Country Management Roles

Job Description

Purpose of Job

Country Management roles are for managing the SAA country specific station in its entirety. To maximize revenue and profit generation in a specific Country/Countries via all distribution channels, through the most effective and innovative sales and marketing campaigns, within agreed timescales and budgets, through dynamic and effective leadership. To ensure that SAA is positioned as a professional airline with highest levels of customer service to our passengers meeting all legal, Governmental and other requirements and regulations. The job holder will be responsible for managing all aspects of the Company in the specified country/countries, ensuring that strategic and tactical plans are in place to facilitate the achievement of revenue and profit targets and growth in market share. Accountabilities will include developing the business operationally, achieving financial targets, and delivering a customer focused service in accordance with the industry requirements and corporate, local and international standards



  1. Conceptualise, develop and implement the strategic business plan for the station in support of the overall SAA business plan
  • Ensure understanding and interpretation of overall SAA business plan including the Sales and Marketing Strategy, taking into account short, medium and long term organisational objectives;
  • Analyse drivers for design of station specific objectives and plans in alignment with the SAA Business Plan and Sales Strategy;
  • Liaise with the Industry Specialists regarding market and industry trends to ensure flexibility of the business plan to meet changing industry trends; 
  • Develop and implement a Station specific strategy that is aligned to business strategy, stakeholder needs and expectations; legislative requirements; global trends and ensuring long term business viability;
  • Present the vision and strategy to relevant stakeholders to obtain understanding and buy-in;
  • Ensure that appropriate structures, infrastructure, resources and processes are in place to enable the operational execution of the Strategy and business plan;
  • Ensure that systems utilised facilitate synergy and co-ordination between all areas to support current and future operational requirements;
  • Ensure that the implemented strategy is managed, measured, monitored and evaluated;
  • Regularly assess the feasibility of strategies and ensure that corrective action is taken to ensure (a) adherence to strategy achievement and/or (b) strategy is adjusted according to changes in stakeholder needs and business drivers
  1. Facilitate the identification and establishment of new market entry models and/or secondary country station point
  2. Ensure efficient management of Station to enable achievement of SAA strategic objectives
  3. Revenue Generation and building SAA’s Brand in relevant country:
  • Conduct a detailed investigation of environmental, market, infrastructure and resourcing feasibility for business development within the existing or neighbouring countries;
  • Provide detailed analysis of results to head office divisions and liaise with relevant functions to establish the market;
  • Identify potential partners and obtain required information from service providers and assist with the relevant procurement processes and due diligence procedures;
  • Source and contract resources as required;
  • Request and manage the relevant CAPEX approval and spend.
  • Ensure that the value proposition for the station is prepared according to criteria such as productivity, effectiveness, deployment, maintenance and safety;
  • Ensure that all Services are integrated and supportive of the business strategic intent (station specific and those of intermediaries);
  • Monitor adherence to agreed upon SLA’s and initiate corrective action in the event of discrepancies;
  • Ensure that functional expertise is optimally applied across disciplines so as to achieve strategic business objectives:
  • Oversee the management of operations to uphold SAA brand and service delivery;
  • Identify, evaluate and negotiate third party contracts in support of operational requirements;
  • Liaise with relevant stakeholders to maintain and restore station operations as a consequence of irregular operations and/ or service breakdowns;
  • Ensure that the appropriate resources are allocated to meet business demands and regularly appraise procurement requirements;
  • Ensure that competitive standards of performance are set and processes audited against these;
  • Manage performance measurement across the station to identify areas of weakness and provide solutions;
  • Ensure that governance and business management practices are implemented, taking cognisance of country-specific legislation and future business requirements (across all functional disciplines i.e. Sales and Marketing, Operations, Finance, procurement, IT, HR, Business Development, Communications, Security etc);
  • Compile annual station budget and monitor capital and operational expenditure accordingly, including management of total spend and cost reduction;
  • Consolidate and negotiate SAA banking accounts and ensure repatriation of funds in collaboration with the Reserve bank upholding the relevant Power of Attorney and maintaining due diligence;
  • Engage in strategic reporting regarding business management to relevant stakeholders
  • Sales performance monitoring and analysis (point of sales – Yield and Load);
  • Analysis of market share;
  • Contribution and profit margin;
  • Interpret and integrate reports across functions and translate into focused activities to direct performance;
  • Provide timeous, accurate and relevant reports, recommendations and feedback as required by leadership;
  • Management and implementation of good governance practices aligned to both SAA standards and country specific legislation;
  • Must ensure that all contract are managed within the internal process of the company;
  • Inform Company Secretary of any changes or irregularities regarding the legal status of the station (entity registration status)
  • Manage station risk (including operational risks and incidents), through continuous internal and external monitoring of business impact, as well as changes in stakeholder needs;
  • Liaise with Head Office Risk Team to ensure that overall risk is evaluated in accordance with required standards and mitigated;
  • Participate in National Security Committees at station level (if applicable to specific country)
  • Monitor and maintain legal compliance within host country to represent SAA’s best interests e.g. ( in facilitating the recuperation of SAA assets in lieu of risk mitigation)
  • Assist with the appointment of legal representation within host country as and when needed
  • Oversee sales revenue streams and ensure that structured Public Relations, Sales and marketing initiatives are in place in accordance with target market segments and business strategic objectives (e.g. drive online sales). More specifically but not limited to:
  • Oversee the development and implementation of a marketing plan that represents the unique requirements of the host country.
  • Manage the implementation of CRM and customer engagement initiatives in accordance with the marketing plan
  • Ensure adherence to stipulated CI (Corporate Identity) guidelines and marketing strategy;

