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MMIA: SAA inaugurate premium class lounge

The awarding winning member of the Star Alliance, South Africa Airways (SAA) has fixed September 2009 for the launch of its new dedicated Premium Passengers’ Lounge at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

SAA’s Head: North, Central and West Africa, Mr. Aaron Munetsi disclosed to participants at SA Tourism Africa Trade Road Show in Lagos that the establishment of the lounge is part of the airline’s efforts to offer its premium passengers a comfortable environment to relax, away from the din of airport departure hall, before boarding their flight.

“We are going to launch the new business class lounge at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in September this year. Work has reached advanced stage on the project and we are satisfied,” he stated. According to Munetsi, the decision of SAA management to build the new lounge is in furtherance of the airline’s objective of making Lagos, the hub of the airline’s business activities in the West African sub_region.

He said when operational, the lounge facility would provide world class services to users comparable, ‘even if not better than’ similar ones being operated by the airline across the globe.

Munetsi reiterated that Nigeria remains critical in SAA’s global operations thus necessitating increase in the number of flight frequencies from two on the Lagos_Johannesburg route in 1998, to six, adding that the airline is on the verge of securing three additional slots on the proposed Abuja_Johannesburg route.

He expressed delight that SAA has made appreciable progress in the nation’s aviation sector since 1998 when the airline entered the Nigerian aviation sector as a major player, stating that the high volume of passenger traffic on the Lagos_Johannesburg route necessitated the re_introduction of the Boeing 747_400 aircraft thus making Nigeria, “one of the only two countries where the airline fly the Boeing 747_400 aircraft configured in three cabins of First, Business and Economy.”

Meanwhile, SAA is offering First Class experiences at Business_Class prices to its Nigerian premium passenger, under a special promotion currently run by the airline.

According to the airline’s Head, Marketing and Sales, Kemi Leke_Bamtefa, the upgrade promo will award the passenger an opportunity to purchase the applicable Business class fare and will have the luxury to travel in First class on a Boeing 747_400 subject to A class seats being available.

She explained that the promotional fares, which are valid for sale to travellers on the Lagos_Johanesburg route is expected to end November 30 and are available from R26 830 ex_Johannesburg and US$4 255 ex_Nigeria, excluding payable taxes.
Mrs. Juliana Azumah Mensah, Minister of Tourism for Ghana, on Friday urged the media and the public to support the Ministry to ensure a successful hosting of the World Tourism in the country from September 21st to 27th September this year. Ghana was elected to host the celebration that would be on the them: “Tourism, Celebrating Diversity”, on behalf of Africa. It is part of the 7th Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Mrs Mensah told Editors of print and electronic media at the launch of the event in Accra that tourism has become a vital tool for pro_poor development which could create more jobs and generate wealth. She said a successfully celebration would boost Ghana’s international image and give it a worldwide publicity. Mrs Mensah said it would also attract investment to the tourism sector and improve the country’s balance of payment and Gross Domestic Product.

She stressed that to maximize benefits of the celebration, Ghana needed to partner with the media to inform Ghanaians about the event. Mrs Mensah said the programme for the celebration included communication workshops.

The Editors appealed to the Government to give sufficient budgetary allocation to the Ministry to enable it invest in tourism and to involve the private sector in the development of the industry through creative and attractive ventures.

They also said there was the need for the government through communities to take measures to protect the beaches and approach the development of the tourism industry holistically.


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