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Marc Cavaliere, Senior VP The Americas, South African Airways

Oct 1, 2006
2006 / October 2006

Global Traveler: How did you become involved in the airline industry?
Marc Cavaliere: Prior to joining SAA, I spent five and a half years as vice president of sales and distribution for Spirit Airlines. It was an exciting opportunity to take a relatively unknown carrier, change the brand and make it well known to flyers. Prior to Spirit I worked for American Airlines in their Latin-American division and before that with Pan Am. I started in the industry with TWA. This is an incredible time now at SAA with a number of exciting developments on the horizon.

GT: How does SAA’s Star Alliance affiliation benefit premium travelers?
MC: The Star Alliance is the “network for earth,” and that fits perfectly with SAA’s global vision for taking the world to Africa and bringing Africa to the world. Star Alliance allows SAA to grow its network and offer seamless worldwide connectivity to its travelers. At the same time, SAA brings Star Alliance the last piece in its global network — a strong premium-class airline in Africa. This is great news for premium travelers, especially United Airlines Mileage Plus and US Airways Dividend Miles members, as they will be able to earn miles on their long-haul flights to Africa with SAA, and redeem them on SAA or any of the Star Alliance carriers.

GT: What are SAA’s newest destinations?
MC: SAA’s double daily flights from New York JFK and Washington Dulles to SAA’s hub in Johannesburg connect travelers to more than 25 major cities throughout the continent. In the past year, SAA has launched a number of new routes in Southern Africa including Livingstone and Zanzibar, and in July we introduced double daily non-stops from the United States to Dakar, Senegal, offering travelers a convenient gateway to West Africa. SAA’s early afternoon and early evening departure times from our U.S. gateways allow travelers time to connect from points beyond. Unlike carriers that have lengthy layovers in Europe, with SAA your next stop is Africa.

GT: Tell us about your plans for the business-class cabin.
MC: SAA’s business-class cabin continues to offer a winning combination of first- and business-class amenities at a business-class price. The service earns rave reviews from passengers with its award-winning 180-degree lie-flat seat/bed topping the list. The seat itself has something like 300 unique positions in addition to a 73-inch pitch, 24-inch width, lumbar massage and privacy screen. A 2-2-2 seating configuration provides everyone with either a window or an aisle seat, and business travelers appreciate the 110-volt computer power plug at each seat and dining service that allows you to order a la carte any time during the flight.

Travelers enjoy a handpicked selection of fine South African wines, as well as on-demand entertainment on oversized screens featuring 15 blockbuster titles, video games, 14 music channels and a rotating collection of 12 CD selections. Whether arriving in or departing from Johannesburg, business-class travelers benefit from the amenities of our private lounges, recently ranked among the top in the world by Skytrax. SAA is an expert in long-haul travel and our service is designed to make short work of the long haul, so passengers arrive rested and refreshed for whatever African adventure awaits them.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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