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Telephone Numbers :
- Bloemfontein : 051 408 4830
- Cape Town : 021 936 1111
- Durban : 031 361 3010
- George : 044 801 8434
- Hoedspruit : 015 793 3681
- Johannesburg : 011 978 1111
SAA flight (South African Airways)

SAA news : South African Airways have been the most on time over the year to date for flights to Durban's King Shaka International Airport.

Hierdie blad is ook in Afrikaans beskikbaar. Sien SAL.
Buza imibuzo ngoSAA

Don't watch these movies before your long-haul flight, as they're currently showing - Delivery Man, Get Smart, The Ride (Pilot), Win Win and Sherlock Holmes.

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Mezzanine Level, Domestic Departure Terminal, OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, Gauteng 1627, South Africa

SAA Flights, Bookings, Reviews & Vouchers

SAA flights are rated 4.4/5 based on 49 customer reviews

In the April 2014 edition of Sawubona : CEO Monwabisi Kalawe says that SAA's "strategic intent" is to look for more opportunities in Africa. The airline is now offering free wrappage of bags for flights originating at OR Tambo International Airport, to combat pilfering: "Pilfering is one of the top operational challenges faced by any airline, but even more so at SA’s airports, where the scourge continues unabated." Dudzile Myeni explains how SAA no longer refers to "air hostesses", but rather "cabin crew".

Up, up and an-SAA! South African Airways (SAA) is South Africa's government owned national carrier, along with Mango Airline and SA Express. It offers the most comprehensive coverage of flight routes within SA (as well as to and from the country). SAA is a full service carrier, so do not expect the cheap flight prices one would get with Kulula and Mango Airlines, but do expect free meals and drinks. The airline was awarded a 4-star ranking by Skytrax for 2014 for the 12th year in a row. South African Airways is a member of the Star Alliance, allowing seamless bookings with partner airlines.

Flight Reviews

(These are not the views of SouthAfrica.TO)

  • 2014-04-15 : Rating 5 /5 : "I am a Pastor / Missionary from South Africa and travel frequently from New York to South Africa and Zambia. Every time I travelled on SAA I experienced friendliness, care and attention from the flight attendants. My trips were always pleasant and I would recommend SAA to anyone wishing to travel long distance. SAA you have excelled in your service and have gone the extra mile to administer "Service with a Smile". God bless you".

  • 2014-01-28 : Rating 5 /5 : "I have always been a bit scared of flying, don't really know why since it is the safest way to travel...." .

  • 2014-01-26 : Rating 5 /5 : "Later, the pilot actually said to my dad, in all his years, he had never seen a person walk off his plane missing one shoe...." .

  • 2014-01-15 : Rating 5 /5 : "The crew were friendly and efficient and in the short flight time managed to serve us snacks and drinks, making the whole flight a relaxing and pleasurable experience..." .

  • 2014-01-13 : Rating 5 /5 : "My son Luke flew with his Dad to dbn...flight was comfortable and pilot allowed him to view cockpit." .

  • 2014-01-05 : Rating 3 /5 : "Our journey began in Christchurch, where we caught an Air New Zealand flight to Auckland, and then another Air New Zealand flight to Perth..." .

  • 2013-12-25 : Rating 5 /5 : "We went for a holiday in June, and I must say travelling with SAA airlines was terrific..." .

    2013-11-28 : Rating 5 /5 : "So the day arrived and we were off to the airport. We had a flight to PE. All the different emotions when we arrived at the airport..." .

  • 2013-11-27 : Rating 4.5 /5 : "After a hectic week of wedding festivities (daughter's wedding), my body mind and soul were yelling out, 'break away'." Read more.

  • 2013-11-25 : Rating 5 /5 : "I am 39 years old but believe me it was my first flight. I boarded in O R Tambo heading for King Shaka."

  • 2013-11-23 : Rating 5 /5 : "I flew to East London and wanted to see the place so landed there and went to the harbor and nmi motor industries then had to fly back the same day because of a family emergency.".

  • 2013-11-20 : Rating 5 /5 : "After just going through a messy divorce and just needing a breathe of fresh air, I could not think of a better place to travel to but Port Elizabeth as it is a clean and beautiful city..."

