South African Airways (SAA), took the fifth slot in this year’s 2018 AirHelp Score report, a company that help air passengers around the world secure compensation in cases of delays or cancellations. This comes at a time when South Africa’s loss-making state carrier has been undertaking a number of structural changes to ensure profitability.
The rankings, which are based on factors like on-time performance, quality of service (gleaned from public reviews on an array of reliable websites), and a claims-processing score (which reflects how a company handles customer complaints), uses data from the first quarter of this year to rank the 72 international airlines for which the company had statistically significant data.
“South African Airlines has a fantastic claims-processing score,” explains Ashley Raiteri, an industry adviser for AirHelp. The airline earned a total score of 8.31 points of a possible 10, and it’s also got a good track record of keeping flights on time.
“Irregularities in flights are going to happen,” Raiteri adds. “What’s important is whether the airline has planned for that so they can make the experience less hellish for the consumer.”
The state-run airline has not generated any profit since 2011 and has already received state guarantees worth about 20 billion Rand in other to help pay debts and implement a profitability plan. The South African government committed to injecting another 5 billion Rand into the airline last month to repay some of its creditors, suppliers and also for operational costs.
The Qatar government-backed airline, Qatar Airways, emerged as number 1 with a score of 9.08. Check out the airlines that made up the list in pictures.