South African Airways (SAA) is pleased to announce the recent appointment of airline industry veteran, Mr. Simon Newton-Smith, in the position of SAA Interim Executive: Commercial.
Simon joins the South African Airways’ executive leadership team in Johannesburg, South Africa with an extensive international airline background having previously joined SAA in 2000 and served as Vice President, Sales in North America, where he led the sales, trade support, group and pricing departments. He also held key leadership positions with Virgin Atlantic Airways as Vice President, Sales in North America and Country Manager in South Africa, and with Qatar Airways in Doha as Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy.
SAA’s Interim CEO, Thomas Kgokolo, describes Simon as a seasoned aviation professional with a global track record of driving profitable revenue and adding customer value in a competitive, complex and rapidly evolving sector. Simon also adds significantly to the strength of our diverse and highly experienced executive team – all of whom are now primed and ready to take SAA forward. He brings a wealth of experience that will be a tremendous benefit to SAA and our customers and travel trade partners throughout the world.
“I am thrilled to be joining SAA as it begins a new chapter in South African aviation history. This is a carrier with a rich and envied pedigree the world over and I along with the executive team will work tirelessly in our efforts to welcome back passengers, grow revenue and deliver profits”.Mr Newton-Smith
SAA has taken another important step towards flight resumption with the arrival of two Airbus A320 aircraft that have been in storage and have accomplished 6-year maintenance ‘C-Checks’ in Abu Dhabi during the carrier’s time in business rescue.
Over that period both aircraft underwent rigorous technical checks and have been fully cleared for passenger flights.
Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo says, “This is another noteworthy milestone towards full operational readiness. The image of two SAA aircraft landing and taxiing to their parking bays is a tangible manifestation of the hard work the airline’s staff are putting in.
Both aircraft displaying SAA livery, once hangered, will undergo minimum routine maintenance and re-installation of mandatory SAA equipment. The Airbus A320 is licensed to carry 138 passengers. Kgokolo says work continues in readying staff and fine-tuning logistics ahead of SAA’s return to the skies on a date to be announced.
“Along with my executive team, we are aware there is high expectation in the market and before opening the curtain we have to make sure everything is in place to ensure and maintain our reputation for exemplary safety standards and high service quality.”Mr. Kgokolo
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