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SAA network airlift downstream economic benefit expected to reach R 1 trillion over the next 20 years

South African Airways to host IATA Annual General Meeting in Cape Town 2-4 June

Johannesburg, 15 May 2013. South African Airways expects the downstream economic enablement benefit of its Group operations to total close on R 1 trillion over the next 20-years Acting Chairperson Ms Dudu Myeni said today. The estimate is based on direct and indirect growth in direct and downstream employment creation with a forecast of 88 000 South African jobs across on aggregate through all sectors including tourism, foreign direct investments, goods and services. SAA, as host of the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cape Town 2-4 June, plans to highlight the growing importance of aviation within the developmental state milieu.

“The outlook for growth in continental aviation is pegged at just over 6% for the next twelve months,” said Ms Myeni and, with Africa’s GDP forecast at 5% growth she indicated that a robust aviation sector will drive growth substantially. “With growing world interest in Africa’s rich mineral and agricultural resources as well as increased stability in the region, the stage is set for a giant leap forward in development and upliftment of the continent. Aviation will play an integral role as a socio-economic enabler during this process. ”

Led by the Shareholder Minister, the Honourable Minister Malusi Gigaba and supported by SAA’s Acting CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout, the SAA delegation at the IATA AGM will lead a conversation on the continental airlift and the Yamoussoukro declaration. “South African Airways next year celebrates eighty years in aviation, is a member of large global aviation grouping Star Alliance and as recently as last week signed a significant commercial partnership with the UAE’s (United Arab Emirates) national airline, Etihad Airways. According to an ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) model, the multiplier effect or catalytic demand of commercial aviation output triggers additional economic demand of $325 and 610 jobs in other industries for every $100 of output produced and every 100 jobs generated within aviation.  “Imagine the potential Africa holds and the immense impact of growing network alliances and commercial partnerships between airlines.”

Ms Myeni added that SAA, inspired by its current strategic direction, plans to up the ante on its asset utilisation while simultaneously growing its non-asset based codeshare partnerships. “Notwithstanding any fleet re-equipment decisions the airline still enjoys substantial latitude in terms of expanding its network offering to both travellers and business through strategic partnerships. It is our intention to take greater advantage of our Star Alliance membership whilst also seeking out non-aligned strategic partners.” Therefore, interim growth will not require additional investment beyond already planned own-metal growth.

“Clearly, socio-economic transformation, education and skills development to facilitate the anticipated growth is equally as important,” said Myeni. “We are an airline Group for all South Africans and for us meaningful interaction with tomorrow’s leaders, as illustrated in the aviation career day we hosted at Swartkops this past weekend, provides the opportunity to positively contribute to the future of both the aviation industry and our country.”

On behalf of the Board of SAA and all its employees, we would like to once again raise our National flag, and wish all the participants a productive AGM.

SAA will host the IATA AGM between 2-4 June in Cape Town. 

- ENDS -

About SAA
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 26 destinations across the continent, as well as major destinations within South Africa and internationally from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC). SAA is the winner of the 'Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for ten consecutive years and the winner of ‘Service Excellence Africa’ for three consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on - time airlines.

For more information contact:
SAA Group Corporate Affairs

Tlali Tlali
Executive: Group Corporate Affairs
Tel: +27 11 978 3819
Mobile: +27 82 333 3880
 Kabelo Ledwaba
Communication Manager (External)
Tel: +27 11 978 2760
Mobile: +27 83 414 4720

Twitter: @flysaa