The rating recognises the airline’s improvement in onboard product and service levels and in enhancing the customer experience. “South African Airways have managed to maintain quality levels throughout the past year and are delivering a solid project and service standard to their customers, making their 4-star ranking well-deserved,” Skytrax chief executive, Edward Plaisted, said in a statement on Tuesday. “The Skytrax star ranking audit examines more than 800 areas of product and service delivery, across all areas of the airport operations and the cabin experience, and demonstrates that South African Airways passengers can look forward to a high quality of product and service.” Obtaining a 4-star rating means that the airline in question has achieved high standards across all travel categories, including staff service standards. “Accolades and rankings such as this one from Skytrax reconfirms that our dedication and focus on strategic objectives to improve our customer value proposition will ensure that we eventually become a fully sustainable business that can compete successfully in the global airline market in the near future,” said SAA customer service executive, Suretha Cruse. “This ranking, together with a number of awards from other foremost institutions as well as the prestigious Skytrax Best Airline in Africa Award for 10 years in a row and the Skytrax Excellence Award for the third consecutive year, further exemplifies our customer-focused efforts.” SAinfo reporter 14 February 2013 South African Airways has been awarded a 4-star airline rating by global independent airline rating firm Skytrax for the 11th year running.