SAA Prepares For Smooth Travel During Festive Season
South African Airways (SAA) has taken corrective service delivery action for travel peace of mind over the festive season.
As a result of this, the airline implemented a number of service delivery improvements at King Shaka International Airport in Durban, following service delivery failure on October 26, 2015, where a number of customers were inconvenienced after flight SA334 from Cape Town, en route to Johannesburg diverted to Durban.
Flight SA334 had departed half an hour behind schedule at 16:40 from Cape Town but close to landing in Johannesburg, the aircraft was placed in a holding pattern and had to divert and refuel in Durban and also undergo airworthiness inspection after it was hit by lightning.
Speaking on the development, SAA spokesman, Mr Tlali Tlali appealed to the airline’s passengers for the delay at Durban.
“We again apologise to our customers who endured the inconvenience of spending lengthy hours in Durban with no access to suitable facilities before they could fly back to Johannesburg. SAA deeply regrets the incident. It displayed the weaknesses in SAA contingency measures at King Shaka International Airport to mitigate any irregular operations to ensure business continuity.” Tlal said
The SAA spokesman stated that the airline had identified factors that led to service delivery failures and had taken corrective action.
According to Tlali, “We noted that the one aspect of this service failure dealt with the preparation and mobilisation of adequate staff to enable them to respond to any irregular operations with the required levels of efficiencies. In addition, we have now put appropriate measures in place to ensure that hotel accommodation, ground transportation and third party service providers are able to respond to operational challenges arising from irregular operations. Furthermore, SAA will insist on the maintenance of proper telephone logbook for improved and recorded contact with the next-of-kin where unaccompanied minors or the aged are on board during the irregular operations.”
SAA assured customers that the airline was prepared for the high passenger volume of during the festive season.
The airline traditionally transports large number of young passengers, who travel on their own during the festive season.
Referred to as unaccompanied minors, these are children between the ages of five and 12 years old, who were released into the custody and care of the airline at check in at the airports where SAA operates.
In turn, the airline staff will hand them over to such persons as per the endorsement in the booking.
SAA has made special preparations for them and will again collaborate with Nal’ibali, SAA’s literature development partner, which aims to inspire young people with the power of storytelling and reading.
Those travelling with children, on domestic and regional routes and young travellers on their own will, from December 5,2015 be offered a specially developed magazine with children’s stories, and fun literacy activities which promise to keep them mentally stimulated and entertained.