British Airways recently brought together the best of Britain and South Africa at 30,000 feet over Johannesburg to showcase how its £5 billion investment is benefitting customers.
Some 200 guests including top Springbok try scorer Bryan Habana, lock Flip, van der Merwe, Freshlyground singer, Zolani Mahola and a host of others were treated to two hours of non-stop entertainment and extravagance on board British Airways’ new A380, the airline’s largest and most modern aircraft.
Guests enjoyed a very special Champagne high tea at take off created specially by The Saxon and South Africa’s top chef, David Higgs featuring a raspberry union jack macaroon and vanilla biscuit dress.
The A380 became the longest runway in the sky for a fashion show of British Designer collections for the summer season presented by Harrods, the world’s most famous luxury department store. Looks were shown from Stella McCartney, Jenny Packham, Alexander Mcqueen, Victoria Beckham, Mathew Williamson, Ralph & Russo and Temperley and teamed with Jimmy Choo shoes and jewellery by Astley Clarke, Monica Vinader, Shaun Leane + Lara Bohinc.
It then doubled as a 30,000 foot-high stage for a live performance by multi-award winning Afro-fusion band Freshlyground, who’s lead singer Zolani opened the 2010 World Cup singing Waka Waka with Shikira. Freshlyground performed a unique rendition of Shake it and Flower Duet Lakme, British Airways’ iconic theme tune.
During the past fortnight the aircraft has visited three major cities in South Africa. Since 27 January it has been based at King Shaka International Airport for flight crew training. During this time winner s of the #Man vs Plane online challenge got to try and emulate Bryan Habana’s 2013 race against the A380, which became a YouTube sensation. Then the superjumbo paid a fleeting visit to Cape Town for a world first fly past over Table Mountain, before arriving in Johannesburg for the launch event.
Speaking on at two-hour launch flight, Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director, brands and customer experience, and Erik Venter, Comair chief executive outlined the enhancements being introduced for domestic, regional and international customers.
It has worked with top chefs to improve the quality and choice of food on board with the A380 First service includes a five-course tasting menu. Locally Comair runs its own in-flight catering operation, Food Directions, to provide customers with top-quality, fresh, tasty meals including hot, cold and snack meal options.