St. Ange Congratulates Hanekom on Appointment as SAA Boss

Newly appointed interim chairperson of South African Airways (SAA) Derek Hanekom has received a congratulatory message from the former Minister of Tourism of Seychelles, Alain St. Ange.

The appointment of Derek Hanekom, who is a former Tourism Minister of South Africa earlier today was welcomed right across the continent.

Alain St. Ange, also a former Tourism Minister of the Seychelles who worked closely with Minister Hanekom, is currently heading his own Saint Ange Tourism Consultancy and active on the African continent after a rather long spell in the ASEAN Block, said that he tweeted a congratulatory message to Minister Hanekom immediately after hearing the news.

Hanekom with St. Ange
Minister Hanekon & St. Ange when both were still sitting Tourism Ministers

“This appointment is good news for SAA. Derek Hanekom is a hard worker and understands that tourism is not an activity, but that it is an industry. Derek Hanekom worked for tourism with his heart in the right place and with the needed passion. SAA is in good hands and the whole of Africa need to welcome this move because this airline is a needed airline for our continent” Alain St. Ange said from the Seychelles.

On his part a tweet by Derek Hanekom simply said “Big new challenge. I’ll certainly give it my all.”

SAA has been facing challenges and has seen several changes in its top jobs.

Prior to today’s announcement, Derek Hanekom had served as a presidential envoy for South Africa, mandated to promote investment with a focus on tourism.

He was Minister of Tourism from 27 February 2018 until 29 May 2019. In his capacity as Minister of Tourism he was responsible for South African Tourism (SAT) the official national marketing agency of the South African government, saddled with the goal of promoting tourism in the country both locally and globally.

South African Airways (SAA) is the flag carrier airline of South Africa. Founded in 1934, the airline is headquartered in Airways Park at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and operated a hub-and-spoke network, serving ten destinations in Africa. 

In April 2006, SAA joined Star Alliance, making it the first African carrier to sign with one of the three major airline alliances. The airline entered voluntary business rescue in December 2019 as a result of many years of financial losses, and suspended all operations the following year.

In June 2021, the South African government relinquished its controlling stake in the airline. After extensive talks with potential investors, they selected the Takatso Consortium. In October 2022, SAA expanded its fleet with the addition of 2 Airbus A320-200 and added new routes from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), Malawi and Windhoek (Namibia).


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