South African Airways’ loyalty programme Voyager is fast becoming the continent’s leading loyalty programme with 15,000 Miles being issued every minute and 10,000 Miles being redeemed simultaneously during the past 12 months.
These milestones come as Voyager celebrates 15 months since its strategic changeover from a distance travelled to revenue-spend earning structure for SAA-operated flights.
In 2015 the programme was fundamentally changed to become Africa’s first revenue-based airline loyalty programme. The two most important changes at the time were to issue members with Miles based on the ticket price (base fare and fuel levy) rather than the distance travelled and to allow members to spend their Miles on any available ticket price (base fare and fuel levy) for flights operated by SAA.
“Member research has shown that the growth in both earning and spending of Miles is directly attributable to the positive changes made in both product and service levels over the past 15 months,” says Suretha Cruse, SAA Executive Customer Loyalty. Members are issued with 1 Mile for every R 1,60 spent on SAA-operated flights and members enjoy a minimum return of 5% for SAA-operated flights based on their SAA spend. “SAA Voyager is already the largest airline loyalty programme on the continent with ambition now set on becoming the largest on the continent with the widest reward base.” She adds that growth in active membership has also grown with an annual aggregate exceeding 14%.
The introduction of the popular JourneyBlitz redemption seat sales, where members enjoy discounts of up to 85% on SAA-operated flights, confirms the programme’s resolve to offer products that build loyalty and goodwill to the benefit of their valued members. For these Awards, members are required to pay separately for tax, regulated charges and fuel levy.
Cruse adds that Voyager plans to actively recruit new members this year. “Growth objectives span across all aspects of the programme with new signups at the top of our agenda.” Attractive adjustments in non-airline redemption options have seen SAA Voyager members enjoy returns of between 2.5% and 5% based on their SAA spend. “We plan additional product enhancements that will see part cash part mile payments launched where members can use Miles to settle any portion of their journey,” says Cruse. “SAA Voyager has and will continue to take shape against the needs of our members to increase regional relevance while commercially expanding to both match and achieve against our strategic objectives.” SAA Voyager’s growth path remains directly aligned to the LTTS (Long-Term Turnaround Strategy) of SAA.