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SAA, Discovery unveil premium lounge: Elevating travel to new heights

Press release -

SAA, Discovery unveil premium lounge: Elevating travel to new heights

Johannesburg, 23 November 2023 – South African Airways (SAA) and Discovery are excited to unveil the completion of a landmark refurbishment of their premium airport lounge, a first-of-its-kind at OR Tambo International Departures. This newly revitalised space is a cornerstone in realising their joint vision of providing exceptional luxury and convenience for travellers.

Discovery Bank Purple, Black, and Platinum cardholders can now join SAABusiness class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members in accessing The Lounge, and the airline’s local flight network on the Vitality Travel platform.

“Understanding that business and leisure travellers prioritise fast-track services, lounge access, and round-the-clock assistance, we’ve meticulously integrated these elements into our Discovery Bank offerings,” Hylton Kallner, CEO of Discovery Bank, stated.

“Our goal is to ensure our clients’ journeys are not only comfortable and convenient, but also enriched with these essential features as well as additional benefits.”

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the official opening of The Lounge to the public, SAA’s Chief Commercial Office, Tebogo Tsimane said: “South African Airways recognises that for us to move forward, a private partnership is very important. So, this project becomes a template for all the other projects that SAA will embark on The only way we can turn around SAA into an profitable airline is to recognise that we can succeed with strong partnerships.”

A fusion of elegant design, exceptional coffee, and inspiring art

The premium pre-flight experience at OR Tambo International was co-created with interior architects at IHBAZA to accommodate different traveller profiles – whether it’s businesspeople seeking a productive workspace, seasoned international tourists looking for a moment of relaxation and refreshment, or young families needing a space to connect or unwind as they wish for an unlimited amount of time.

The Lounge blends experience and interior design seamlessly – from the copper-clad concierge pods to mood-setting smart lighting, and aeronautical-inspired design elements. A variety of thoughtfully laid out sections including focus booths, private suites, quiet meeting rooms and open-plan seating areas cater to every traveller’s preference.

Guests are invited to embark on a delightful refreshment journey, where they can savour a buffet-style selection of dishes throughout the day, enjoy a five-star coffee experience from the newly imported La Marzocco espresso machines, and sip on expertly curated cocktails and mocktails on request.

Art purveyors will be captivated by the collections of works by emerging and established artists selected by art curators to inspire and invigorate.

Accessing the ultimate travel experience with Vitality Travel

Through the new Discovery Account, all Discovery Bank clients and Vitality members have access to the Vitality Travel platform and all the benefits of discounted travel.

Discovery Bank Black and Purple cardholders enjoy added value with exclusive access to the Discovery Priority Fast Track at OR Tambo and Cape Town International airports, along with entry to over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, through loungekey access. To gain access to The Lounge, members can conveniently generate a voucher directly in their Discovery Bank app.

A commitment to the future of travel

A haven of luxury and comfort for the sophisticated traveller at the airport, The Lounge exemplifies the company's dedication to creating the ultimate travel experience using intuitive design. "The refurbishment of our lounge marks a pivotal moment in our evolution, our vision of behavioural-driven design, and unwavering commitment to pioneering new standards in the travel industry,” said Dinesh Govender, CEO of Discovery Vitality. “The Lounge is more than just an airport lounge; it's a testament to our vision of behavioural-driven design that delights users at every touchpoint. Every aspect, from the opulent interiors and carefully selected art pieces to the exceptional food and beverage offering, is deliberately chosen to elevate the travel experience of our guests.”

By creating an environment that is intuitive, visually captivating, and bespoke, Discovery and SAA have not just elevated the pre-flight experience but have set a new standard for what an airport lounge can be.

“Each Discovery business is driven by our core purpose to make people healthier and share value with our clients. This is reflected in Vitality Travel. Our vision is to make travelling, for any purpose, more accessible, enjoyable, and affordable – while in turn incentivising behaviours that are good for the individual and the Bank,” Kallner added.

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About Discovery

Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, banking, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, active in over 40 markets impacting over 40 million lives. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets including AIA (Asia), Ping An (China), Generali (Europe), Sumitomo (Japan), John Hancock (US), Manulife (Canada) and Vitality Life & Health (UK, wholly owned). Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY.

Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA

About Discovery Bank

Discovery Bank is part of Discovery Limited, a financial services organization that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment and wellness in over 40 markets. Discovery Bank is fundamentally designed differently through its shared-value model. Clients create value as they manage their money well that Discovery Bank shares back with them through better interest rates, deep discounts and significant rewards. The overall outcome is that clients experience greater financial wellbeing, it reduces the risk of defaults for Discovery Bank making the business more sustainable, and it addresses large-scale challenges, such as increased savings, that benefit society at large. Behaviour change and rewards are enabled through Vitality Money, an AI-Powered programme on the Discovery Bank app that which gives clients an understanding of behaviours that influence their financial wellbeing and how to manage their money. The better clients do, the higher their Vitality Money status and the greater the value they receive.

About Discovery Vitality

Vitality is the largest global platform for behaviour change, underpinning the insurance products of leading insurers worldwide, impacting 30 million lives in over 40 markets. The Vitality model, established by Discovery Limited in South Africa, has been incentivising behaviour change amongst its clients for over 25 years. Vitality creates shared value by combining behavioural economics, clinical science, and financial incentives to encourage and reward members for taking steps to improve their health. The model began with a focus on health and wellness and has expanded to include short-term insurance, investments, and financial wellness. For more information, please visit the Vitality website or email the Discovery Media Relations team. Follow us on Twitter @Vitality_SA


Zeenat Moorad

Zeenat Moorad

Press contact Senior Reputation Manager Banking | Vitality | Sponsorships
Sesona Ngqakamba

Sesona Ngqakamba

Press contact Reputation Management Consultant Banking | Vitality | Sponsorships

Our core purpose and values guide us in all we do. A clear and profound promise: to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives.

Discovery is a shared value insurance company whose purpose and ambition are achieved through a pioneering business model that incentivises people to be healthier, and enhances and protects their lives.

Discovery Limited
Discovery Group Limited, 1 Discovery Place, Sandton
2196 Johannesburg
South Africa