Pretoria — National carrier South African Airways (SAA) has won the Global Traveller's magazine "Airline of the year" award - the highest honour awarded by the publication for global business travellers.
The magazine cited SAA as a "perennial favourite" among its readers as well as the "perfect representative" of the country's personality and culture.
The award ceremony were held in Los Angeles last Wednesday, executive vice president of North America Todd Neuman joined by fellow SAA executives thanked the publication and its readers for the honour.
SAA was also voted as "Best Airline in Africa".
"These awards, plus the 'Best White Wine International Business Class,' are indicative that our efforts are working," said Neuman.
The award for the best white wine was for the Driehoek Sauvignon Blanc 2011, chosen by SAA and a panel of international judges during the airline's annual comprehensive wine selection process. This is meant to showcase South African wines throughout the globe, while also complementing a carefully-designed selection of on-board cuisine and its accompanying services.
"Enhancements have been made to our on-board 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," added Neuman.
These enhancements, he said will continue as SAA strives to offer the fastest, most convenient and comfortable service to Africa for both business and leisure customers. 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 Africa's Master Chef TV series.
The airline has introduced new service to cities such as Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, Abidjan in the Ivory Coast and Benin's Cotonou, among other cities that it has added to its already-extensive route network on the African continent.
Francis X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO of Global Traveler, congratulated SAA for the awards.
"I couldn't agree more with the decision of our advisory board in selecting the airline. The product, service and on-board amenities are among the best in the industry and the award-winning South African Airways is absolutely a leader in the marketplace."
SAA serves 26 destinations across the African continent as well as major destinations within South Africa as well as international destinations.
It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance.