Home Airlines SAA airlifts over 3million Pax in 20 years from Nigeria, aims...

SAA airlifts over 3million Pax in 20 years from Nigeria, aims for profitability in 3 years

745
0
Photo 1. Left to Right - Ohis Ehimiaghe, Regional Manager, West and Central Africa; Vuyani Jarana, Group Chief Executive Officer and Aaron Munetsi, Regional General Manager, Africa, Middle-East & Indian Ocean Islands all of South African Airways at the press conference commemorating the 20 years anniversary of the airline’s service to Nigeria.

…..working to ease visa acquisition

South African Airways (SAA), the leading carrier in sub-Saharan African region since commencement of flight in Nigeria in 1998 has recorded a passenger load factor of over 3 million.

As the airline celebrates 20 years of non-stop operations from the commercial nerve- center of Nigeria, Lagos to Johannesburg, the airline has continuous used top- notch aircraft from the Boeing series to Airbus with excellent facilities, including state of the art on-demand inflight entertainment system, increased economy and business class space and legroom for extra comfort.

At a news conference in Lagos, the Group Chief Executive Officer, SAA, Vuyani Jarana noted that since after the Bilateral Air Service Agreement was signed between the two countries, “SAA has since brought several aircraft onto this route, from the initial Airbus 300 series, which had to make a technical stop en-route in Luanda to the Boeing 767 and the B747-400 and to the Airbus A340–600, which was then replaced by the current state of the art Airbus A330-300 aircraft”.

He described the economy as thriving and its operations here in the country rank amongst SAA’s most profitable, adding that it would continue to support this important destination by continuously improving the overall customer experience and exploring new opportunities.

Jarani said SAA does not have a direct flight from Nigeria to the US but had a robust and efficient E-Commerce platform for the Nigerian market.

He pointed out that they were working with the Authorities for ease of visa procurement, “Nigeria/South Africa Chamber of Commerce has been partner for 20 years. We worked with them in terms of visa. Nigeria is a market that is profitable but we don’t take that for granted”.

On efforts made to bring back the SAA back to profitability, the CEO said “in recent years, we have gone through difficult times but there are strategies developed to turn it around. We are coming with a new management and they are turning around the airline. We haven’t lacked strategy but it is execution and implementation that are the problems. We will continue to grow the willingness to execute these strategies. We are balancing scale and profitability”.

He therefore, assured that it would take them 3 years to return to profitability and that is from 2018 to 2021.

Photo 2. Left to Right – Ohis Ehimiaghe, Regional Manager, West and Central Africa; Vuyani Jarana, Group Chief Executive Officer; Aaron Munetsi, Regional General Manager, Africa, Middle-East & Indian Ocean Islands and Kemi Leke-Bamtefa, National Sales Manager, Nigeria all of South African Airways at the press conference commemorating the 20 years anniversary of the airline’s service to Nigeria.

In his remark, SAA Regional Manager, Middle East, Africa, Aaron Munetsi pointed out that there were challenges peculiar to the Nigerian market, which included fuel, visa and other factors.

Apart from fuel, Munetsi said some environments were monopolistic, adding that there was the need for central African market policy that should be able to address issues of monopolists in any market that they were not able to operate effectively.

“We pay for fuel much less in the US than we pay in some oil producing African countries”, Munetsi observed.

In a statement as released by the SAA General Manager Commercial, Pumla Luhabe, on exploring opportunities noted that, “this will enable us to retain our market position as the carrier of choice amongst the Nigerian travelling community. Our understanding of our customer profiles who travel in both business and economy class cabins, is one of the reasons we decided to deploy the A330-300 aircraft which responds well to the needs of this market,”.

With its thriving economy, Nigeria is Africa’s economic powerhouse; Lagos is a high-energy city famous for its vibrant lifestyle, set against the backdrop of the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, and their world renowned music industry bolstered by heavyweights such as the late legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti to the modern day Davido, DBanj, and Psquare to mention a few. Nigeria offers numerous commercial opportunities and a cultural experience like no other, he added

“Nigeria is among the top destinations to which we fly, and over the past 20 years SAA has transported over three (3) million passengers into the region and we will continue to listen to our customers to ensure we are providing them with the best possible service for continued loyalty. Reinforcing our legacy of exceptional service, SAA was recently voted Best Airline Staff in Africa at the World Aviation Awards,” concludes Luhabe.

On activities embarked on by the airline to showcase the milestone, Mr. Luhabe says,”SAA rolled out a campaign that saw brand activation on social media, radio and print publications from September 2018 in the Nigeria region. Some of the activities include Voyager / Corporate dinner, a Travel trade award function, SAA movie night for the Travel trade and to the children of the Arrow of God Orphanage (an Orphanage supported by SAA over the past 8 years), all leading to a celebration to be hosted in Lagos this December”.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here