SAA steals show at second annual Business Traveller Africa Awards

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South African Airways was the big winner at the second annual Business Traveller Africa Awards, held in association with Absa at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg on the 20th of August 2013.

SAA picked up the top award in three categories – ‘Best African Regional Short-Haul Airline’, ‘Best African Long-Haul Airline’ and ‘Best Business Class’ – whilst the airline’s Baobab Business Class Lounge at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg was the winner in the ‘Best Airport Business Lounge’ category.

Also in the aviation sector, ExecuJet Africa was the winner in the ‘Best Air Charter’ category, which also saw Federal Air and National Airways Corporation (NAC) nominated.

In the main hotel category, the ‘Best Hotel Group’ prize went the way of Tsogo Sun, which edged out Protea Hotels, City Lodge, Sun International and Legacy Hotels & Resorts. The other hotel prizes were won by the Saxon Boutique Hotel (‘Best Luxury Hotel in South Africa) and Radisson Blu Gautrain (‘Best Business Hotel in South Africa’).

The ‘Best Travel Management Company’ category saw HRG Rennies Travel walk away with the main prize, coming out on top ahead of fellow nominees American Express Travel Services, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit and Travel with Flair.

Of the other main categories, the ‘Best Car Rental Company’ award was won by Avis, ahead of Budget Rent a Car and Europcar, whilst the award for ‘Best Large Conference Venue’ was picked up by Sandton Convention Centre.

As with last year, Future Group and Business Traveller Africa magazine also handed out the ‘Business Travel Personality of the Year’, which in 2012 went to outgoing Avis CEO Wayne Duvenage, for his role as Chairman of OUTA – the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance. This year the award went to Comair CEO Erik Venter. Earlier this year saw Venter and Comair launch a High Court legal action, challenging the South African government’s latest guarantee granted to SAA. Venter led the debate and said he believed the latest and previous bailouts received by SAA did not comply with either the Domestic Aviation Transport Policy or the law in South Africa, and that he remains committed to fighting for the rights of the South African commercial aviation industry and a level playing field.

Future Group – the publishers of Business Traveller Africa magazine – in association with headline sponsor Absa and category/display partners ExecuJet, Travelport, Gautrain, Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, HRG Rennies Travel, Crowne Plaza Johannesburg – The Rosebank, Avis and Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre, hosted the event.


The full list of nominees and winners is as follows (in alphabetical order):

African Long-Haul Airline

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Kenya Airways
  • SAA (winner)

African Regional Short-Haul Airline

  • Airlink
  • Comair (BA & Kulula)
  • Mango
  • SAA (winner)

Air Charter

  • ExecuJet (winner)
  • Federal Air
  • National Airways Corporation

Airport Business Lounge

  • Bidvest Premier (ORTIA)
  • British Airways (ORTIA)
  • SAA Baobab (ORTIA) (winner)
  • Slow Lounge (ORTIA Domestic)
  • Virgin Atlantic (ORTIA)

Business Class

  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • SAA (winner)

Business Hotel in SA

  • African Pride Melrose Arch
  • Maslow Hotel
  • Radisson Blu Gautrain (winner)
  • Radisson Blu Sandton
  • Sandton Sun

Car Rental Company

  • Avis (winner)
  • Budget Rent a Car
  • Europcar

Forex Supplier

  • American Express Foreign Exchange (winner)
  • Bidvest Bank
  • Travelex

Hotel Group

  • City Lodge Hotels
  • Legacy Hotels & Resorts
  • Protea Hotels
  • Sun International
  • Tsogo Sun (winner)

International Long-Haul Airline

  • British Airways
  • Emirates (winner)
  • Etihad Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • Virgin Atlantic

Large Conference Venue

  • Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre
  • Cape Town International Convention Centre
  • Gallagher Convention Centre
  • International Convention Centre Durban
  • Sandton Convention Centre (winner)

Luxury Hotel

  • Cape Grace
  • Michelangelo Towers
  • One&Only Cape Town
  • Saxon Boutique Hotel (winner)
  • The Oyster Box

Travel Management Company

  • American Express Travel Services
  • BCD Travel
  • Carlson Wagonlit
  • HRG Rennies Travel (winner)
  • Travel with Flair

Travel Sales Team

  • BCD Travel
  • HRG Rennies Travel
  • Protea Hotels (winner)

Visa Service Provider

  • Blade Express
  • MDS VisaPak (winner)
  • ROSE
  • Swiftline
  • Visa international


Business Travel Personality of the Year – Erik Venter (Comair)

The Business Traveller Africa Awards is an event for the South African business travel trade, covering all aspects of business travel, including the four main areas of hotels, airlines, car rental and travel management, along with related categories such as foreign exchange, visas, air charter etc. The objective is to reward excellence in South African business travel and to acknowledge those brands/entities that have performed with excellence over the past 12 months. Future Group partnered with independent research company TNS Research Surveys, to interrogate the industry, collate the results, and come up with the winners in each category.