Sawubona is the name of SAA's in-flight magazine, and means 'greetings' or 'hello' in Nguni. The magazine is provided for free on all South African Airways local, international and regional flights, and has been published by the whizzes at Ndalo Media (CEO is Khanyi Dhlomo & editor is Ingrid Wood) since the 1st April 2013 (before then it was published by Uhuru Publishing). It features South African as well as internatinoally-related articles, and like all in-flight magazines has a share of advertisements to finance it, mostly of high-end and travel-related products. At the end of each edition there's a section covering South African Airways' flight timetables, maps of their routes, brief details of the airports they operate to, their fleet, customs information, tips on the on-board experience, the consequences of unruly behaviour on a flight, a safety guide and some in-flight fitness exercises (especially needed on the long-haul trips).
In the December 2017 edition of Sawubona : This festive edition of Sawubona is the first one featuring a welcoming letter by SAA's new CEO Vuyani Jarana. If nothing else, it is clear that he hopes to instill some confidence in not only his powers to effect change but also in the airline itself. "My undivided attention is on improving customer experience and sustaining SAA’s passenger safety record, while ensuring higher-order commercial delivery to transform SAA into a financially sustainable enterprise. Even during times of great difficulty and challenges, we still have to ensure that our customers choose us over the competition and we can only achieve this when we are focused on improving customer experience," he said. Watch this space, this could be the beginning of a beautiful thing for South African travellers!
In the November 2017 edition of Sawubona : In the November issue of SAA's in-flight magazine former Chairperson Duduzile Myeni wrote what is likely to be her final note from the chairperson. It is fitting then that she ushers in a new era for the airline with the appointment of permanent CEO Mr Vuyani Jarana and discussing further cost-cutting measures taken by the airline. "We have implemented network remediation strategies to stem losses from some routes, combined with quick-win capacity additions on other routes," she said. Hopefully all of this paired with her replacement will lead to SAA making a turn for the better.
In the September 2017 edition of Sawubona : September is SA Heritage month as well SA Tourism month, the perfect way to welcome spring! In contrast to their poor financial performance, SAA has taken home quite a few awards. As Duduzile Myeni points out, "SAA continues to be an award-winning airline and this year was awarded the Best Staff Service award at the Skytrax awards – the benchmark of airline excellence. In addition, we retained our 4-star rating for the 15th consecutive year and were named Favourite Airline in Africa for the third consecutive year at the annual Trazee Awards in the USA." Maybe next year we can reclaim the prize for best African Airline at the Skytrax Awards!
In the August 2017 edition of Sawubona : In celebration of Women's Day, Duduzile Myeni celebrates the great strides made in opportunities available for women. "Women play an invaluable role in building our company and brand at every level and in areas that were traditionally male-dominated. We’re particularly proud of our female technicians at SAA Technical (SAAT). They’ve proved to be great assets and, where we had only four women in this department in 1994, we now have 114. Women are also very well represented in the SAAT leadership team, with one-quarter being female," she said. She goes on to elaborate that there is still a lot of room for improvement.
In the July 2017 edition of Sawubona : In the July edition of Sawubona, Chairperson Myeni celebrates the Star Alliance's 20th birthday. "The theme for this milestone celebration is “Connecting People and Cultures” and passengers can take part in a very exciting way," she exclaimed. You too can become a “Mileage Millionaire” with the latest compeition. Sign up to the Star Alliance's loyalty programme and then, "[t]ell us about your experience, upload your photographs and then sit back and dream of how you would use a million Frequent Flyer Miles!" Just imagine where you could go with these miles!
In the June 2017 edition of Sawubona : In the June edition of Sawubona, also known as Youth Month, Chairperson Myeni explains the important role of SAA in transforming the country. "Aviation is a multi-faceted industry and provides career opportunities for young people in many different fields. As a state-owned company whose mandate includes supporting the national developmental agenda, we must contribute towards transforming our country by creating economic empowerment opportunities, as well as training and skills development for the youth," she said.
