gloves sanctioned by the food industry.  The airline uses sanitation procedures for all domestic, regional and international flights.  Should a passenger show any respiratory symptoms on board, i.e. coughing, sneezing, our crew will provide a surgical mask to the passenger to prevent transmission of micro-organisms.

Should health authorities inform the airline that a person who travelled with SAA exhibited coronavirus symptoms, the aircraft will be taken out of service and put through a decontamination process.

While SAA takes all the necessary steps to ensure that their customers enjoy a healthy flying experience, the airline advises customers to also take precautions to stay healthy while flying.

The Global recommended Precautionary tips include:

  • Wash hands with soap often;
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser after touching any surface;
  • Avoid touching eyes, face and nose;
  • Avoid contact with coughing passengers by whatever means possible and
  • Stay home if sick.

We thank customers for the support by continuing to place their trust in South African Airways with their travel plans.

SAA Extends Sale Offering Of Up To 20% Discount Across The Route Network

Johannesburg, 3 March 2020 – South African Airways (SAA) has extended its sale, offering discounts of up to 20% to major destinations across its route network.

These offers are available for sale from today to 5 March only so customers are encouraged to respond quickly to take advantage!  The sale has been extended due to the positive uptake last week, where SAA recorded high levels of sales activity across its markets.

“Due to the tremendous response we received last week for our special offers, the sale is back by popular demand and we are extending it during this week,” said Philip Saunders, SAA Chief Commercial Officer.

The extended sale will be accessible on all SAA’s major distribution channels, at www.flysaa.com and throughout a network of travel agents both in South Africa and in other African and international markets the airline continues to serve.

“We are pleased that our customers and travel trade partners are showing renewed trust in our brand. We aim to build further on this trust by offering our customers more exciting offers over the months ahead,” said Saunders.

SAA’s sales have also been bolstered by the reinstatement of the Travel Insurance Consultants insurance services across the travel trade, which provides protection for customers choosing to fly with SAA.

The extended sale includes destinations such as New York, London, Washington DC, Perth, Frankfurt, Blantyre, Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa, Harare, Lilongwe, Lagos, Lusaka, Livingstone, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Victoria Falls and Windhoek.

Prices are all-inclusive and for return flights and are available in economy class, as well as for travel in business class.

Travellers can choose to fly between Johannesburg and New York, London, and Frankfurt from as little as R8 999. These economy class return offers are fully inclusive, providing a discount of up to 20% with Business class tickets also discounted at up to 20%, with fares to New York from R49 927, London from R37 178 and Frankfurt from R32 902.

For further information, customers can book on www.flysaa.com or contact their nearest travel agent. T’s and C’s apply.

The airline’s revised route network will ensure customers keep reaching their destinations while enjoying SAA’s 4-star experience along the way.

SAA Joins Fight Against The Illegal Wildlife Trafficking

JOHANNESBURG. 3 MARCH 2020 – As the world commemorated World Wildlife Day on Tuesday, South African Airways said it would help intensify the fight against the global illegal wildlife trafficking.

As a new member of the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES), the national carrier said it would work hard to reduce the trafficking seizure of 42% of wildlife animals checked in luggage, 4% hidden in passenger clothing, 23% in air flight, 4% in mail and 27%  recorded as unknown.

SAA employees are being trained in methods to detect wildlife smugglers and their activities and to report these to the relevant authorities.

USAID ROUTES said Africa is a significant source of smuggled live animals and wildlife products.

For example, in 2019 more than 103 wildlife animals were seized in three countries across the African continent. Most commonly, air traffic of wildlife animals in the African skies involves:

·       Ivory moved from East Africa, through the Middle East, into Asia;

  • Rhino horn moved from Southern Africa, through East Africa and the Middle East, into Asia;
  • Pangolin scales moved from West Africa, through Europe, into Asia;
  • Tortoises moved from Madagascar, through East Africa, into Asia;
  • Abalone moved from Southern Africa straight to Asia and
  • Nile crocodiles moved from the Horn of Africa into the Middle East.

Now SAA said it was committed to taking action to protect wildlife and their natural heritage.

SAA has joined the fight against illegal wildlife trade by adopting the Illegal Wildlife Trade Module of the IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) Programme. IEnvA is an equivalent of the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), but in terms of the environment rather than safety. SAA is audited, much like IOSA, and certified as IEnvA compliant. The airline was recently successfully audited through the Illegal Wildlife Trade module of the IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA) Programme to ensure that the correct systems and procedures are in place.

In its effort to fight against illegal wild-life trade, SAA recently conducted an awareness campaign among its employees to demonstrate how a trained dog can reinforce detection efforts to combat wildlife trafficking in the air transport industry.

SAA Offers Irresistible Fares To Major Destinations

Johannesburg, 27 February 2020 – South African Airways (SAA) is offering irresistible fares to major destinations.

“At South African Airways, the time for change has come. Change that sets a new flight path and prepares our business for take-off. We’re changing our route network to be smarter and more efficient whilst ensuring our best customer service. Most importantly though, is that we’re changing to keep you flying,” SAA said in its first advertising campaign since the business rescue process began in December 2019.

SAA is offering customers three days to take advantage of competitive fares to New York, London, Washington DC, Perth, Frankfurt, Blantyre, Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa, Harare, Lilongwe, Lagos, Lusaka, Livingstone, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Victoria Falls and Windhoek. The fare deals are available in Economy Class as well as for travel in Business Class.

