South Africans are still reeling in shock about the sudden axing of our Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene earlier this week. In the midst of this action appears to be SAA, its chairman Dudu Myeni being a close friend of President Zuma, and not accepting being dictated to by Continue reading →
* SAA has announced that its former GM of Human Resources Thuli Mpshe has been appointed as its Acting CEO, after the sudden departure of Nico Bezuidenhout, who returns to Mango.
* The Tourism Business Council of South Africa CE Mmatsatsi Ramawela has suggested that biometric data of passengers be captured on arrival in Continue reading →
* Shocking news is that acting CEO of SAA Nico Bezuidenhout has been moved back to head up Mango with immediate effect. No explanation for his sudden move has been made, and no announcement as to his successor made. The move may link to the media report which stated that Bezuidenhout had revealed that a deal with Emirates had been stopped in the 11th hour by a high-ranking Parliamentary official. Officially, the move is linked to a Bezuidenhout having completed his 90-day turnaround plan for the airline.
* Asian hospitality group Dusit International has signed an agreement with local eLan Property Group to manager two South African, two Mozambique, and one Mauritius property. What is interesting is that the agreement Continue reading →
* The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reacted to the additional Immigration Regulations introduced on Monday, requesting our government ‘to act in the best interests of the country and review‚ modify‚ and if necessary‚ rescind‚ the new measures if they do not have the desired effect and if they act as a handbrake on travel‚ tourism and economic growth‚ not just for South Africa — which is experiencing its weakest GDP performance in decades — but for the entire region. From a commercial and economic perspective‚ the industry is concerned that the harsh and onerous requirements South Africa has prescribed for travellers will negatively impact on the sustainability of air services‚ travel‚ trade and tourism to‚ from and via South Africa‘!
* The inaugural Cabernet Franc Carnival will be held at Avontuur on 20 June, with thirteen producers presenting their wines to taste, including Ridgeback Wines, Avontuur, Lynx Wines, Hermanuspietersfontein, Camberley Wines, Cape Chamonix, CK Wines, Doolhof Wine Estate, Druk-My-Niet Wine Estate, Mont du Toit, Ormonde Vineyards, Raats Family Wines, and Nelson Family Vineyards. Entrance R120.
* SAA Acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout has announced that one of its subsidiaries may be sold, and a stake in SAA could be sold too. Subsidiary Mango may be listed. Losses have been reduced from R7 million per day last year to R5 million per day two months ago.
* Spur has been named as our country’s leading restaurant brand, out of 45 evaluated (the list is not supplied, but appears to consist of franchise brands), followed by McDonalds, Ocean Basket, Mugg & Bean, and Wimpy. The study was conducted in November last year, amongst customers earning R5000 per month or more. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to low-cost airline Mango, which is the first local airline to pass on fuel savings to its passengers, due to the decrease in the cost of crude oil. Mango announced this week that it was dropping fares by up to 25%, with immediate effect. The tourism industry is more than delighted.
* SAA is cancelling its Johannesburg – Beijing flights as of April, its acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said at a media briefing. Air China will service the route in a code-share agreement with SAA from May. The number of SAA flights to India has been decreased, and may be cut altogether, being another loss-making route. Changes to the USA route may also be made.
* SAA-owned low-cost domestic airline Mango will decrease its fares with immediate effect, by as much as 25%, due to the lower fuel price.
* SA Tourism is targeting India as its largest source market by 2020. Hanneli Slabber, Continue reading →
* An International Institute for Peace through Tourism World Symposium will be held in Johannesburg from 16 – 19 February, in honour of the late Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. The symposium will ‘honour the legacies of the world’s three champions of peace and non-violence‘…’by building bridges of tourism, friendship and peace‘ between Africa, Asia, and North America in the main.
* The launch of FlySafair next week will have a temporary effect of lowering domestic airline prices. The new airline will offer a base price for the seat plus two pieces of hand luggage at 7 kg, extra charges being levied for meals, checked luggage, and pre-booked seats. The airline says that the fares offered are not just opening specials and are sustainable. Skywise and Fly Blue Crane are also waiting to take off, offering flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg. Mango does not expect a price war to develop after the launch of the new low-cost airlines.
* The introduction of low prices by domestic airlines when FlySafair takes off next month will not be permanent, its competitor Mango has stated. Prices of all airlines may be lower for the first few weeks, but these are not sustainable in the long run, the competitor spokespersons have said.
* ‘At the present moment, the clock has not stopped’, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told a media conference on Friday, meaning that the new Immigration Regulations will be implemented on 1 October. There is no timeframe for the completion of the work of the task team, which will be appointed to evaluate how the regulations can be better implemented. The Minister confirmed on Friday that the Regulations themselves will not change.
* When asked about the sudden resignation of Jan Hutton, Chief Marketing Officer at SA Tourism, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said there ‘are many sides of a story’, and said that he did not want to interfere with the SA Tourism’s Board handling of Continue reading →