South African Airways (SAA) has received two major endorsements from respected industry experts. In the first, SAA topped the list of the most on-time airlines in the world in a report produced by an independent entity, FlightStats, Inc., the leading provider of global flight and airport information services.
According to the FlightStats report, South African Airways was one of the only two major international carriers that delivered over 90% of their flights on time in March. SAA took the number one spot with 92.26% whilst Gulf Air came in second at 92.11%.
The FlightStats March 2013 On-Time Airline & Airport Performance Report further states that major international airlines had on average delivered 78.76% of their flights to the arrival gate within 15 minutes of schedule in March, up slightly from February’s 77.64%. Cancellations for the same group in March were 1.35%, down from 1.57% last month.
According to SAA’s General Manager of Operations, Zuks Ramasia, “SAA’s above average operational showing among global competitors is the result of the skill and efforts of highly trained teams across all functions, working in tandem to ensure safe, efficient and value for money operations.”
Best Business Class Product
The On-Time Performance accolade comes hot on the heels of another accolade bestowed on South Africa’s national carrier by a Europe-based publication. Through its Mystery Shopper project, FVW, Germany’s leading travel trade magazine, voted SAA’s business class as the Best Business Class product amongst Star Alliance carriers.
The magazine’s incognito mystery shopper tested the Business Class products and services of Star Alliance carriers on long-haul flights out of Germany. SAA topped the list with 94 points out of 100, eclipsing three other renowned European airlines.
SAA ranked the highest for its comfortable fully lie-flat seats, while its class-leading comfortable duvet, extra-large pillow and padded bedding also got the nod from the magazine’s mystery shopper. SAA also got 24 points out of 25 for its check-in and lounge facilities whilst the cuisine was rated 18 out of 20 points and service 19 out of 20.
“It is very humbling to note that those that we serve daily with our renowned South African hospitality recognise the effort that we put into making their travelling experience convenient, safe and comfortable. Every South African should take pride in the fact that their national carrier is Africa’s most awarded airline and held in high esteem by travellers from across the world,” said Ramasia.
With a route network of 26 African destinations as well as access to over 1300 airports in almost 200 countries through its Star Alliance membership, SAA is one of a handful of airlines that have direct flights to all continents.
“SAA practically brings the world to Africa and takes Africa to the world – and considering these awards, we do so on time and in unrivalled comfort. Regardless of these recent accolades, we will continue to put concerted effort in improving our product offering and service levels,” Ramasia concluded.