From Wednesday, February 26, to Friday, February 28, travellers can book all-inclusive return flights to a number of regional and international destinations including New York and London from R8999, and Lagos and Lusaka from R4554. Customers can book on www.flysaa.com or contact their nearest travel agent. T’s and C’s apply.

The airline’s revised route network – which comprises of its most successful routes, will ensure customers keep reaching their destinations while enjoying SAA’s 4-star experience along the way.

SAA Brings Miss Universe back home Aboard New A350-900 Aircraft

JOHANNESBURG, 8 February 2020 – South African Airways (SAA) was honoured to bring Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi back home aboard its brand new Airbus A350-900 from New York on Saturday.

Her sparkling presence aboard SA204 added excitement on 15-hour journey between New York and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg as customers interacted and took pictures with her.

“SAA is more than an airline, we – as Zozibini – are African first. We are a proud carrier of Africa’s hopes and dreams and its unlimited potential, which leaves us bursting with pride as we welcome our daughter back home and celebrate her global success,” said Zuks Ramasia, SAA’s ACEO.

 “Our crew described the opportunity to fly a South African born Miss Universe as one of their proudest and memorable experience, one that will remain an indelible highlight in their careers,” said Ramasia.

SAA flew Zozibini back to South Africa as one of the “Homecoming” partners to showcase pride, patriotism and embrace African heritage.

 In December, she flew SAA to Sao Paolo to participate in the Miss Universe contest as arranged by the Miss SA Pageant organisers.

The 25-year-old student hails from Tsolo in the Eastern Cape. She was crowned Miss Universe 2019 after previously being crowned Miss South Africa 2019. She is the third woman from South Africa to win the title, and the first black woman since Leila Lopes was crowned Miss Universe 2011.

SAA will fly the homegrown beauty queen back to New York where she lives during her reign as Miss Universe. On her return trip, she will again travel on the state-of-the-art aircraft, of which SAA has four in its fleet.

Like Zozibini, customers can enjoy the airline’s four A350s superior features such as a quieter cabin and relaxing in-flight experience including the all-new In-flight Entertainment (IFE), extra-legroom seats in Economy Class and lie-flat beds in Business Class.

The aircraft, which is environmentally friendly, with improved fuel-efficiency can fly further than any other aircraft in commercial service.

The introduction of the A350s will contribute to SAA’s operational efficiencies and cost reduction, and forms part of the ongoing fleet renewal programme. For example, through the A350s, we will lower our operational costs, and save on our fuel consumption by 25% and also lower our maintenance costs by 40% over a five-year period

SAA NAMED AS ONE OF THE TOP ON-TIME-PERFORMING AIRLINES

JOHANNESBURG, 7 January 2020 – South African Airways has been named as one of the top performing airlines globally for on-time performance (OTP) by travel data and analytics company, Cirium.

SAA was ranked fourth in the category for Middle East and Africa mainline carriers, ahead of some of its major competitors, making SAA the leading African carrier on OTP.

“According to the International Airlines Transport Association’s benchmark of OTP, an airline is on-time when it arrives within 15 minutes of the scheduled time of arrival or departs within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time.  We are excited that most of the time we adhere to these deadlines,” said Zuks Ramasia, SAA Acting CEO.

SAA’s overall on-time performance across its route network is 85.69%.

“We are encouraged by this latest announcement about our performance.  It is an endorsement and occasion to celebrate great achievement, especially when judged against our own peers, globally. Customers always have a choice and those who elect to fly with us recognise that we are a dependable airline. The results speak volumes about consistency and reliability of our operations – a key feature underlying our customer value proposition.  This is an important attribute of our business,” said Ramasia.

SAA A350 Landing at Cape Town International Airport

SAA A350 Landing at Cape Town International Airport

As a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance, SAA serves 57 destinations within South Africa and across the continent in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and its low-cost carrier, Mango.   SAA also flies to eight intercontinental destinations from its Johannesburg hub.

“We place a high premium on punctuality as measured through OTP. It is one of our most important customer impact performance indicators.  The more punctual we are, the happier the customers we keep. Any flight delays could lead to costs for the airline and inconvenience to the customer.  Delays could snowball into more delays, requiring more re-planning to recover the schedule for the rest of the day and bring inefficiencies,” concluded Ramasia.

Cirium works with over 90 per cent of the world’s top 50 airlines. The company, which has published its annual On-time Performance (OTP) Review for the past 11 years, provides a definitive list of the world’s best performing airlines and airports for on-time flight operations.

Jeremy Bowen, Cirium CEO, said:  “Achieving world-class customer satisfaction and industry-leading product differentiation is about more than just competitively priced tickets and flight availability. When choosing whom to fly with, savvy travellers also now consider airline punctuality and operational reliability.

“We believe Cirium’s On-Time Performance Review 2019 will inspire airlines and airports to continue innovating to improve their performance. By embracing digital transformation and leveraging data to its full potential, Cirium can help the aviation industry harness its power to improve on-time performance and enhance the passenger experience,” Bowen said.  

ISSUED BY SAA 

About South African Airways:

South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 57 destinations, in partnership with SA Express, Airlink, and its low-cost carrier, Mango, within South Africa and across the continent, and eight 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 Staff Service award in the Africa category; this shows that our customer-facing employees are our true brand ambassadors who made a difference to millions of travelling customers.

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