  • 2013-11-19 : Rating 5 /5 : "Every year I go visit my son in Johannesburg, I normally fly with SAA. Last year was a little different because I have a daughter and at the time she was three years old. Well everything went well until we got on the plane. We sat next to this old woman and my daughter wanted to look out the window, but the lady was sitting there. I could see that was bothering my daughter a lot - she never said anything but the look on her face that told me everything. She sat still for ten minutes or so and then all of a sudden she grabbed the woman's book and went right over her and made her way next to the woman, sitting right by the window. She looked backed at me with a big smile on her face. At that moment I just didn't know where to put my head in, I was so embarrassed. I just kept on apologising to the woman - the woman just laughed and said in her life she had never seen something like that".

  • 2013-11-18 : Rating 5 /5 : "I found out I was adopted when I was 18. At 55 I found my biological mother. Firstly my husband and I flew down to East London to meet my mother and my father..." .

  • 2013-11-17 : Rating 5 /5 : "My first flight experience and only flight experience up to now, was last year..."

  • 2013-10-30 : Rating 5 /5 : "I travelled from Cape Town to London. This was my first time flying and I enjoyed my trip to the fullest..."

  • 2013-10-25 : Rating 4 /5 : "Well, my last flight adventure was from Cape Town to Joburg. The Flight was chosen for me as this was work related, so it was with SA Airways. On a scale from 1 to 5 I will give them a 4 for flying through turbulence but still maintaining a very good and safe flight. The service were very professional and client driven. The info given and displayed were very professional. The material provided was flight orientated and client accommodated. The flight generally was a quick enjoyable experience to be definitely redone as I enjoyed a much more then 100 % return flight with the same airlines. Highly recommended, closing remarks by satisfied client".

  • 2013-10-22 : Rating 2 /5 : "My experience was not a pleasant one. My flight was from Durban to Johannesberg, and it being my first flight I was very nervous as I'm afraid of heights. My boss and I went to Jhb for a meeting. Prior to boarding the SAA plane I refused to sit by the window and guess what - I ended up by the window and the ride to JHB was a bumpy one. Although the hostesses were kind, no one could ease my uneasiness until we landed. My next trip I have booked today with Mango via my Edgars card (my first time to Cape Town)".

  • 2013-10-17 : Rating 5 /5 : "I recently travelled to Mumbai India. I had an awesome flight, with a great seat and the airhost and hostess were extremely nice... The food was very tasty ..I travelled with SAA cause they gave us a good baggage allowance - 46kg - and their airfares were at a very good rate! We reached our destination half an hour before the estimated time. Very good service".

  • 2013-10-04 : Rating 5 /5 : "I sprained my ankle on an afternoon of adventure at Grahamstown in June. I could not walk the closest to walking was limping I got to the airport just in time for my evening flight to OR Tambo..." .

  • 2013-09-27 : Rating 5 /5 : "My two boys aged 5 and 7 flew from Jhb to Cpt for the first time, also their first time alone on an aircraft, and the service received from SAA crew was amazing. The 2 had so much fun on the aircraft with the crew playing cards and chatting away. The lunch was pre-packed as they are very fussy eaters, but the crew had something up their sleeve for them too. They were really treated like VIP's and flew back to Jhb with the greatest confidence…Thanks SAA".

  • 2013-09-24 : Rating 4.2 /5 : "I traveled from Johannesburg with S.A.A. & they assisted me with a wheelchair as I was walking with walking stick. Flight was very good. All S.A.A. staff were very kind to me. The only setback I had was with the sandwich. The salad was almost black. I complained, the flight attendant took down notes. When I arrieved in DBN Airport I went to the S.A.A. counter and waited for almost an hour before someone came to me. He did not even say sorry. I was glad to eat something when I arrived at the home that I was visiting as I was starving. The other thing about S.A.A. is that they don't check where we come from. I travelled from Switzerland & was allowed to bring 3 pieces of luggage. I was asked to pay for one suitcase. I think they should not have charged me. I rate S.A.A. 4 to 5 because everything else was very good".

  • 2013-09-14 : Rating 3.5 /5 : "The flight from Buenos Aires to Johannesburg was with South African Airways. This is so far the only direct flight you fly to the whole African continent departing from Buenos Aires." .