In the May 2017 edition of Sawubona : In the latest edition of Sawubona, Chairperson Myeni thanks the SAA employees for their hard work. "Our gratitude goes out to our men and women who serve you with distinction across the value chain. From behind-the-scenes aviation specialists and technicians to chefs, support staff and crew members, we pride ourselves on the fact that Team SAA ensures the reliability of our operations to take you safely and comfortably to your destinations of choice on our network." She failed to mention the fact that airline staff had forced several flights to be cancelled last week as they were striking for an increase in daily meal allowances.
In the April 2017 edition of Sawubona : In the latest edition of Sawubona, Chairperson Myeni commemorates National Freedom Day. "27 April commemorates our country's first democratic election in 1994 and is a reminder to our people that freedom must be actively preserved and nurtured," said Myeni whilst also taking the opportunity to mention SAA's wine selection process.
In the March 2017 edition of Sawubona : The 21st of March 2017 is Human Rights Day and International Women's Day is also celebrated this month, making March a month dedicated to Human Rights. SAA's chairperson Duduzile Myeni has said that she is confident that the airline is empowering women and minority groups: "SAA is content with the progress the airline is making in driving transformation, advancing women and working towards full gender and racial equality."
In the February 2017 edition of Sawubona : As SAA celebrates a momentous birthday this month, Duduzile Myeni gives some insight into the airline's future, "SAA turns 83 this month, and with our impressive history, the future holds much promise and many opportunities for growth and innovation."
In the January 2017 edition of Sawubona : "As a national carrier and one of the leading airlines on the African continent, we’re confident that we’ll deliver, with distinction and pride, services that will meet your expectations. One of our top New Year’s resolutions focused on you, our valued customers, is that we’ll continue improving our service and product
offering in a way that enhances our value proposition, and we’ll present a catalogue of choice and variety for your convenience. Not only will we improve your in-flight comfort and overall travel experience every time you board our flights, we’ll also give you more travel options to meet your personal preferences," said SAA Chairperson Duduzile Myeni on our National Carrier's goals for 2017. She also hinted at new regional routes being announced soon and mentioned plans to connect West Africa with the rest of the world. Lofty plans for an airline operating on borrowed time.
In the December 2016 edition of Sawubona : December is a busy period for our local airlines, with an unusually high number of young ones travelling either as unacompanied minors or with their families. SAA has taken extra measures to ensure that they enjoy their SAA experience. "We’ll also offer a family check-in service at selected times over the holiday period at OR Tambo International Airport for those travelling with small children. Look out for special dedicated check-in lines, where children can hand their own documents to check-in staff as a way of welcoming them on board. Signage and young helpers dressed as fairies will be there to guide you," said SAA Chairperson Dudu Myeni.
In the November 2016 edition of Sawubona : November sees the airline welcoming a new era, with 11 new Non-Executive Directors on board and 5 new A330-300S. With the airline only projecting profits in 2020, Chairperson Myeni's words are telling, "[F]or us, growth is not only about the numbers. We are here for the long haul and are conscious that with the scale of what we do, we can make a difference to global economies, communities and the environment. We consciously strive to improve our economic, environmental and social impact in a meaningful way." She continues, "With the current breadth of network coverage, virtually no destination is unreachable. This is why the commitment to service is paramount. As our guests are travelling further and more frequently, the experience on board is an important part of the journey itself."
In the October 2016 edition of Sawubona : "We’re particularly excited about the on-board product the A330s will offer, as it’s a dramatic improvement on our current offering. The Business Class configuration of 46 passengers will be staggered in a 1-2-1 configuration, offering increased privacy and providing all Business Class passengers with direct access to the aisle. The aircraft will also offer more Business Class seats than the largest aircraft in our current fleet" said SAA Chairperson Duduzile Myeni with regards to SAA's new fleet. She also went on to explain how the current business class seats are more akin to first class seats of old and highlighted the important role of the National Carrier.
