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SA Express Flights

SA Express Airways flights are rated 4.8/5 based on 9 customer reviews, making it the best rated airline in South Africa (possibly because there are only 9 reviews). The airline is currently not operational.

South African Express (SAX) used to operate passenger and cargo flights to and from the smaller towns in South Africa (routes where it was not viable to fly narrow-bodied jets). They were based at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport. The airline had a strategic alliance with SA Airways (e.g. shares the same flight booking system and you can earn Voyager miles on South African Express flights), and like South African Airways was a 100% subsidiary of the SA government, residing under the Department of Public Enterprises. The airline is operationally independent. The original Long Term Turnaround Strategy for SAA expected to see SAA, SAX & Mango Airlines grow closer together. Instead SA Express was purchased by the group FlySax.

Latest News:

  • 27 October 2020: The group FlySax, which includes some former SA Express employees, has started auctioning off some of the airline's movable assets. They are starting with airplanes and related aviation property. They plan on only holding on the airline's routes, landing rights and certain regulatory licences that have not lapsed.

  • 1 April 2020: SA Express Interim CEO Siza Mzimela left the airline, completing her last day yesterday in order to pursue other opportunities. Although candidates for a permanent CEO position were proposed about 18 months ago, no decision has been made and acting GM Thuli Mpse will now take over the role of acting CEO. The airline is currently dangling on the edge after recommendations were made for it to be declared insolvent.

  • 23 March 2020: After the airline failed to secure government funding, SA Express' business rescue practitioners believe the airline has to be liquidated. The airline is unable to pay salaries on time, if at all. The airline's business rescue practitioners say that the COVID-19 outbreak leaves them with no reasonable prospect on being able to rescue the company. The practitioners has said that the liquidation application would be withdrawn if the state is able to secure funding before the court hearing.

  • 18 March 2020: The airline announced today that they are suspending operations until further notice. The is in light of recent adverse developments like the COVID-19 pandemic. All passengers will be accommodated on alternative flights and all non-critical SA Express staff will be placed on compulsory leave.

  • 6 February 2020: The Johannesburg high court today ruled that SA Express should be placed under business rescue. This follows an application made to court for such a ruling by one of SA Express' debtors, Ziegler, who is owed R11.3m. The airline has said that they will appeal this order. The airline is currently fighting SAA for money that the airline says is owed them.

Click here to read the latest SA Express news

Latest Flight Review

  • 2014-05-30 Rating 5/5 : "With family living on the Natal north coast I have made frequent use of your SA Express thrice weekly direct flights between Harare .and Durban. Your route is preferred as going through ORTambo from International to domestic always involves a few extra hours on this journey. Furthermore the flights out of ORTambo by late afternoon are frequently late. Nothing can beat the journey being done in two hours.  You’re in cabin service and crew are friendly and efficient. Clearing customs and immigration at King Shaka is a pleasure. Well done SA Express!"

Flight routes

SA Express flight routesThere are a plethora of SA Express flight routes, covering many of the secondary routes in South Africa, as well as international flights. Click through the links below to see our writeups of the various routes on which they fly, in which we contrast the travel options available to you:


Flights to Cape Town (CPT)

Flights to Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport (JNB)

Flights to Durban's King Shaka International Airport (DUR):

Flights to Bloemfontein (BFN):

Flights to East London (ELS):

Flights to George (GRJ):

Flights to Hoedspruit (HDS)

Flights to Port Elizabeth (PE):

Flights from Johannesburg to Gaborone (JNB-GBE)

Flights from Durban to Harare (DUR-HRE)

Flights from Johannesburg to Kimberley (JNB-KIM)

Flights from Johannesburg to Lubumbashi (JNB-FBM)

Flights from Cape Town to Maputo (CPT-MPM) [Discontinued on 15 May 2014]

SA Express from Johannesburg to Nelspruit (JNB-MQP)

SAX Johannesburg to Pietermaritzburg (JNB-PZB)

Flights from Johannesburg to Richards Bay (JNB-RCB)


SAX's main competitor on flights to Walvis Bay (WVB) is Air Namibia:

SAX's main competitors on flights to Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) are Air Namibia and British Airways Comair:

Flight Specials

  • Nothing running at the moment - watch this space.

  • 29 August 2013 : Use the SA Express promo code SAXCLUB when doing a booking at (sometimes discounts airfares on DUR-PLZ, CPT-PLZ, DUR-ELS, JNB-HDS, BFN-CPT & CPT-KIM flights routes up to 30 September 2013).

*The longer it is since the date of the special, the greater the chance that airfares have changed.


Top management:

  • Chief Executive Officer : Inati Ntshanga

  • Chief Financial Officer : Sikhumbuzo Zulu

  • General Manager Commercial : Brian van Wyk

  • General Manager Human Capital : Kgatile Nkala

  • General Manager Technical : Peter Mashaba

  • General Manager Ground Operations : Wesley Hermanus

  • Executive Manager Flight Operations : Dave Allanby

Because of the alliance with SAA, SAX passengers can earn Voyager miles on their flights. Edgars club members can get up to 10% discounts on selected SA Express flights.

Expressions of Africa is SA Express's travel office, offering flight and accommodation packages. Its contact details for reservations are or 011-978-5569.