  • 2013-09-03 : Rating 2.5 /5 : " I wanted a direct flights from Lagos to Johannesburg, so my options were South African Airways or Arik Air..." Read more.

  • 2013-08-19 : Rating 2 /5 : "SAA is pathetic. I had food poisoning after I ate their food. The crew were very rude and not attending to the needs off passengers. Crew members on long flights are mostly at the back chatting and on their cellphones. They also didn't load my bag and I had to wait for 2 days for it. No compensation received. I wrote a letter to airline - no response. I was not proudly South African."

  • 2013-08-14 : Rating 5 /5 : "When you tell people that you have a 13 hour journey ahead of you with South African Airways, you don’t always get the most reassuring comments..."
  • 2013-08-12 : Rating 5 /5 : "I had never had the experience to fly. Then my husband got a project in Lesotho and I did not have a choice but to save money to book a flight in order to see my husband..."

  • 2013-08-11 : Rating 4.5 /5 : "Why the Standard Bank lounge at OR Tambo International Airport is not jam-packed, I do not understand!"

  • 2013-08-09 : Rating 5 /5 : "I firstly chose 1TIME and the journey was not really good, and on my return I chose SAA and I proudly rate 5 because of the 100% best service from checking in, the service from the air hostesses, the food, comfort n I hardly had any humps compared to the other flight before. My journey was magnificent, top of the range. SAA Number 1".

  • 2013-08-08 : Rating 5 /5 : My last flight was with SAA to East Londen, although a short flight, I will still rate them with a 5 rating. I prefer SAA flights as the journey is always made a more enjoyable experience. I had a flight to Spain in early April this year also with SAA and believe me the long hours was worth it".

  • 2013-08-06 : Rating 2 /5 : "I try not to complain but sometimes enough is enough!" .

  • 2013-07-25 : Rating 4 /5 : "Travelling from Cape Town to Beijing on an SAA flight was a fantastic experience for me."

  • 2013-07-19 : Rating 5 /5 : "Growing up, I dreamed of travelling the world and exploring new cultures and cuisine..."

  • 2013-07-04 : Rating 5 /5 : "I had a very good experience travelling to Durban with SAA. It was myself and three children as it was my daughter's birthday. The service was very good, and we were treated like VIPs regardless of the fact that it was a domestic flight, but to me and my children we felt like we were in businees class. Way to go SAA. HALALA"

  • 2013-07-03 : Rating 2 /5 : "I was on a SAA flight from Sau Paulo to Johannesburg airport. The flight was not very full and I had a very nice and comfortable chair at and emergency exit in the back part of the aircraft. Very happy with all the leg room I had, I was looking forward to a relaxed flight back home. Soon after takeoff, dinner was announced. When the food-trolley came to us from the back of the scullery she just announced that she has no food in her trolley anymore but will be with us soon. After quite a while, they were clearing up the cabins we reminded them that we did not get food yet which they then replied that there is no food available as they did not get enough food before takeoff. Quite upset as we came from Brasilia and before getting on the connection flight there was no time to have any snack in-between. They just left it there. Now been very upset and been hungry we decided to watch some movies. No headsets were available for a few of the passengers. When requesting for headsets we were just told that the flight did not get enough for all the passengers. Back in Johannesburg, no word was ever spoken by the airways regarding this bad service. It was as if it never occurred. This was the worst flight I ever had. Although I thought of not using them, again only they cover some roots."

  • 2013-06-08 : Rating 5 /5 :"There was something about the cabin crew, they seemed so calm while walking up and down the aircraft and it's something I admired." .

  • 2013-05-21: Rating 5/ 5: "We finally wound our way to Chapmans Peak and on to Cape Point. We decided to take a walk as far as we could go to make the most of this incredible vista where the Indian and the Atlantic oceans come together with a mighty force."

  • 2013-05-19: Rating 5/ 5: "My best flight experience was on SAA, the whole aeroplane is completely different to the others, you feel like you are sitting in first class even though you are in economy, you get treated the same as those in first class, the airline staff are friendly and look after your every need, the seats are comfortable and spacious and you do not feel cramped throughout the flight. You can get cheaper air tickets on South African Airways, everyone always goes for other airlines because they THINK they are cheaper but if you look carefully you will see that SAA is very competitive with their prices. What a wonderful airline, smart, sophisticated and brilliant take-offs and landings!!! Kind regards."