In the April 2016 edition of Sawubona : In the latest edition of Sawubona chairperson Duduzile Myeni tries to justify SAA's often incredibly expensive flight prices: " I am constantly saddened by public figures who exhort us to make a “profit” without any consideration of the broader responsibility before us. It is an obligation that government has demanded of the SAA board. It is a dual mandate: one is developmental – we are part of government’s primary goal of transforming and empowering society. The other is economic – we are required to contribute to the country’s revenue base. It is not one or the other, but it is both." Perhaps if SAA had managed their finances from the beginning they would not be struggling to achieve both now. We all know that British Airways often manages to achieve both with significantly lower airfares.
In the March 2016 edition of Sawubona : In the latest edition of SAA's Sawubona Chairperson Duduzile Myeni is noticeably quiet about the possible merger between SAA and SA Express. She also doesn't sing the usual tune about SAA's relevance and value for the country, instead focusing on what SAA can offer the client. "Providing excellent customer service is one of our key strategic objectives and a core value for the airline – a task for which we’ve set ourselves clear objectives so that we can offer you the best in travel comfort," she said.
In the February 2016 edition of Sawubona : SAA's chairperson Duduzile Myeni shared some insight into the future of South Africa Airways, making a somewhat desperate plea for government support in her February editor's letter. Each month seems to be becoming more desperate. "Some of the most successful national airlines in the world are solidly supported by their respective governments and SAA will similarly continue to lobby for the state’s full support, which it previously enjoyed," said Myeni.
In the January 2016 edition of Sawubona : By now the whole country is aware of SAA's woes, highlighted by the published Boeing deal and the controversial appointment of a new Minister of Finance. If ever there is a time to address these issues, it would have been now. Instead Chairperson Duduzile Myeni has chosen to once again highlight SAA's important role in Africa. "Our intention is to remain a leading carrier on the continent with a focus on facilitating the growth of aviation in Africa. With more than 80 years of operations and a leading position in Africa, SAA has a responsibility to drive air travel growth and economic development," she said. This month SAA are adding flights to Abuja, Nigeria to their network. In a vain attempt to hide their displeasure, SAA also welcomes Mr Pravin Gordhan to his new position. "We congratulate our new shareholder representative, Mr Pravin Gordhan, on his re-appointment as the Minister of Finance." We look forward to seeing Myeni spin variations on SAA's value in Africa over the course of the year.
In the December 2015 edition of Sawubona : SAA's Dudu Myeni did not miss yet another opportunity to highlight SAA's value to the South African economy: "Not only are you flying with the leading airline on the African continent, and with a multiple award-winning one, but SAA plays a much bigger economic and national role, contributing to the wider economy and supporting thousands of jobs." She continued, "No South African airline trains more pilots and technicians, procures more from local suppliers or has taken more steps to protect the environment than SAA." SAA Chairperson Duduzile Myeni rarely misses an opportunity to sing the airline's praises. In this month's letter she looks back on all the airlines' achievements this year, but finishes saying: "We remain committed to achieving excellence in our customer experience and every other aspect of our operations and thank you for your support over the past year."
In the November 2015 edition of Sawubona : SAA Chairperson Duduzile Myeni rarely misses an opportunity to sing the airline's praises. In this month's letter she looks back on all the airlines' achievements this year, but finishes saying: "We remain committed to achieving excellence in our customer experience and every other aspect of our operations and thank you for your support over the past year."
In the October 2015 edition of Sawubona : As SAA Chairperson Duduzile Myeni points out, October is National Transport Month. In light of events from 2014, it is worth bearing in mind that, "Flying remains one of the safest forms of transport. Safety, however, can never be taken for granted and SAA maintains stringent aircraft maintenance and safety standards."
In the August 2015 edition of Sawubona : During the month of August SAA is paying tribute to powerful women who uplift themselves, their families, communities and our country. "In a slight segue, but remaining within the theme of nurturing, is SAA’s significant focus on transformation, " said SAA Chairperson Duduzile Myeni. SAA is continuing their black economic empowerment efforts despite the airline's current financial position.
