SAA hosts travel agents at Ada

BY: Seth J. Bokpe
The Country Manager of South Africa Airways (SAA), Mrs Gloria Yirenkyi, addressing the agents before the fun day began
The Country Manager of South Africa Airways (SAA), Mrs Gloria Yirenkyi, addressing the agents before the fun day began

South African Airways, one of Africa’s leading airlines, will soon consider increasing from four to five, its flight frequency from Accra to Washington by the first quarter of 2019.

The Country Manager of the airline, Mrs Gloria Yirenkyi, said the decision to increase the frequency was because of sharp rise in demand to the airline’s direct flight from Accra to Washington which started on August 2, 2015.

She spoke to the Graphic Business on the fringes of a SAA Travel Agents’ Fun Day at Ada in Accra.

She said the fun day was an initiative of the airline to reinforce its relationship and partnership with the agents.

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Travel agents

“The travel agent’s business constitutes the largest sales or distribution channel for the airline in Ghana. Therefore, concentrating our efforts to make sure that we keep the relationship warm and tight is looking after 70 per cent of our business.

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“This is the reason why from time to time, we want to get them together. Also bringing them together even as travel agents foster good relationships. Sometimes there is transfer of knowledge that happens among themselves, and they get to know each other also in the industry,” she said.


On the day, more than 100 front line staff of the travel and tour agencies abandoned their work stations to have fun at the Aqua Safari Resort in Ada.

The day was crowned with a chain dancing act that brought the resort to a standstill as the participants tried to outdo one another.

Mrs Yirenkyi said the day, beyond the fun, also provided an opportunity for brand recall, adding that “when we give them this kind of experience, the memories stay with them and the SAA brand also stays on their mind that is what we want to actually achieve. If SAA is imprinted on their mind, then obviously, it impacts sales for us.”

Promoting local tourism

With the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) on a drive to promote local tourism, she said the airline also wanted to set the pace in promoting local tourism.

“Often when we say tourism or leisure, everybody is thinking out bound, that is to fly out. Sometimes, we do that as an airline primarily to introduce the travel agents to a new destination that we have probably launched that we want them to know.

“But we also want to be the airline to set the pace for local tourism for us Ghanaians to know what experiences we have here. It can even create a paradigm shift so that they begin to sell local tourism outside. It still benefits the airline because if they package Ghana to sell outside, the people will definitely fly SAA and come. This is what we are trying to achieve,” she said.

With eight flights per week, South Africa Airways flies directly from Accra to Washington DC, Johannesburg and Abidjan.