Stakeholder networks and partnerships:

  • Facilitate and maintain effective relationships between stakeholders;
  • Critically evaluate the stakeholder network to ensure effective partnerships and networking opportunities;
  • Represent the organisation to stakeholders, associates and partners as well as to the public (limited scope of communication as per corporate directives) and maintain professional, effective and amicable relationship at the required levels to ensure SAA’s interests are upheld in country;
  • Manage client partnerships through establishing and maintaining relationships with Retail, Wholesale; Travel Trade and Government clientele;
  • Leverage knowledge from third parties (e.g. tourism specialists, global sales agents, academic institutions and government etc) to facilitate meaningful relationships and operational delivery;
  • Effectively support strategic partners and stakeholders through sharing of resources, professional expertise, contacts etc;
  • Support the negotiation of major business development and improvement initiatives.
  1. Management of Human Resource Capacity
  • Ensure that strategies and capacity development programmes are in place to continuously align and develop human capacity to current and future business requirements;
  • Guide SAA HR to align employment conditions to local legislation and market conditions;
  • Continuously communicate and drive adherence to human resource governance standards (e.g. performance management, talent management, employee relations, recruitment, HR administrations, etc). More specifically drive the attraction, identification; selection; development, retention and performance of human resources at station;
  • Mentor employees towards personal growth and ensure that they are competent to perform as required;
  • Actively create and support a culture of team work, innovation and expertise, and ensure knowledge transfer focusing on national best practices, as well as differing technological solutions and new approaches;
  • Uphold welfare of Air Crew in host country (accommodation, security, transport, meal allowances, health & safety, irregular operations and SAA brand representation etc). Ensure that all vendors associated with welfare of Air Crew are remunerated as contracted;
  • Ensure compliance of human resources with relevant country legislation and escalate to relevant stakeholders as and when required
  • Understand local labour laws and conditions

Education and Experience


Formal Qualifications:

  • Relevant tertiary business qualification;
  • System knowledge namely SAP, ARMADEUS, Galileo etc

Years Experience:

    • Six years relevant experience of which three include functional management experience;
    • Tourism and/or hospitality experience critical;
    • Aviation industry knowledge an advantage;
    • Business planning knowledge essential




  • Integrated understanding of the airline industry;
  • Business and financial acumen;
  • Budgeting;
  • People management;
  • Legal compliance;
  • Conceptual thinking;
  • Leadership;
  • Results orientation
  • Organisational communication effectiveness;
  • Organisational values and quality;
  • Persuasion and influencing;