SAA celebrates 80 years in the skies

2014-02-18 15:12

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Pretoria -  South African Airways (SAA) is celebrating its 80th year as South Africa's national carrier.

“SAA, which was founded in 1934, celebrated its 80th anniversary this month. SAA has faced many changes over its illustrious history and has experienced many highlights and some turbulent times. Through the years, SAA, and its employees have shown extraordinary resilience and capacity for change,” said SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali on Tuesday.

Recently, SAA received for the 12th consecutive year the 4-Star airline ranking from Skytrax, the independent, global airline rating organisation and remains the only carrier on the African continent to achieve this high level 4-Star Airline rating.

Apart from SAA celebrating its 80 years of existence, SAA’s frequent flyer programme, Voyager, which was one of the first ever frequent flyer programmes in Africa, also celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. SAA’s low cost operator Mango will also be celebrating, turning eight later in the year.

The airline, which recently reported a loss of R990m for the 2012/13 financial year, an improvement from a loss of R1.3bn in the prior year, is working on its long-term turnaround strategy, Gaining Altitude, aimed at returning the airline to profitability.

Loss making routes such as Bujumbura and Kigali, have been closed, with the route to Buenos Aires to be closed at the end of March 2014.

In addition to this, SAA implemented five new code share agreements, boosting its route network without operating its own aircraft on those routes.

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