  • 2013-05-10: Rating 5/ 5: " The warm welcoming and great hospitality we received on the flight overwhelmed me... "

  • 2013-05-01: "A South African Airways cabin crew member once saved my show. I was travelling from Germany to Cape Town. The South African Airways flight was cancelled. I had 15 000 people who were looking forward to seeing me perform the next day. The Grand West venue in Cape Town was sold out and I was the headline artist. Luckily, one of the cabin crew members recognised my face and helped me get on another flight. I made it to Cape Town on time and had the most awesome night on stage, with three standing ovations!"

  • 2013-04-23: "I had quite an experience while travelling back from Portugal to South Africa via Mozambique. "

  • 2013-04-27. Rating 5/ 5: "I travelled to South Africa from Perth Western Australia. I am an artist and I was invited to paint a rhino on World Rhino Day to raise awareness of the plight of these animals."

  • 2013-04-22: Rating 4/ 5: "My friend and I went to switzerland to visit his sister he had not seen for many years. We flew with South African Airways, and other than the seat space, everything was fantastic - the staff were so helpful and friendly at the airport as well as on the plane, there was a big selection of movies and music to listen to on the plane, and the food was excellent and more than enough for us. But there was no space for my legs and I could not sleep. Before we came back we booked the seats on the first row for its leg space only to find they changed the planes and we were sitting in the second row. Everybody was so cross that had the same problem."

  • 2013-04: say that "We experienced our firstever flight on SAA from East London
    to Johannesburg. It was amazing: we enjoyed the entire trip, from take-off to landing. We'll definitely fly with SAA again for our next journey." as quoted in Sawubona Magazine

  • 2013-03-22: "I was really excited about my first trip ever to South Africa and was looking forward to landing on South African soil for the first time. "

  • 2013-03-20: "For me and my husband's honeymoon we decided that we would fly to South Africa for two weeks."

  • 2013-01-5: Rating 4/ 5 : "We had delicious snacks and extra legroom which was a welcome surprise. " Rubenthree

  • 2013-01-04. Rating 4.9/ 5 "Flight attendants are always pleasant and have a smile ready, and the food is good too."
  • 2012-07-30: flew with SAA from New York to Malawi via Johannesburg: "The seats were large and comfortable, the movie selection was awesome as was the music (new releases and award-winning films and music albums.) I was served 3 meals, snacks and offered complimentary beer and wine throughout my flight (and I did not even fly business class!). The onboard staff made the flight as pleasant as possible by coming around often to pick up trash, offer more snacks or drinks and by keeping the lights turned off so that the passengers could get some much-needed rest. I was also given a pouch with toothbrush, toothpaste, socks and eye mask, and also a big, plushy blanket and pillow."

2012-04-09: flew from Munich to Port Elizabeth with SAA, via Johannesburg. Here are some of their thoughts:

  • "The seats were a little older but the space we had was amazing! It felt even more spacious than our Lufthansa business class seat. I had to really reach over to grab stuff from the seat back pocket in front of us."

  • "I discovered a new drink that I really liked called Grapetiser, which is basically a sparkling grape juice. It became my favorite drink during my stay in South Africa."

  • "After dinner we put our seats in sleeping mode and they turned into a fully flat bed."

  • 2012-02-06 Rating 3.5/ 5 : "SAA were far from cheapest, but did offer us a free roll & more legspace than on the low cost carriers. We had the pleasure of flying on an Airbus A340-300E which is usually used for international flight duty. I hadn't flown SAA for a while, and they no longer serve my favourite drink - tomato cocktails. ".

SAA plane being boarded at Cape Town International Airport

  • 2010-01-31 Rating 5/ 5 : " Who says Kulula has a monopoly on in-flight humour? I overheard an SAA flight steward saying to a passenger on our flight: "Sir, I see that you and your wife have been given seats in differnt rows of the plane. When the passenger arrives who's sitting next to you, I'll ask them if they will swap seats with your wife. Sorry Sir, if you were trying to avoid your wife."

