South African Airways (SAA) Welcomes New South African Ambassador to the United States


Oct 13, 2010, 17:47 ET from South African Airways

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- South African Airways (SAA), officially welcomed the new South African Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Ebrahim Rasool, at a reception at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 7th, with key members of the diplomatic, business and travel industry community in attendance.  As South Africa's national airline, one of South African Airways' key mandates is to promote South African interests abroad, as well as to facilitate and increase travel to South Africa.  In welcoming His Excellency Rasool, SAA invited key figures to meet with the Ambassador, helping to promote stronger ties between the U.S. and South Africa.  

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"We're proud to help welcome Ambassador Rasool to America, and to have been able to participate in introducing him to our many longstanding colleagues in the business, leisure and travel community who have strong interests in South Africa and in the African continent," said Marc Cavaliere, executive vice president, North America, for South African Airways.  "Never before has interest in the African continent been greater than it is today, and South Africa, with its world-class infrastructure and air service, continues to serve as the gateway to opportunity on the continent.  Ambassador Rasool comes to the United States at a most exciting time, and we look forward to working with him to further develop travel and business opportunities to the African continent."

"I want to thank those who have sponsored this event: SAA for the initiative and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the IMC for their support," said Ambassador Rasool. "The conditions have never been more favourable for me to perform my simple task; to deepen and consolidate a cooperative partnership between South Africa and the United States of America.  These will define the outcomes of my work and the work of 'Team South Africa' in the USA over the next four years."

Ambassador Rasool was joined by U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Donald Gips and South African Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan, who was accompanied by a delegation from the Department of Trade and Industry and Eskom, the national power company.  Also in attendance were many key members of the African diplomatic community.  The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority served as co-sponsor of the event.

"We're grateful to our many partners who attended the welcome reception, including representatives from South African Tourism and the International Marketing Council of South Africa," added Cavaliere.  "Together, we will continue to work together to advance the cause of 'Team South Africa.'"

SAA concluded the week by sponsoring a luncheon at the U.S.-South Africa Business Forum in Washington, D.C., organized by the Corporate Council on Africa, with Mpho Makwana, Chairman of Eskom, as featured speaker.  The meeting was organized as a forum to discuss new and emerging business opportunities on the African continent.

South African Airways features daily nonstop service from the U.S. to South Africa with morning departures from New York JFK and afternoon direct service from Washington Dulles (with a stop in Dakar, Senegal) that offer travel convenience and award-winning service.  Travelers in Premium Business Class enjoy 180-degree fully flat-bed seats, and in Economy Class enjoy the most legroom versus competitors.  Every seat on board offers an individual on-demand entertainment system, plush pillow, warm blanket and amenity kit.  SAA's unrivaled network, featuring seamless connections to nearly 20 destinations within South Africa, and more than 25 cities across the rest of the continent, makes the airline the savvy traveler's "gateway to Africa."  To complement this network, a world of privileges awaits those who join Voyager, South African Airways' premier mileage program.  To sign up, visit, and link to the Voyager icon. As a Star Alliance member, South African Airways is able to offer its customers 1,172 destinations in 181 countries and more than 21,200 flights daily, including convenient connections from more than 25 cities in the U.S. through code share service with Star Alliance member United Airlines. Members of United's, Continental's, US Airways' and Air Canada's frequent traveler programs are able to earn and redeem miles on all SAA flights.  For more information on South African Airways, please call (800) 722-9675 or visit, where travelers can sign up to be notified of other great travel deals and vacation packages.  For information about South Africa, visit


Elizabeth Ninomiya

South African Airways

Tel: 954-769-5120

SOURCE South African Airways