Introducing our South African Airways UK team. We think it’s important you can put a face to the name so please meet our UK team below!
Gary joined as GM UK and Ireland in 2010 and has worked in the airline industry for over 25 years. He started his career with Air Europe and Virgin Atlantic where he held various roles in the Operation. He then moved into the Commercial side of the business with Canadian Airlines, oneworld, US Airways and latterly Air New Zealand where he was Head of UK Sales.
He loves South Africa for the diversity of its culture, the scenery and its warm welcome. “I’ve travelled across a lot of the country, but I don’t think anything prepares you for your first sighting of one of the big 5 on Safari. And bizarrely enough, I love the thunderstorms - watching them traverse across a plain from a distance is just stunning.”
Gary is also a keen squash player, loves going to music gigs and has an obsession for all things Apple!
Richard joined SAA as Regional Finance Manager – Europe back in 1999 and is renowned in the office for his brilliantly dry sense of humour.
A fan of the great outdoors, Richard loves Africa for the warmth of the welcome you receive and its vast array of outdoor activities whether it is on a safari or by the sea. He has been lucky to have visited most of South Africa, particularly the Western Cape, as well as Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mauritius.
Richard is also a big fan of anything cultural or football related and claims to enjoy wrestling tigers in his free time – yes we’re not sure if he’s joking either!
Jon joined SAA in spring 2012 and heads the Marketing and Comms team.
Mostly experienced in aviation, he's also led a number of other brands outside of travel. He's now back in the airline business and enjoying every moment. Jon's into most stuff; travelling, camping, run's a boys football team, loves his canoe, his claim to fame is walking onto the Skyfall set and bagging a part in the film!!
After nearly 15 years with other airlines, Steve joined SAA as Commercial Manager in October 2012.
As well as South Africa, he has been to Zimbabwe, Kenya and a couple of countries in the north of the continent. He loves the beauty of the African landscapes, the friendliness of the people and readily admits that you just can’t beat the African safari experience to bring out the child in you!
A busy father of 4 young children, Steve also enjoys keeping fit by running and cycling regularly – and with a name like his has to play a bit of football occasionally doesn’t he?!
Matt heads up our Leisure Sales team in London.
He travelled through Africa after he left school and worked in Cape Town before settling back in the UK where he spent nearly ten years in both sales and product with STA Travel. He moved into aviation with Air New Zealand in 2008 before joining up with the team at SAA in October 2012. His experience and love of Africa made SAA a natural choice for Matt and we’re delighted to have him on board.
Lucy started her career with SAA over ten years ago. She left us to gain some wider experience of the trade, with hotels, representation companies and also with other airlines, but now she’s back.
Her new job as Leisure Accounts Manager with SAA supports the trade, maintains strong relationships, drives sales and performance across her portfolio of accounts; Tour Operators, Missionary Agents, Multi-channel Agents. Her passion for Southern Africa has led her on some amazing trips to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Zanzibar and Mauritius and hopes to visit Mozambique & Madagascar in the not too distant future. 'You can't really describe Africa without talking about the safari, the beaches, beautiful sunsets and sunrises, the stunning scenery, food and wine but most importantly the people; Africa has the most friendliest people with the biggest smiles'
We're all thrilled to have Lucy back on the team.
Our Account Manager, Angela, forms one third of our leisure sales team and is responsible for a varied portfolio including the African Specialists, Online Agents and Allocation Agents.
You would never believe it, but outside of work Angela is kept busy being a hands-on grandma to her gorgeous little grandson. She is also a keen traveller and confesses to have fallen in love with the African life, “there is so much culture in Africa, so much to see and many places to visit, I just don’t get bored of it.”
Having visited much of South Africa including the stunning beaches at Plettenburg Bay, Safari near Port Elizabeth, as well as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Angela has far too many amazing stories to include here – but we’re sure she’ll be happy to share them with you if you want to find out more!
Phil is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy for revenue growth from direct (corporate) customers and travel management companies.
A keen traveller, Phil has already visited Cape Town, the Garden Route and Johannesburg and still gets an absolute thrill when the “wheels come down” to land on the magical plains of Africa, “I find it diverse and an absolute assault on the senses which fills me with excitement every time”
Zoheb recently joined Phil in our busy Corporate Sales team, having worked in Sales Support & Groups for a number of years. Zoheb's new responsibilities include looking after a share of our direct corporate clients as well as TMCs.
He recently travelled to Johannesburg and on to Cape Town where he followed the stunning Garden Route along the coast to Port Elizabeth. While he was out there he loved experiencing the warm South African culture and was particularly impressed with its welcoming people, vibrant cities and good food.
When he’s not at work, Zoheb is a keen football fan and spends time both playing and watching it.
Sylvia has worked for SAA for 10 years in various commercial roles and now leads the Sales Support in the UK office.
Sylvia is a bit of a resident expert on Southern Africa and counts her trip to the Pilanesberg National Park in the North West Province as her most memorable so far. Sylvia’s team look after fares, fare rules, ticketing, ADM’s and refunds and are committed to supporting the travel trade. Her passion for Southern Africa took her to Zambia last year to visit the spectacular Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River and she also joined a trade educational to Zimbabwe, so we’re all very envious in the office.
We love Vicky for her smiles, her advice and her knowledge of South Africa.
In her career she’s done the lot; check-in, ticket desks, town office, reservations, ticketing, groups, interline, educationals, all with a giant smile.
Vicky joined SAA in December 2001 and now works in Sales Support supporting the trade with fares, ticketing and events. She’s a great source of advice too, she loves Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and the Garden route, and has a love for wildlife that keeps her coming back for more.
He’s the guy supporting you with fare calculations, refunds, name corrections, ticket changes, re-issues, schedule changes and all kinds of general enquiries. He’s got a great pedigree having worked for a number of airlines and we’re delighted he’s chosen to land at SAA.
He recently travelled down to the Western Cape and loved the coastal scenery between Cape Town and Hermanus. He had an amazing experience and can't wait to go back!
Elizabeth has been working for SAA for 17 years, starting out at the ticket desk assisting customers face to face in our Bond Street office. She then moved to the contact centre where she gained a considerably amount of knowledge and experience, before her most recent move to join the Sales Support and Groups department.
With a passion for travelling, meeting people and learning about different cultures, Elizabeth's favourite destination is Cape Town where she enjoys seeing the wildlife, eating the amazing food and looking up at the stars.