A new internal ethos of delivering first-class customer service will ensure that South African Airways (SAA) is revived to its former glory.
This is according to the airline’s interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo.
SAA is set to take to the skies next week following a turbulent 16 months wherein the airline was grounded, put under business rescue and then exited that business rescue.
“While it’s impossible to ignore the recent difficult history of SAA, this is also a proud brand that celebrates its eighty-seventh anniversary this year and one that is respected the world over,” Kgokolo said.
“Our jobs as custodians of this brand are to build on the goodwill gathered over so many years and to reshape and recast a business that all South Africans can be proud of”.
New business philosophy
In a statement, SAA explained that a “new business and operating philosophy” of placing customers first is being imbued into the airline.
“Managers and staff […] have been working collegially on a new philosophy of customer excellence.”
“Some of the attributes that airline staff will be striving to build are, creating real connections with each other and customers; adopting an internal culture of collaboration; living by the principles of total accountability; being aspirational in terms of future growth and development; and containing costs,” the statement said.
Adding to that, Kgokolo said regaining the trust that was lost in the airline is a work in progress.
“We know it’s going to take time. Trust and respect are not won overnight, but with the confidence and the enthusiasm our staff is showing ahead of our take-off […] I’m confident we will achieve those goals quickly. We know these are lofty goals but it’s only through striving for them, that we are going to put SAA back in a place where it belongs,” he said.
The airline has announced the following schedule ahead of its take-off:
- Three daily flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
- From 27 September, daily return flights to Harare in Zimbabwe, Lusaka in Zambia and Maputo in Mozambique.
- Also from September 27, three weekly flights to Accra in Ghana and Kinshasa in Congo.