How South African Airways took digital channel sales to the next level

Benjamin Schubert

Web & Mobile Manager, South African Airways

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When it comes to air travel, it’s no longer enough to simply live up to the status quo. Travellers are increasingly demanding more personalised services at every stage of their journey – from their initial flight search, to booking, right through to the end of their trip. And they want it on their terms, delivered on the device of their choice, whether it be a PC, tablet, or mobile phone.


Like many airlines, atSouth African Airways(SAA) it has been a challenge for us to fully exploit the digital sales channel and make the most of upselling opportunities. The digital sales channel has a particular impact in a market like Africa, where mobile penetration is very high. To ease these difficulties, we partnered with Amadeus to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy that will increase sales and revenues through the online and mobile channels, while at the same time delivering a superior shopping experience for our customers.

The business results we’ve seen since implementing Amadeus’ technology speak for themselves:

  • Conversion rates increased by 73% from 2015 to 2016 with the new version ofAmadeus e-Retail.
  • Annual online sales growth through the online channel increased from 3% to 20% in the first year (2014).
  • Over 31% of customers now select one or more ancillary services.
  • Mobile sales now represent over 12% of all sales through digital channels with a conversion rate 2.4 times higher than the traditional web channel.
  • The number of ancillary services sold online went from a monthly average of 800 in Q1 2015 to over 17,000 in Q1 2016.

With Amadeus’ industry leading technology, we’ve been able to take our digital channel sales to the next level. I believe partnerships like this will be the key in helping us remain as the leading carrier in Africa while fulfilling our mission to deliver commercially sustainable world class air passenger and aviation services in South Africa, the African continent and to our tourism and trading partners.

For specifics on how we’ve achieved success in the digital channel, download a copy of our case study,South African Airways takes digital channel sales to the next level, and have a look at this video.

How South African Airways took digital channel sales to the next level

Editor’s Note: This post is part of our

Fly Africa series where Amadeus partners in Africa share their experiences and strategies to serve the continent.


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