  • 2008-01-19 Rating 4.5/ 5 : "The boarding procedure was a little more exciting."

  • 2007-11-18 Rating 3.5/ 5 : "We checked in without incident. "

  • 2007-06-22 Rating 4/ 5: "I had my usual aisle seat and a backpacker plonked herself next to me."

  • 2007-06-20 Rating 3.5/ 5 : "Happily, despite being fully booked, the SAA flight boarded and left on time."

  • 25 Jul 2010. "Country Gourmet Traveller" caught a South African Airways flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg to Dakar to New York, which he describes as one of his "favourite airlines": "What I like already is that there is more leg space than in many other airlines which makes long hauls a lot easier. I was flying from Cape Town to Johannesburg and then via Dakar to New York which is a 17 hour long trip, so it is very much appreciated to have these couple of extra centimetres... The service was outstanding, the food was good, ok the sandwich was a little weak, some sloppy wrap with beef inside, nothing to write about, but then the hot meal was very good and nicely presented. The choice of course the usual beef or chicken and I opted for the chicken, very tasty and good, no complaints. The movie choice could have been a bit better, but I guess if one doesn’t fly too often it is perfectly fine. I slept quite a bit on the way so it didn’t matter too much. The service passes often with refreshments, so one is very well looked after."

Fleet

SAA have the 2nd largest fleet of Airbus A340s in the world (after Lufthansa).

Airbus A319-100

11

Airbus A320-200

4

Airbus A330-200

5

Airbus A340-200

0

Airbus A340-300E

6

Airbus A340-600

9

Boeing 737-800

12

Boeing 737-300 (F)

12

Boeing 737-200 (F)

2

Boeing 737-800

1

SAA are phasing out their B737-800s over the next 4 years to replace them with Airbus A320s. SAA's new A320 are configured with 114 economy class & 24 business class seats. Business class has 2 seats on each side of the aisle each one with legrests and adjustable headrests, which offers more comfort than the 5-seat setup of the A319s and B737-800s. On the back of each seat in business class there's a spot to store a tablet, which also has a USB power point. Here's what the interior of looks like: The A320s are being used on regional routes such as flights from Johannesburg to Nairobi and Mauritius.

interior of an SAA Airbus A320

Boeing 737-800
Capacity
157
Cruise Speed
809.5 km/h
Length
39.5 meters
Wingspan
35.8 meters
Airbus A319-100
Capacity
120
Cruise Speed
820 km/h
Length
33.84 meters
Wingspan
34.09 meters
Airbus A330-200
Capacity
222
Length
58.8 meters
Wingspan
60.3 meters
Airbus A340-200
Capacity
250
Cruise Speed
870 km/h
Length
59.4 meters
Wingspan
60.3 meters
Airbus A340-300
Capacity
253
Cruise Speed
860 km/h
Length
63.6 meters
Wingspan
60.3 meters
Airbus A340-600
Capacity
317
Cruise Speed
886 km/h
Length
75.3 meters
Wingspan
30.5 meters

Power Supply System

Over the years, SAA has steadily introduced an in-seat power supply system for passenger use. All the A319, A340 and the A330s have power outlets in business class. The latest aircraft introduced into SAA, newer generation A320s, have power outlets in business and economy class. With the ongoing fleet upgrade, the next generation of long range aircraft will equally have power outlets throughout the cabin.  The older generation aircraft, such as the B737s and some A320s, do not have power outlets. An in-seat power supply system provides power for portable electronic devices (PEDs), such as laptops, notebooks, tablets and mobile phones in flight mode. Typically the power outlet is located in or between the armrests or on the backrest forward of the seat. Depending on the type of power outlet, a power of 110 V 60 Hz DC and/or 5 Vdc is supplied. The in-seat power supply system however, should not be used to power portable medical or respiratory devices (such as a oxygen concentrator or CPAP machine). In such case and provided that the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations limitations are adhered to, passengers are recommended to ensure that they have an adequate number of fully charged batteries in their carry-on luggage to operate the device for not less than 150% of the expected maximum flight duration. The power outlet has protection features that prevent electrical shocks that could occur if the outlet is not used correctly (e.g. inserting foreign objects into the outlet). It also has integrated sensors to release power only when a plug is engaged and is fully inserted. Each power outlet has an LED indicator that indicates the current power status. The power supply to the power outlet is usually deactivated during take-off and landing (when all PEDs must be switched off and stowed) and will automatically be activated at a flight level of around 10 000 ft (when the fasten seat belt signs are switched off). The Cabin Crew are also able to control the use of the electrical power at any time should any effect to the aircraft system be detected. If a passenger uses the in-seat power outlet, a light (installed at seat seat row) indicates the activation of the outlet to the Cabin Crew. 

