SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

South Africa: SA Airways Wins 'Airline of the Year'

South African Airways won "Airline of the Year" award, as well as "Best Airline to Africa" and "Best Business Class White Wine", at Global Traveler magazine's annual awards gala in Los Angeles last week.

The magazine cited SAA as a "perennial favorite" among its readers and the "perfect representative of South AfricaÂ’s personality, promise and culture".

It also added that SAA "is a standout in all aspects of the industry".

Executive Vice President of North America Todd Neuman was joined by fellow SAA executives, as well as a representative from the Consulate General of South Africa and key travel industry and corporate partners to receive the award.

"South African Airways would like to thank the Global Traveler Year Committee for the great honour of being named "Airline of the Year". We would also like to thank the readers of the magazine for voting SAA as "Best Airline in Africa"," Neuman said.

"These awards, plus the "Best White Wine International Business Class" are indicative that our efforts are working."

Enhancements to onboard products

Global TravelerÂ’s recognition of SAA as "Best White Wine International Business Class" was for the Driehoek Sauvignon Blanc 2011, chosen by SAA and a panel of international judges during the airlineÂ’s annual comprehensive wine selection process, which is meant to showcase South African wines throughout the globe.

"Enhancements have been made to our onboard product for Premium Business Class customers, with added comfort to our flat-bed Premium Business Class seats, new menu choices from South African star chefs, expanded entertainment options and our award-winning South African wine cellar in the sky," Neuman said.

"Our enhancements in these areas will continue, as we strive to offer the fastest, most convenient and comfortable service to Africa for both business and leisure customers."

South African Airways has also introduced new service to cities such as Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, Abidjan in Ivory Coast and Cotonou in Benin, among other cities that it has added to its already-extensive route network on the African continent.

It is also featuring meal selections from South African star chefs, first with Chef Reuben Riffel, and now with Chef Benny Masekwameng, a judge on South AfricaÂ’s Master Chef TV series.

"Congratulations to South African Airways for being named 2012 Airline of the Year," said Globe Traveler's publisher and chief executive officer, Francis X. Gallagher.

"I couldn’t agree more with the decision of our Advisory Board in selecting the airline.

"The product, service and onboard amenities are among the best in the industry and the award-winning South African Airways is absolutely a leader in the marketplace," he said.

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