Harrie Duff

Harrie Duff

Published: 24 Jul 2023

Source: Bivnze.wordpress.com

South African Airways is a renowned airline that has been connecting people to destinations across the globe for decades. With its headquarters in Airways Park, Johannesburg, this national flag carrier has become a symbol of South Africa’s aviation industry. From its humble beginnings in 1934, South African Airways has grown to become one of the largest and most respected airlines on the African continent.

In this article, we will delve into 17 fascinating facts about South African Airways. Whether you are a fan of aviation, planning a trip with the airline, or simply intrigued by the world of aviation, these facts will give you a deeper insight into the rich history, accomplishments, and milestones of this iconic airline. So fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a journey through the sky with South African Airways!

Table of Contents

The founding of South African Airways

South African Airways, often referred to as SAA, was founded in 1934, making it one of the oldest airlines on the African continent.

SAA’s international operations

As of now, South African Airways operates flights to over 40 international destinations across the world, including major cities like London, New York, Hong Kong, and Sydney.

Extensive domestic network

SAA has an extensive domestic network within South Africa, connecting major cities and popular tourist destinations like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, and Port Elizabeth.

Fleet size and composition

South African Airways has a diverse fleet of aircraft, including Airbus A320, A330, and A340, as well as Boeing 737 and 747, to cater to different flight routes and passenger demands.

The significance of Johannesburg as a hub

Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport serves as the main hub for South African Airways, connecting passengers to various destinations within South Africa and beyond.

SAA’s commitment to safety

Safety is a top priority for South African Airways. The airline adheres to stringent safety regulations and undergoes regular maintenance checks to ensure a safe flying experience for passengers.

The loyalty program – Voyager

South African Airways offers a loyalty program called Voyager, allowing frequent flyers to earn points that can be redeemed for various benefits, such as flight upgrades, lounge access, and extra baggage allowance.

SAA’s role in African aviation

South African Airways has played a significant role in developing and promoting aviation across Africa. It has formed partnerships with other African airlines to enhance connectivity within the continent.

Environmental sustainability initiatives

SAA is committed to environmental sustainability and has implemented various initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. This includes investing in fuel-efficient aircraft and adopting eco-friendly practices in its operations.

SAA’s renowned in-flight service

South African Airways is known for its exceptional in-flight service, providing passengers with a warm and welcoming experience. The cabin crew is renowned for their professionalism and attentiveness.

The importance of tourism

SAA plays a vital role in promoting tourism in South Africa by connecting international travelers to popular destinations such as the Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, and the Garden Route.

SAA’s collaboration with Star Alliance

South African Airways is a proud member of the prestigious Star Alliance, a global airline network that offers seamless travel options and benefits to passengers across multiple airlines.

South African Airways cargo services

Aside from its passenger operations, SAA also has a dedicated cargo division that provides efficient and reliable cargo transportation services domestically and internationally.

SAA’s commitment to corporate social responsibility

South African Airways actively supports various corporate social responsibility initiatives, focusing on education, healthcare, and environmental conservation to contribute to the welfare of local communities.

SAA’s multiple award-winning history

Over the years, South African Airways has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and accolades, recognizing its excellence in various aspects of the aviation industry.

The impact of COVID-19

Like many other airlines, South African Airways has faced challenges due to the global pandemic. However, the airline is actively working on restructuring to ensure its long-term sustainability.

SAA’s commitment to customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is paramount for South African Airways. The airline continually strives to enhance the overall travel experience, providing passengers with comfort, convenience, and excellent service.

We hope you found these 17 facts about South African Airways insightful. Whether you’re planning your next trip or simply interested in aviation, South African Airways continues to be a prominent player in the African airline industry.


In conclusion, South African Airways is an iconic airline that has a rich history and is known for providing excellent service to passengers. With its extensive network of destinations, state-of-the-art fleet, and commitment to safety, South African Airways continues to be a preferred choice for travelers both domestically and internationally. Whether you are planning a vacation, a business trip, or a special event, flying with South African Airways is sure to be a memorable experience. So, sit back, relax, and let South African Airways take you to your destination in style and comfort.


Q: What is the history of South African Airways?

A: South African Airways was founded in 1934 and has been operating flights ever since. It is one of the oldest airlines in Africa and has played a significant role in the development of commercial aviation in the region.

Q: How many destinations does South African Airways fly to?

A: South African Airways flies to more than 40 destinations worldwide. This includes destinations in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, and South America.

Q: What types of aircraft does South African Airways operate?

A: South African Airways operates a fleet that includes various models of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. These modern and fuel-efficient planes ensure a comfortable and safe journey for passengers.

Q: What amenities are offered on South African Airways flights?

A: South African Airways provides a range of amenities to enhance the travel experience. This includes comfortable seating, in-flight entertainment, delicious meals, and complimentary beverages.

Q: How can I book a flight with South African Airways?

A: You can book a flight with South African Airways through their official website, over the phone, or through travel agents. Online booking is convenient and allows you to find the best deals and manage your travel itinerary.

Q: What is South African Airways’ baggage policy?

A: South African Airways has specific baggage allowances based on the class of travel and the destination. It is advisable to check their website or contact their customer service for detailed information regarding baggage restrictions and allowances.

Q: Is South African Airways a member of any airline alliance?

A: Yes, South African Airways is a member of the Star Alliance, which is the largest airline alliance in the world. This allows passengers to enjoy seamless travel and benefit from global connectivity.

Q: What measures does South African Airways take to ensure passenger safety?

A: South African Airways prioritizes passenger safety and follows stringent safety protocols. This includes regular aircraft maintenance, crew training, and adherence to international safety standards set by regulatory authorities.