Top Travel Magazines Name South African Airways 'Best Airline to Africa'

4 January 2012

SAA’s “Wine Cellar in the Sky” Recognized with “Best Sparkling Wine” Award

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - South African Airways (SAA), Africa’s most awarded airline, announced that it has won two awards from two prestigious travel magazines. Business Traveler magazine has awarded SAA with the “Best Airline to Africa” and “Best Business Class in Africa” awards, while Global Traveler magazine has named SAA as “Best Airline in Africa” and “Best Sparkling Wine in Business Class.” Both publications recognized SAA’s unique brand of South African hospitality, featuring Skytrax™ 5-star comfort-rated, flat-bed seats in Premium Business Class, gourmet international cuisine, on-demand entertainment, a cellar in the sky stocked with South Africa’s best vintages, and amenities that help welcome the traveler to South Africa well before they land.

“We are honored to have earned these awards from two magazines that represent the discerning business traveler. These important travelers serve as a validation of our efforts to continually enhance and improve our service offering,” said Todd Neuman, executive vice president, North America, for South African Airways. “We’ve continued our focus on growing the route network and making travel to more of Africa easier than ever. We’ve also enhanced our on-board service with meal selections from South African star chef Reuben Riffel, and with our annual wine selection process, which was recognized by Global Traveler at this year’s awards.”

Global Traveler’s award for “Best Sparkling Wine in Business Class” went to SAA for its Philip Jonker Entheos Brut NV. SAA’s annual wine selection process consists of a 3-day tasting of more than 1,000 wines by a global panel of wine experts. The airline held its 26th annual wine selection process earlier this year, as part of its support and promotion of the South African wine industry. The wines selected for 2012 will be paired with outstanding international and South African meal selections in Premium Business Class, including signature dishes from South African star chef Reuben Riffel on international flights departing from South Africa. Chef Reuben is a rising star on the international culinary stage. His namesake restaurant, Reuben’s, entertains local foodies at two locations in the Franschhoek wine region and at the One&Only Cape Town. SAA is proud to share his culinary prowess with the world.

“We look forward to showcasing more of South Africa’s cultural treasures, including its best wines and culinary offerings, to our customers throughout the globe,” added Neuman. “We will also continue to strive to earn ever more awards in our effort to maintain our standing as Africa’s most awarded airline.” SAA has also been recognized by other industry experts and partners in 2011, including winning “Best Flight Experience to Africa” by Executive Travel Magazine’s Leading Edge Awards, “Best Airline Africa” and “Service Excellence Africa” by the Skytrax™ World Airline Awards, the Outstanding Service to the Association Award from the Africa Travel Association, and the Tanzania Tourism Board Best Supporting Airline Award.

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 1,290 destinations in 189 countries and more than 21,000 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