South African Airways (SAA) has been named the Best Airline in Africa by Business Traveler Magazine, following its annual consumer survey.
The airline was also awarded the top prize for the Best Business Class to Africa, according to the results of the survey.
The company received the awards at a ceremony in New York, where SAA was recognised for its consistently high-quality and world-class service.
“…we are honored that … [the participants have] named us best in the region throughout the years,” said Todd Neuman, SAA’s Executive Vice President for North America receiving the awards on behalf of the company.
“These travelers have recognized the level of detail that SAA goes to in order to ensure their comfort, including the continual enhancements we make to our product both on the ground and in the air, which complement our convenient flight schedules and multitude of destinations served,” Neuman added.
SAA provides a number of regular direct links between important hubs in South Africa and North America, including daily direct non-stop flights between Johannesburg and New York, as well as a service linking Washington and Johannesburg.
The company has also been seen upgrading its Business Class offerings over the recent period, including the installation of state-of-the-art flatbed seats in Business Class, as well as the introduction of high-end food and entertainment offerings.
In the economy flight sector, SAA claims to provide the most legroom for passengers as compared to its market rivals.
The awards are a much needed positive reflection on the company, which has had a challenging past year on the home arena, having been forced to request a 4 billion – 6 billion rand ($480 million – $720 million) bailout from the South African government in September, and having been locked in disputes with the government which prompted the walk-out of eight board members including the Chairwoman shortly after the bailout request.
Earlier this month, the company’s acting CEO announced that a number of interim measures would be implemented amidst efforts to save the flailing airline, which has been amassing debts and has been struggling to meet basic costs such as fuel.