South African Airways
- CAPA Analysis
- Route Maps
- Annual Reports
- Print Summary
- IATA Code
- ICAO Code
- Corporate Address
- Airways Park
O.R. Tambo International Airport
- Main hub
- Johannesburg Oliver R Tambo International Airport
- South Africa
- Business model
- Full Service Carrier
- Joined Alliance
- Association Membership
- Codeshare Partners
- Air Canada
Air New Zealand
All Nippon Airways
LAM – Mozambique Airlines
Virgin Atlantic Airways
With hubs at Johannesburg and Cape Town, South African Airways (SAA) is the flag carrier of South Africa and ranks among the largest airlines on the African continent. The carrier is wholly-owned by the South African government and operates an extensive network of services throughout Africa and international services to North America, South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. SAA became a member of the Star Alliance in 2006.
Location of South African Airways main hub (Johannesburg Oliver R Tambo International Airport)
484 total articles
34 total articles
South African Airways has become the latest carrier to join the embrace of the Gulf carriers, signing a codeshare agreement with Etihad which adds 22 new codeshare connections between Africa and the Middle East and follows another important codeshare agreement with India’s Jet Airways. The agreements mark a shift for cash-strapped SAA towards recognition that as an end-of-line carrier it must develop a more virtual long-haul network. Such partnerships are part of SAA’s long term turnaround strategy and allow the carrier to extend its network without the need to commit capital to expensive long-haul aircraft.
SAA acting CEO Nico Bezuidenthout said the codeshare agreements would grow the carrier’s revenue, with initial expectations that the Etihad partnership would add about ZAR100 million (USD11 million) a year to revenue.
Meanwhile Etihad will increase its already comprehensive African coverage with the addition of SAA which improves access to the continent’s biggest economy.
South African Airlines will spell out its future in a strategic plan to be presented to the South African Government in early Apr-2013. But history suggests that implementation of a new strategy is far from assured at the carrier which suffers from extensive government meddling.
A new CEO is also expected to be appointed by the end of Mar-2013, replacing Siza Mzimela who resigned, along with several top executives in Oct-2012 in the wake of a mass board resignation the previous month, citing a “breakdown in the relationship with the shareholder”, testifying to the deep divisions between management.
Details are emerging of what led to those events, with media reports suggesting a decision by Minister of Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, to block a ZAR10 billion (USD1.08 billion) decision to purchase a fleet of A350 aircraft to replace the carrier’s A340-600s was at the centre of the falling out between the board and management.
Meanwhile SAA survives on the basis of a ZAR5 billion (USD540 million) government guarantee granted on 02-Oct-2012 for a two year period effective 01-Sep-2012. The guarantee is intended to enable SAA to borrow on the financial markets and remain solvent.
fastjet is pushing ahead with expansion plans to create a pan-African low-cost carrier network, adding two more routes to its Tanzania domestic network in Mar-2013, applying to operate its Fly540 between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg and continuing to negotiate a deal to buy South African LCC 1time from its liquidators.
London Stock Exchange-listed fastjet will launch daily services to Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar and Mwanza on 18-Mar-2013, increasing its network by 50%. The carrier launched in Nov-2012 with two routes from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza and Kilimanjaro.
fastjet acquired the Fly540 aviation business of British-based African-focused investment firm Lonrho in Jun-2012, including its operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Angola and Ghana. The Fly540 operation will be progressively rebranded as fastjet and adopt its hybrid LCC model. The carrier has a licensing and consulting agreement with easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup, which also holds a 5% stake in the company
The carrier is, however, dealing with a raft of claims relating to the troubled takeover of Five Forty Aviation operations ranging from outstanding debts, including unpaid aircraft leases, airport fees, bank guarantees and taxes.
Africa's airline industry may not be large, but there is no shortage of activity as growing interest in the region's natural resources piques global attention.
Now Etihad Airways, which has consistently pursued an active alliance strategy, has concluded a reciprocal code share agreement with Kenya Airways, giving access to each others' networks and paving the way for greater collaboration and cost savings.
Kenya Airways will launch a new three-times weekly Nairobi-Abu Dhabi service from about Jul-2013 to improve connections in support of Etihad’s current daily service. The alliance is the latest from Etihad to cut across marketing alliance boundaries: Kenya Airways is a member of SkyTeam, complete with a 27% equity investment from KLM. Etihad and SkyTeam leaders, Air France-KLM concluded a "strategic alliance" in Oct-2012.
Nearly four months after the mass resignation of the South African Airlines board over unwelcome government interference, followed soon after by the departure of its CEO and several senior executives, the carrier has plunged to new lows with the suspension of its acting CEO.
Vuyisile Kona was suspended from his job on 11-Feb-2013 while “certain allegations that have come to the attention of the board” are investigated.
CEO of SAA LCC subsidiary Mango, Nico Bezuidenhout, has taken over as interim CEO, the third head of the company since 2009. He will now lead the committee developing the strategic plan that is now due by the end of Mar-2013.
Fastjet has secured its entry into the Kenyan market and its first expansion outside Tanzania and access to the key Nairobi hub by throwing a lifeline to collapsed local carrier Jetlink Express.
The two carriers signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 28-Jan-2013 to create a joint venture allowing fastjet to launch its brand in Kenya in the next few months.
Fastjet launched two domestic routes from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in Nov-2012 with A319 aircraft, rebranding and refleeting its newly acquired Fly540 operation in the country. The carrier also owns the Fly540 regional operations in Angola and Ghana.
The bigger Kenyan market will provide a strong launch pad for further Eastern African expansion, including the development of links with international carriers which are already being explored.
South African Airways Fleet Summary: as at 21-May-2013
South African Airways projected delivery dates for aircraft being purchased directly from manufacturers* as at 20-May-2013
South African Airways fleet as at 21-May-2013
South African Airways fleet breakdown for aircraft as at 21-May-2013
South African Airways average fleet age
South African Airways owned vs leased for aircraft (at 20-May-2013)
Most popular aircraft types
Great news! CAPA now offers email and phone contact functionality through its partnership with Gooey. Corporate access for this feature is USD1000 per annum.