SA Express operates 9 Bombardier Q400 planes - with 15 different African airlines flying it, the Q400 is the continent's most popular turboprop plane. The Q400 is known for its fuel efficiency, long range & high speed performance. All SA Express planes were built by a company called Bombardier Aerospace. Expect a smaller jet (or turboprop in the case of thee Q400) experience, with slightly longer flight times than that on the medium jets like B737-8

10 CRJ 200

Bombardier Canada Regional Jet 200

5 CRJ 700

Bombardier CRJ700

9 Q400

Bombardier Q400 Turboprop

On Board

You can take one piece of cabin luggage on board with you, so long as it fits into the overhead lockers, under the seat & does not weigh more than 7 kilograms or exceed the dimension limits. If there's no space in the aircraft the luggage may have to be placed into the hold.

If a passenger requires wheelchair assistance, this should be specified at the time of making the flight booking.

Special meals must be ordered at least 48 hours before your flight takes off. SA Express provides for vegetarian, halal, kosher, low-fat, Muslim and Hindu meals.

Flight Reviews

  • 2014-03-25 Rating 5/5 :"As a frequent flyer, both local & international, long haul and short, of all my chartered commuting both my partner and I fell in love with the Hoedspruit to Cape Town direct flight. The bush based airport with its friendly yet professional service adds to the pleasurable experience. We often end up convincingly making arrangements to depart from Hoedspruit to depart directly to the mother city as apposed to traveling all the way to JHB then catching the next available flight to Cape Town International airport."

  • 2013-12-10 Rating 5/5 : "My daughter, who lives in Cape Town, told me her fiancée from New Zealand had never been to a wildlife reserve so I hatched a plan for us to holiday in Kruger Park together..." .

  • 2013-12-10 Rating 5/5 : I went to Kruger once when I could afford it, by SA Express, to Nelspruit - what a great holiday, so little driving time, really the best. Thank u. I rated them in those days really a 5 - I was really surprised as it was the first time I flew SA Express (I must admit I do travel a bit and really have become quite critical of the airlines).

  • 2013-11-25 Rating 5/5 : "From the moment of boarding I felt the relaxed friendly atmosphere of the people traveling to East London..." .

  • 2013-11-25 Rating 4/5 : "We arrived in P.E mid-afternoon the 1st of November on a pleasant flight with SA Express from Cape Town for a blissful weekend getaway of 3 days..." .

  • 2013-10-26 Rating 5/5 : I recently used SAA Express between Cape Town and Kimberley after a couple of months abroad. It struck me again how different things are in South Africa. It was a short flight but the hostess checked on me often, she said she noticed how tired I looked and offered me an extra cup of coffee. She did more then her duty, and I wish I could remember her name because she deserved a special shout out! :) Anyway thanks SAA, the only airline to fly me home, to the city of Diamonds. Easy to book,competitive pricing, friendly and fast.

  • SA Express - best flight bargains via SouthAfrica.TO

    2013-08-14 Rating 5/5 : "I reside in Cape Town but am currently working in Bloemfontein, and write this email to thank SAA Express for their good service. Every time when I use SAA Flights, I get the best service and I enjoy every moment of it. I rate SA Express flights from Bloemfontein to Cape Town 5 out of 5..everytime when I ask for a seat next to the window they don't hesitate, I just get it..when you're boarding and get welcomed with a smile - it's so amazing."

  • 2013-07-24 Rating 4/5 : "I love flying, I love the view that you get when you're up there in the sky and I love the sinking feeling you get in your tummy when the plane is taking off from the runway, I love chewing gum to stop my ears from blocking, I love the entire experience..." .

  • I recently flew on an SA Express flight and while boarding in Port Elizabeth, the passenger who sat next to me in the last row – let's call him "Mr Grumpy" – started to shout at one of your flight attendants, Kimber Jonke. He insisted on stowing his baggage under his seat, but she stood her ground and said that this was not permitted as he was seated right next to an emergency exit. Well done to Kimber for keeping her cool and remaining professional! Sincerely, Lee Palmer (in June 2013 SA Express in-flight magazine)

South African Express aircraft parked at Cape Town International Airport

SA Express Reservations

You can make an SA Express flight booking by phone or on the internet:

Email reservations

Telephonic reservations

27 11 978 9905

Fax reservations


Group reservations

+27 11 978 9905

Customer Care

0861 729 227

When you're packing bear in mind the checked-in baggage limitations of 20kg for adults & children, and 10kg for infants (infants are also allowed a collapsible stroller).

In addition to the free checked in baggage allowance, passengers are allowed to take free hand luggage to a maxium of 7kg in weight and 52x40x23cm in volume.

Bloemfontein Airport

+27 86 160 6606

Gaborone (Botswana)

+267 390 5740

George Airport

+27 44 801 8434

Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport Head Office

+27 11 978 9900 (switchboard)

Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport

+27 15 793 3681

Kimberly Airport

+27 53 838 3337

Lubumbashi (DR Congo)

+243 971 37 000 (SAA Office)

Richards Bay Airport

+27 35 786 0301/2

Walvis Bay (Namibia)

+264 6420 0403

We advise to check in at least 90 minutes before the flight departure time for domestic flights, and at least 180 minutes before the flight departure time for international flights (including regional flights).

Once you've checked in, be sure that you are at the boarding gates at least 25 minutes before your flight (they close 15 minutes before departure).

South African Express plane at Cape Town Airport

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