Khaya Ngqula, new CEO of SAA, was recently interviewed by a local newspaper on his views and visions for the airline. Here are some excerpts that touch on topics discussed in this forum in recent months.
Q: Are you listening to your customers?
A: Yes we are. We have to exceed the expectations of our customers. All customers can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas on how we can improve our service. Every one of those contributions will be answered.
For instance, many of the responses so far were worried about the legroom on board our aircraft. We have heard these and are working on addressing these concerns.
We have decided to re-pitch the seats in economy class. Let me assure you, the space will be more than the international norm. We foresee that moving these seats will take us a year to do.
Q: What areas are you looking at to cut costs?
A: We will take a long hard look at the destinations we fly to. Only those that make us money will remain. We are aiming at offering a daily service on all our long haul flights. In this way we stimulate the demand and increase our income.
Q: Does this mean SAA customers will have less choice of where to fly to?
A: No. Once we become a fully fledged member of Star Alliance our partners in this alliance will give our customers access to almost every corner of the world.
Q: There have been some concerns that these cost cutting measures mean that passengers will no longer get in flight meals. Is this true?
A: Again the answer is no. SAA has decided to focus on simple, good food on its flights. Rather than on quantity, our focus in future will be on quality. I is very difficult to serve a meal on a short flight of only 40 minutes. In future on flights that are shorter than 1:15, only cold food will be served in economy class.
The snack that will be served throughout the day will a substantial sandwich with a variety of fillings. For supper, cold meats, cheeses, chicken or other substantial salads.