Global Traveler Names South African Airways "Airline of the Year"

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SAA Also Wins “Best Airline to Africa” and “Best Business Class White Wine”

SAA's Airline of the Year Award

Enhancements have been made to our onboard product, 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.

South African Airways (SAA) has won Global Traveler’s highest honor, being named “Airline of the Year” by the venerable publication for global business travelers and fans of luxury travel. SAA received the award at its annual awards gala that honors the best in travel. In naming the recipient of the award, the magazine cited SAA as a “perennial favorite” among its readers and the “perfect representative of South Africa’s personality, promise and culture.” It also added that SAA “is a standout in all aspects of the industry.” At the Dec. 12th awards ceremony held in Los Angeles, 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 – each of whom were on hand to celebrate this prestigious win with South Africa’s national airline.

“South African Airways would like to thank the Global Traveler ‘Year Committee’ for the great honor 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,’” said Neuman. “These awards, plus the ‘Best White Wine International Business Class,’ are indicative that our efforts are working,” said Neuman.

Global Traveler’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 airline’s annual comprehensive wine selection process, which 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 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,” added SAA’s Neuman. “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 introduced new service to cities such as Brazzaville (Republic of Congo), Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Cotonou (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 Africa’s Master Chef TV series.

“Congratulations to South African Airways for being named 2012 Airline of the Year,” said Francis X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO, Global Traveler. “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.”

About SAA
South African Airways features daily nonstop service from the U.S. to South Africa with morning departures from New York JFK and afternoon direct service from Washington Dulles (with a stop in Dakar, Senegal) that offer travel convenience and award-winning service. Travelers in Premium Business Class enjoy 180° fully flat-bed seats, and in Economy Class enjoy the most legroom versus competitors. Every seat on board offers an individual on-demand entertainment system, plush pillow, warm blanket and amenity kit. SAA’s unrivaled network, featuring seamless connections to nearly 20 destinations within South Africa, and more than 25 cities across the rest of the continent, makes the airline the savvy traveler’s “gateway to Africa.” To complement this network, a world of privileges awaits those who join Voyager, South African Airways’ premier mileage program. To sign up, visit, and link to the Voyager icon. As a Star Alliance member, South African Airways is able to offer its customers 1,329 destinations in 194 countries and more than 21,900 flights daily, including convenient connections from more than 25 cities in the U.S. through code share service with Star Alliance member United Airlines. Members of United’s, US Airways’ and Air Canada’s frequent traveler programs are able to earn and redeem miles on all SAA flights. For more information on South African Airways, please call (800) 722-9675 or visit, where travelers can sign up to be notified of other great travel deals and vacation packages. For information about South Africa, visit

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Elizabeth Ninomiya
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