In the July 2015 edition of Sawubona : "We're thrilled to announce that Sawubona recently won the World Travel Awardfor Africa's Leading Inflight Magazine 2015 - an accolade which recognises commitment to excellence and is voted for by travel and tourism professionals," said Khanyi Dhlomo. "It's a great affirmation of our efforts to bring you a top-quality publication, which we've done since we started publishing it in April 2013." If you want to experience first class journalism for yourself then make sure you get your hands on the latest issue of Sawubona available online and on all SAA aircrafts.
In the June 2015 edition of Sawubona : "As Africans, we should make it our business to know about, support and inspire our continent’s future.," said SAA Chairperson Duduzile Myeni. "I believe that there is a renewed energy in Africa. It’s a continent with millennia of entrepreneurial and commercial history and the potential to script a bright future. SAA is inspired by our youth, by the future that developing a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators holds for us and by the impact that we can make on the world – for the greater good." You can read more about what she said in the latest issue of Sawubona.
In the May 2015 edition of Sawubona : "We’re passionate about SAA and its restoration to its rightful place of pride. The SAA tail bears the flag of our country and carries its torch wherever we land and depart from, whether domestically, continentally or inter-continentally.," said Duduzile Myeni, Chairperson of SAA in the latest issue of Sawubona.
In the April 2015 edition of Sawubona : "Art is not only expression on canvas, nor is it literature or theatrical performance alone," said Duduzile Myeni, Chairperson of SAA in the latest issue of Sawubona. "Art is the human experience encapsulated in a moment or in a paragraph. In business, art comprises the balance between commercial and social mandates, the design of the customer experience and creativity in marketing, to name but a few. Ultimately, though, it is all driven by vision. And at SAA, we are impassioned to realise ours for our business, our people and our customers."
In the March 2015 edition of Sawubona : As this month will see SAA's 90-Day Action Plan draw to a close, chairperson Duduzile Myeni makes a few notes in her editor's letter as to what we can expect from SAA. "Expect route network reconfiguration, growth in codesharing destinations and direct flights from SAA in the coming months," she said. Dudizile noted that the 90-day plan was very successful and that it is now time to start implementing the long-term turnaround strategy again. Unfortunatley Duduzile remained mum on the rumours that SAA are reconsidering their domestic routes. Whilst we are sure they won't let go of money-making routes like Joburg to Cape Town we wonder what they will make of the less-travelled routes. I guess we will just have to wait and see!
In the February 2015 edition of Sawubona : It is the month of love, so naturally chairperson Duduzile Myeni is waxing lyrically about our suffering national carrier. "Naturally there are highs and lows, but at this time in our business, we will continue to focus on positive milestones in the present, the past and those still to come. For me and all my colleagues, excitement and passion continue to trade internally at the same levels as the celebratory moments when our first flight took to the skies in 1934," said Duduzile. She continues, "Commercially, the 90-Day Action Plan leads the way back into full implementation of the Long-Term Turnaround Strategy."
In the January 2015 edition of Sawubona : In the first issue of the New Year, SAA Chairperson Duduzile Myeni explains why she thinks the first Turnaround Strategy failed. "Making the resolution is easy, but to implement choice is the most challenging aspect of any decision. At SAA our greatest resolution was to turn the business around. We developed the Long-Term Turnaround Strategy (LTTS) and, while the intent was good, not allcritical aspects were implemented." She goes on to say that they will implement the new turnaround strategywith more vigour. Hopefully it will materialize.
In the December 2014 edition of Sawubona : Following the public scandals and confusion surrounding SAA over the past month, chairperson Duduzile Myeni tries to write it all off as growing pains for the company as they continue to work towards their Long-Term Turnaround Strategy (LTTS) in the . As she said, "At SAA [too] it has been a somewhat turbulent time, likened to growing pains as we continue to set course on the horizon and drive implementation of the Long-Term Turnaround Strategy (LTTS)." Luckily there is proof of changes they are making like introducing new African routes and the recent code-share agreements with Etihad Airways, Air Seychelles and Mango airlines.