Liveries

Well done to Raydon Designs for compiling this set of SAA Aircraft liveries. Note that the historical designs have new South African flags on them, with the idea being to depict what South African Airway's fleet would like like today if they painted a retro celebration fleet.

liveries on SAA aircraft

Flight reservations

Call centre

Reservations

Customer Service

0861 FLY SAA
0861 359 722
+27 11 978 5313

+27 11 978 1111 (24 hours)
reservationsjnb@flysaa.com

+27 11 978 2888
0860 003 146
saacustomerservice@flysaa.com

Online Bookings

Step 1 : Navigate to SAA's website. Notice the flight bookings tool on the left-hand-side of the page.

Step 2 : Fll in your Departure City, Destination City (or click multi-city if there's a 3rd airport you want involved), date you're leaving and date you're returning. If you'd like to fly 1-way, then uncheck the "Returning" checkbox. Fill in the number of adults/children and infants. Select whether you'd like to fly Economy or Business Class. Then click the green "BOOK" button.

SAA booking - flight prices

Step 3 : The flight numbers, airfares and various departure and arrival times are then displayed. By default economy class fares are show, and if you'd like to book business class then click the BUSINESS class tab. Airfares are shown for 4 different categories: SAVER, PLUS, CLASSIC & SELECT. SAVER bookings are non-refundable, rebooking & upgrade fees apply and earn limited Voyager miles. PLUS fares have a cancellation admin fee applicable, rebooking fees and upgrade fees apply, and limited Voyager miles are earned. CLASSIC bookings have a cancellation admin fee, rebooking & upgrade fees, but earn full Voyager miles. SELECT bookings are the most expensive, and no cancellation fee, no rebooking fee subject to the same class being available, earn full Voyager miles and are Voyager upgradable.When you click on the price then SAA indicate what type of aircraft is being used and the airline (bookings on the SAA website could be any of its codeshare partners, like SA Express, SA Airlink, Mango Airlines or Emirates). You can identify Mango flights on the SAA website as they have flight numbers in the range SA2000 to SA2099 and SA7900 to SA7999.

SAA Booking - airline and aircraft

Step 5 : Click the green CONTINUE button if you are happy with the flight details. Read and scroll down past "Fare Rules", "Baggage", Meal Requests, Airport Taxes Travellers with reduced mobility & Passport & Health info. Then fill in the details for all the passengers, making sure that they are the same as on travelling documents. Also fill in the relevant contact details.

Passenger details for an SAA booking

Step 6 : Scroll a bit further down and select your preferred payment option : Either pay later via Pick 'n Pay, or pay now via credit card. The click on the green button at the bottom right to book and pay (if you've selected a credit card transaction).

SAA payment options

Business class

Business class differs between short and long haul flights. On a short haul the main difference between an economy and business class seat is that it's slightly larger. On long haul flights you get a seat which can be folded back so that it's flat, with the armrests folding down to increase the width of the "bed". The seat can give you a massage, if you feel the need. There's a pricavy screen, and on request you'll be supplied with a pillow & duvet. There's a power point for you to charge up your electronic equipment. Since December 2012 SAA have been providing noise cancelling headsets and an bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb/brush, shades & socks.

Baggage restrictions

SAA has changed to a piece luggage concept. Very basically, in economy class 1 piece of checked-luggage is allowed, weighing a maximum of 23kg; and one piece of carry-on luggage with a maximum of 8kg (there are also dimension limits). There are some exceptions to this, so check with SAA at the time of your travel. "Excess baggage charges will apply for:

  • Each piece of baggage over and above the passenger’s baggage allowance

  • Each piece of overweight baggage

  • Each piece of oversize baggage"

See SAA Bicycle transport for how to book & the rules for transporting your bike.

