South African Airways (SAA) has appointed industry veteran, Simon Newton-Smith as new Interim Executive in charge of commercial operations
The new Interim is a renowned aviation expert who is well known throughout the aviation industry with an extensive international airline background having previously joined SAA in 2000 and served as Vice President, Sales in North America, where he led the sales, trade support, group and pricing departments.
Joining South African Airways’ executive leadership team in Johannesburg, South Africa, Newton-Smith also served in higher leadership positions.
His comprehensiveness in the aviation industry includes being with Virgin Atlantic Airways as Vice President, Sales in North America and Country Manager in South Africa, and with Qatar Airways in Doha as Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy.
Thomas Kgokolo, SAA’s Interim CEO said the new appointee is a seasoned aviation professional who will bring a wealth of experience and under his leadership the airline expect to continue to provide the highest quality services to its customers.
His global track record, said Kgokolo, of driving profitable revenue and adding customer value in a competitive, complex and rapidly evolving sector will also assist SAA to yield more positive results.
“Simon also adds significantly to the strength of our diverse and highly experienced executive team – all of whom are now primed and ready to take SAA forward. He brings a wealth of experience that will be a tremendous benefit to SAA and our customers and travel trade partners throughout the world,” said Kgokolo.
Newton-Smith said he was pleased and honoured to be joining SAA as it begins a new chapter in South African aviation history.
“This is a carrier with a rich and envied pedigree the world over and I along with the executive team will work tirelessly in our efforts to welcome back passengers, grow revenue and deliver profits,” he said.
By Joyce Mukucha