News

SAA UK & Ireland Reports Record Start to Year

SAA UK & Ireland Reports Record Start to Year

South African Airways’ ‘Extreme Fares’ campaign has seen record January 2013 figures for the airline in the UK, with 
revenue up 70% year-on-year across some channels.

The unprecedented growth in January bookings follows the recent launch of
 SAA’s targeted winter adventure travel marketing campaign. This saw the airline partner with adventurer Charley Boorman for his recent 
four-part TV series ‘Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure’ that
 aired on Channel 5 and showcased South Africa’s ultimate experiences
 throughout January.

The country was also in the spotlight last month on the 
BBC thanks to David Attenborough’s ‘Africa’ show. Both shows generated 
interest that SAA capitalised on.

South African Airways Logo

Jon Danks, Head of UK & Ireland Marketing and Communications, said: “The 
integrated campaign ran across key digital, print, and social media 
channels, anchored to the range of adventures showcased in both shows. Our
 tie-up with Charley and Channel 5 presented a cost-effective broadcast
 solution alongside great support from partners such as Lonely Planet and 
tourist boards from across Southern Africa.”

SAA’s UK January growth is even more impressive given that in January last
 year it flew direct to both Johannesburg and Cape Town, since when it has 
dropped the direct service to Cape Town to focus on its network. The new 
campaign focused on the wide range of destinations across Southern Africa
 accessible via SAA’s Johannesburg hub. The TV show has been hailed a
 success by broadcaster Channel 5 with nearly four million people in the UK 
watching, in turn engaging with SAA’s brand.

Gary Kershaw, SAA’s General Manager UK & Ireland, said: “The campaign was 
another stage in SAA re-positioning the brand in the UK following our 
re-launch last October. It had an immediate effect on bookings, with SAA’s 
UK online revenue 70% higher during the January campaign period, 
alongside some strong reported numbers through our trade partners.”

Last October Gary Kershaw unveiled a new commercial and marketing team to 
lead the airline forward in the UK and Ireland, which included many high profile 
individuals with several decades of combined experience working in the 
aviation industry, including Liam Quinn, Business Development Manager; Jon 
Danks, Head of UK Marketing and Communications; and Stephen Gerrard, 
Commercial Manager.

Gary added: “I am delighted with our start to
 the new year. We set a goal to be the best aviation commercial team in the 
UK & Ireland bar none and the new team are working hard to build key relationships to 
put SAA firmly back on the map.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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