Online Check-In

You can avoid the queues at the airport check-in counters by checking in online. Online check-in is possible at the following airports in South Africa: Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, East London, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Maseru, Manzini, Mmabatho, Mthatha and Windhoek.

Flight routes

SAA operates domestic flights in South Africa to Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, East London, George, Hoedspruit, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Maseru, Nelspruit/Kruger, Phalaborwa, Pietermartizburg, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, and Upington. See:

From 9 March 2014 SAA are resuming their epic non-stop flights from Johannesburg to the Big Apple.

International

SAA operates international flights from Johannesburg to many major cities in the world. It flies from Cape Town to Walvis Bay and Windhoek. From Johannesburg, South African Airways flies internationally to Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Antananarivo, Bangkok, Beijing, Beira, Blantyre, Brazzaville, Buenos Aires, Bujumbura, Bulawayo, Cairo, Cotonou, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Entebbe, Frankfurt, Gaborone, Harare, Hong Kong, Kasane, Kigali, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lilongwe, Livingstone, London, Luanda, Lubumbashi, Lusaka, Manzini, Maputo, Maseru, Maun, Mauritius, Mumbai, Munich, Nairobi, Nampula, Ndola, New York, Pemba, Perth, Phalaborwa, Pietermaritzburg, Pointe-Noire, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, Tete, Victoria Falls, Vilankulos, Walvis Bay, Washington, Windhoek and Zurich.

About SAA

SAA is part of the Star Alliance, which includes Adria, Aegean, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airliens, Lufthansa, Scandanavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, United and US Airways.

Meals

Meals & drinks on South African Airways flights are included in the airfare.

In 2013 the following wines are served on South African Airways domestic, international and regional flights (and in business class lounges): Stellenrust Chenin Blanc 201, Cederberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Anura Brut Chardonnay/Pinot Noir 2009 and KWV Tawny Port N/V.

Frequent flyer program

SAA Voyager frequent flyer program; which has several tiers depending on how much flying is done with South African Airways - blue is the beginning tier, silver, gold, platinum and lifetime platinum.

Callsign & IATA code

Callsign: SPRINGBOK
IATA code: SA
ICAO code: SAA

Overbookings

Since the 14th October 2006 South African Airways no longer compensate their passengers who miss a flight as a result of overbooking.

Pilot training

SAA is busy with a program aiming to increase the number of black pilots, through its accelerated programme for black cadets. Other domestic South African airlines have not shown as great an urgency to increasing the percentage of blacks amongst their crew, as South African Airways.

Car Hire

Renting a car with SAA is often cheaper than going directly through the main car rental agencies, because of the discounts which SAA has negotiated. SAA car rental partners are Avis, Budget, Europcar & Hertz.

SAA Holidays

In June 2012 SAA Holidays was launched - as well as offering SAA flights, accommodation & car hire may be booked through SAA Holidays.

Safety record

  • 29 December 2012. South African Airways flight SA208 from Dakar to Johannesburg encountered air turbulence which caused serious but non-fatal injuries to two cabin attendants who fell.

  • 16 April 2011. A South African Airways B737-800 was taxiing at OR Tambo International Airport for a flight to Dar es Salaam when a loud thud was heard, and on inspection it was established that the right axle of the nose landing gear had fractured. There were no injuries.

From 1970 to 2000 South African Airways flew some 1.6 million flights with 1 fatal accident (0.6 fatal events per million flights). The fatal flight occured on the 28th November 1987; when a South African Airways 747- 200 Combi (the Helderberg), flying from Chiang Kai Shek International Airport to to Johannesburg via Mauritius, crashed during flight over the Indian Ocean, between Taiwan and South Africa, apparently as a result of a fire in the main deck cargo area. All 19 crew and 141 passengers were killed.

Before 1970 there accidents included the following:

  • 20 April 1968. Flight SA228 crashes near Windhoek, with the loss of 123 lives.

