South African Airways – SAA

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In February 1934 the South African government took over the assets and liabilities of Union Airways and named the airline South African Airways. South African Airways (SAA) is South Africa's flag carrier and largest domestic and international airline company, with hubs in Cape Town and Johannesburg.


SAA operates intercontinental routes to São Paulo, New York City, Washington, D.C., London, Frankfurt, Munich, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Perth. Most international and intercontinental flights operate from Johannesburg. The only intercontinental routes from Cape Town are to London and Frankfurt. SAA also operates numerous domestic and regional routes.

Southern African Destinations:


Windhoek (Hosea Kutako Airport)


Gaborone (Sir Seretse Khama Airport)

South Africa

  • Cape Town (Cape Town International Airport) Hub
  • Durban (King Shaka International Airport)
  • East London (East London Airport)
  • Johannesburg (OR Tambo Airport) Hub
  • Port Elizabeth (Port Elizabeth Airport)

General SAA Information


South African Airway's fleet applies very high safety standards in maintaining their passenger aircrafts with an average age of five years. SAA's aircrafts assures their passengers of comfort, reliability, modern interiors ans technologically advanced features. In 2006 all their aircrafts, except for the A319 and B737-800 range, were fitted with lie-flat seats for even more comfort.

Passenger Aircrafts

Some of SAA's aircrafts have lie-flat seat that offers you 24 inch width in flat bed position and are made of a combination of leather and fabric. Each passenger has a personal reading light with four variable settings. While seated in comfort with enough leg rest, passengers can view the latest blockbuster movies on a llarge 10.4 inch touch screen.

Cargo Planes

South African Cargo is the airline's freight branch that operates cargo services with a Boeing 737-200F and a 737-300QC to domestic and regional destinations.

South African Airways Alliance

South African Airlines has formed a strong alliance with South African Express and Aouth African Airlink. Although these other two airlines operate independantly of SA Airways, their flights are incorporated within the alliance and they all use SAA's reservations and check-in facilities.

South African Airways Sub Carriers

South African Express

In April 1994, SA Express Airways became part of the strong South African Airways Alliance and also one of the fastest growing domestic and regional airlines in Africa. They are a regional airline with route networks covering most of the major local and regional cities. The airline caters for the business and the leisure traveler by offering flights within South Africa as well as services between Botswana, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

South African Airlink Airways

South African Airlink Airways operates as a franchisee of South African Airways but using its own visible brand. Airlink links smaller towns to the major city hubs and was placed on the IATA Register in February 2008. They have 28 destinations in the SADC sub-region, 3500 flights per month and carries almost 1 million passengers per annum.

The SAA Museum Society

In 1986 the South African Airways Museum was founded and has been proactive in perserving the history of South African Airways ever since. A collection of historic items such as photographs, aircraft instruments, timetables and other documentation are displayed in the display hall. It is open to public and regularly participates in open days.

South African Airways Commercial

Compare SAA Flights