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It’s Official: South African Airways is the Best African Airline for 10th Year in a Row

Story by Butterfield and Robinson

Posted: July 25, 2012

World’s largest online customer satisfaction survey, Skytrax, lauds SAA at Farnborough Air Show

Farnborough, UK South African Airways (SAA) scored a notable double success at the 2012 World Airline Awards, with air travellers voting SAA as the Best Airline in Africa, and winner of the title for Best Airline Staff Service in Africa.

The Best Airline in Africa award is the tenth in a row for SAA whilst the Best Staff Service in Africa award is the third in succession for the airline.

The awards, by SKYTRAX, a global aviation research organisation were announced today at the Farnborough International Airshow currently underway in the UK and received by the chairperson of the SAA Board, Ms Cheryl Carolus and the CEO, Ms Siza Mzimela.

“SKYTRAX has again confirmed that SAA, with our excellent service and very convenient connections to 26 African destinations via our Johannesburg hub, ranks with the best in the world,” said Mzimela. “We are immensely proud of our staff, because it is their consistent, professional and dedicated approach combined with our reliable fleet, our hospitable and advanced onboard product and the convenient connectivity we offer through our global route network that led passengers to again rate SAA number one in Africa”.

The SKYTRAX awards are based on customer responses to a survey which is run over a period of 10 months. This year, over 18 million businesses and leisure air travellers from 100 countries were polled by telephone, questionnaires and online. The survey covered over 200 airlines, from the largest international airlines to the smallest domestic airlines.

The survey measured passenger satisfaction across nearly 40 key performance and service indicators including the airport and on-board environments; from check-in to boarding, onboard seat comfort, cabin cleanliness, food and beverages as well as staff behaviour and service standards and consistency.

"This represents another great success for SAA. To pick up these two major awards is a clear indication of the esteem that passengers have for the airline, and with this being the 10th consecutive year that SAA has emerged winner of the Best Airline in Africa title; it underlines their dominance of this market. Also named winner of the Best Airline Staff Service in Africa award is recognition of the hard work across all front-line staff at SAA," said Edward Plaisted Chairman of SKYTRAX.

The World Airline Awards are the global benchmarks of airline excellence. Other accolades that SAA has received this year include a four star rating in February by Skytrax; the World Travel Awards as the Leading Airline in Africa 2011 voted by the travel trade, the Public Sector Award (a Service Excellence Gold award for the transport sector), and the Generation X Coolest Domestic Airline for the fourth year in a row at the Sunday Times Generation Next Survey Awards.