  • 13 March 1967. SA406 crashes into the sea near East London, with all 25 people on board dying

  • 6 March 1962. Only the pilot & first officer die when SA512 crashes near Seymour, Eastern Cape

  • 8 April 1954. All 21 people on the plane die when SA201 crashes off the coast of Italy.

Skytrax ratings

SAA has a 4 star rating with Skytrax. SAA flights have been voted the best in Africa, by Skytrax, for 11 years up to 2013.

Marketing

Airline tickets are mostly sold online. Like major competitors like British Airways, Air France, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and KLM; SAA has set up affiliate marketing agreements to leverage sales on the internet. They do it via Admarula, which is based in Cape Town.

Board of Directors

SAA is headed up by Monwabisi Kalawe (CEO), with Wolf Meyer serving as Chief Financial Officer and Sadile Dlamini as Company Secretary. Musa Zwane is CEO of SAA Technical, Martin Kemp is CEO of Airchiefs, Nico Bezuidenhout is CEO of Mango Airlines and Bulelwa Koyana is CEO of SATC.

On the 23rd March 2014 Business Day reported that Lindi Nkosi-Thomas had resigned as an SAA director, because she couldn't "carry on working with some of the board members, given the professional relationship breakdown".

Museum

Something interesting to do when in Johannesburg is visit the SAA Museum at Rand Airport.

Legal entity

South African Airways (Proprietary) Limited Reg. No. 1997/0022444/07 in terms of the Company Act of 1973.

Subsidiaries of South African Airways

Airchefs (Pty) Ltd
Airchefs International (Pty) Ltd
SAA City Centre (Pty) Ltd
SAA Technical (Pty) Ltd - reponsible for the repair and maintenance of planes
International Aviation Personnel (Pty) Ltd
Air Tanzania (Pty) Ltd (Tanzania) 

Financial Statements

The financial statements of South African Airways run from 1 April to 31 March, and the airline's business is conducted through 4 subsidiaries (Mango Airlines, SAA Technical, Air Chefs & the South African Travel Centre), 2 partner airlines and 2 business units.

  Gross Operating profit  

2012/2013

(1170)

 

2011/2012 financials of SAA

(1 357)

Attention is drawn to SAA being an "economic enabler", & indicating that South African Airways' contribution to Gross Domestic Product in South Africa is R8.6bn & supports 35,000 jobs. Mango Airlines started flights from Lanseria Airport, and SAA signed a codeshare with Mango regarding its Lanseria - Cape Town flights (it also has a codeshare with Mango Airlines for the Cape Town - Durban flights).

2010/2011 financials of SAA

1 006

The Fifa World Cup is celebrated.

2009/2010 financials of SAA

1458

Attention is drawn to South African Airways being "severely undercapitalised"

2008/2009 financials of SAA

1898

As a result of their restructuring R2.5bn in costs were taken out over a 2 year period.

2007/2008 financials of SAA

(1372)

On a world-wide basis, the airline industry turned a profit in 2007 for the first time since 2000.

2006/2007 financials of SAA

(660)

SAA joins the Star Alliance in March 2006.

2005/2006 financials of SAA

395

Contracts with suppliers were renegotiated, realising R1.3bn in savings.

2004/2005 financials of SAA

581

The "other airline income" figures increased by 89%, due to the release of tickets which weren't used from SAA's air traffic liability account, & the fuel levy.

2003/2004 financials of SAA
(part of Transnet's)

134

The fleet is being renewed & the 1st of 41 brand new Airbuses were delivered in Jan 2003.

2002/2003 financials of SAA

545

Revenue increased by 19.5%, with more passengers being carried and yields improving.

2001/2002 financials of SAA

(1 320)

51% of SAA's expenses are denominated in US Dollars, and were negatively impacted by the devaluation in the Rand.

2000/2001 financials of SAA

(1 725)

 

British Airways v SAA

Battle of the full service carriers - here we compare them on a point by point basis.

Partner Airlines

Mango Airlines is a subsidary of South African Airways, whilst it also has a strong partnership with SA Express. Airlink, SA Express nd sometimes Mango Airlines flights are listed as results when using SAA's flight booking system.

Pets

South African Airways have certain rules for transporting pets - see SAA pets for details.

Category : South African Airways

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