In the November 2014 edition of Sawubona : SAA are looking back at everything they have achieved this year including the successful launch of their program "Gaining Altitude", all the awards the airline have racked up this year and their development programme, the SiVulindlela Aviation Awareness Programme, which they are relaunching this month. The programme aims at introducing children to the possibility of a career in aviation and encouraging them to pay attention in math and science classes in order to qualify for such a career.
In the October 2014 edition of Sawubona : SAA shared some interesting numbers from their operations. The airline operates on 44 routes a week with 145 flight a day. The airline employs approximately 11 000 people and supports around 34 000 jobs across the world. The airline transports 60 million people every year to over 700 destinations in 153 countries globally. The airline contributes around R10 Billion to the economy every year. In the latest Finweek magazine there is an article which explains what the new turnaround plan for SAA is all about. Click here to read more about the airline's ninth turnaround plan in 13 years.
In the August 2014 edition of Sawubona : Monwabisi Kalawe, CEO of SAA said: "Look out for our new, more user-friendly Internet booking engine, which will deliver an improved travel, shopping and purchasing experience." Along with this they are also increasing flight frequency on several routes to continue being the best airline in Africa.
In the July 2014 edition of Sawubona : CEO Monwabisi Kalawe says, "I’m pleased to report that the airline has made considerable progress in the implementation of its long-term turnaround strategy, Gaining Altitude." In accordance with their long-term turnaround strategy South African Airways are implementing free baggage-wrapping services at all domestic airports that the airline operates from. They always aim to offer excellent customer service. This follows a successful trial period at OR Tambo Airport during which incidents of pilferage and damage declined significantly.
In the May 2014 edition of Sawubona : Duduzile Myeni, the Chairperson of SAA says that "We believe the care we take in ensuring the well-bring of our employees and the relationship we enjoy with our unions will contribute to a happy workforce - one which is motivated and inspired to take SAA forward to its rightful place among the leading airlines in the world". CEO Monwabisi Kalawe says that the airline's "strategy to establish a hub in West Africa is making headway".
In the April 2014 edition of Sawubona : CEO Monwabisi Kalawe says that SAA's "strategic intent" is to look for more opportunities in Africa. The airline is now offering free wrappage of bags for flights originating at OR Tambo International Airport, to combat pilfering: "Pilfering is one of the top operational challenges faced by any airline, but even more so at SA’s airports, where the scourge continues unabated." Dudzile Myeni explains how SAA no longer refers to "air hostesses", but rather "cabin crew".
Here's what you can look forward to reading about in the March 2014 edition of Sawubona, SAA's in-flight magazine. The edition focusses on Kenya, "where time stands still", and has articles on iSimangaliso Wetland Park, fracking and medical tourism. CEO, Monwabisi Kalawe, explains how the airline is trying to reduce its environmental impact. The Chairperson of SAA, Duduzile Myeni, draws attention to the 21st March 2014, Human Rights day and to the airline's attempts to redress the imbalances of the past with its Cadet Pilot Programme. SAA plan on switching to an SA project for its carbon offset programme, and Mango Airlines is joining the programme in 2014. Pick of the ads : Book Easter car hire with Avis via SAA from R199* per day. South Africa is a popular destination for medical tourism as a result of its low treatment costs, short waiting lists, strict health regulations & well trained practitioners. Most medical tourists to SA come from other countries in Africa. SAA Voyager has partnered with Legacy Lifestyle, enabling Voyager miles to be converted into Legacy Rands, and spent at their Brand Partners.
Feb 2014 Sawubona : Looks at escape for romantics (they left out the Party Cruise where folk can hang out with a dangerous romantic - Captain Jack Parow). CEO Monwabisi Kalawe mentions that they are going to run a "Where were you in 1994" campaign. This month SAA are also increasing their flight frequencies to Ndola, Lusaka and Windhoek. Attention is drawn to South African Airways' direct flights to Hong Kong, the gateway to China.
