Local SAA boss seeks closer trade ties

Local SAA boss seeks closer trade ties
By admin

The new Australasia country manager of South African Airways has spoken of his desire to forge closer relationships with the trade as he reinforced the carrier’s intention not to walk away from the east coast.

Two weeks into his role at SAA, former Emirates manager Tim Clyde-Smith told Travel Today he was already plotting strategies to take the carrier forward.
Among the aims include a greater focus on corporate customers and forging closer relationship with key agents.
“I want to work a lot closer with those agency chains and groups that offer potential to us,” Clyde-Smith said. “Meeting load capacity targets is one thing, let’s say 80%, but I want to work with them to fill the remaining 20%.”
While admitting direct sales channels need to grow, “the trade performance has the greater potential in terms of growth”.
“Agents are the most important part of our distribution strategy, as you’d expect any airline to say, but they are,” Clyde-Smith said. “And we won’t ignore that. We’ll continue to work with the trade, but I want to work closer with the ones who want to work with us.”
He said the 6% base commission is not under review “at this point”.
“But I am not ruling it out,” he said.
Turning to the codeshare, Clyde-Smith said he was pleased Qantas had applied for a judicial review.
“I’m curious to see how it will be handled in the sense that an appeal against the International Air Services Commission is one that I’ve not heard of happening before,” he said. “I am curious to see how the IASC proceed.”
Irrespective of the appeal outcome, strategies will be in place he said.
“I don’t think I’d be doing my job if I waited to find out (the decision). I am playing out different scenarios and we will be ready for whatever happens.”
He declined to expand but said the carrier was “continuing to do everything we can to explore all available options.”

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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