SAA Nov 2013 magazine : A look at DJ's making their mark in South Africa: Culoe De Song, Niskerone, Goldfish (Dominic Peters & David Poole), Lady M (Margaret Westergreen), DJ Zinhle and Headroom (Adam Metcalfe).
July 2013 magazine: In his first note as Chief Executive of South African Airways, Monwabisi Kalawe says "Top of mind is the fact that SAA is recognised as one of the most on-time airlines in the world. Furthermore, the airline
has maintained its four-star airline status for over a decade and has one of the best safety records on the globe."
SAA June 2013 magazine: A look at "Cape Escapes" (appropriate since IATA is converging on Cape Town), De Hoop nature reserve, Bangkok (Thailand). In his last note as acting chief executive, Nico Bezuidenhout draws attention to the benefits of aviation to South Africa. The vehicle review is of the Ford Kuga.
SAA Sawubona May 2013: Focus on holidaying in Argentina. They weigh up the relative merits of staying in hotels versus luxury apartments. There are some handy tips for getting sleep in on those long international flights (Ed: I'm thinking of that brutally long Johannesburg to New York flight). Want to hire a very expensive car? SAA look at the new BMW 7 series vehicles. And then finally an issue sensitive to many South Africans : Cape Town v Johannesburg! The Acting Chief Executive, Nico Bezuidenhout, draws attention to South African Airways' hosting of the International Air Transport Association's AGM from the 2nd to the 4th June 2013 (in Cape town).
SAA Sawubona April 2013: This is the first Sawubona produced by Ndalo Media, and it focuses on Mozambique & Maputo (the cover photo is of the port of Pemba), and SAA's award for best airline & best service in Africa. There's a look at Mbombela (Nelspruit) in Mpumalanga, and for international flights there's a writeup on Washington DC. Acting CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout, highlights innovation as being what seperates leaders and followers. A new route South African Airways is flying is Johannesburg to Nairobi, which they advertise as "the gateway to Africa's untouched beauty". Khanyi Dhlomo, the Founder & CEO of Ndalo Media says "We're delighted and honoured to partner SAA in bringing passengers a publication that entertains, informs, reveals and rewards. So, whatever your destination, sit back, relax and discover in these pages some of the many things that make Africa unique."
SAA Sawubona March 2013: Focus on travelling to Mauritius. This is also the first Sawubona Magazine with Nico Bezuidenhout at the helm of SAA, who drew attention to the fact that "Flightstats, the global leader in flight and airport information services, announced the annual On Time Performance Service Awards for airlines across the globe last month. SAA, with its 91.17% On Time Performance average, won first place in the category "Middle East and Africa Major Airlines." The magazine also looks at travel to the South Coast, and São Paulo in Brazil.
SAA Sawubona February 2013: South African Airways celebrates 79 years of flying. Sawubona covers travel to Ghana, Perth and the Wild Coast. Tembe Elephant Reserve is featured.
SAA Sawubona January 2013: Covering travel to Gauteng (check out Gold Reef City), Kenya (see the Rifty Valley's lakes) and New York (see Chinatown, Manhattan, Times Square & the Statue of Liberty); the Madikwe Game Reserve.
SAA Sawubona December 2012: The winning wines which will be served on all South African Airways domestic, international and regional flights are Stellenrust Chenin Blanc 201, Cederberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Anura Brut Chardonnay/Pinot Noir 2009 and KWV Tawny Port N/V.
SAA Sawubona November 2012: Looks at travel to Argentina, Botswana & Mpumalanga (fly to Nelspruit). The park looked at is the Oribi Gorge. South African Airways joins a carbon offset program.
SAA Sawubona October 2012: Looks at travelling to Belgium, Clarens & Zambia. The national park looked at is the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi park. SAA offers automated check-in to all passengers & has bag drop counters at all South African airports.
SAA Sawubona August 2012: With the month of August being dedicated to women in South Africa, SAA draws attention to its 69 female pilots. Focus on travel to Germany, the Northern Cape and Zimbabwe. Wildlife focus on Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve and Dwesa in the Eastern Cape.
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Category : South African Airways