News and Media Releases

2024

  • South African Airways (SAA) and the South African Air Force (SAAF) will, execute an aerial fly-past to celebrate President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration, over the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

    An SAA A330-300 and several military aircraft will execute the fly-past in what will be a demonstration of SAA’s tradition at the presidential inauguration as the proud carrier of the national flag.

    A fly-past is a deeply emotional experience, both for the airline and for the people who witness it. It is an act of every South African flying the flag with pride both physically and emotionally. It is SAA’s opportunity to demonstrate the best of what the airline does, showcasing the skill of our crew and the capability of our aircraft at moments when the nation comes together to mark important milestones.

    The historic fly-past will be operated by a team of five captains, under the leadership of SAA’s Captain Thomas Williamson, a certified flight instructor and head of training at the airline. He will be joined in the cockpit by Captains Gavin Durr, Koketso Rakokolo, Lee Peters and First Officer Nandi Moloko.

    SAA is grateful to its partners – PetroSA, Engen and the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) as part of honouring our vibrant nation, the pride of the airline, and the people of South Africa. 

    Fly-past preparations and the fly-past itself may be tracked on social media by following the hashtag #SpotSAA on social media platforms.

    ENDS

    Issued by Group Corporate Affairs 

  • Professor Lamola, interim CEO: “We welcome our national football teams on board, and we look forward to flying them to their various destinations to represent our nation.”

    Johannesburg, 11 June 2024South African Airways (SAA) is delighted to announce that it has entered into a new partnership with the South African Football Association (SAFA) to be the official carrier of South Africa’s national football teams with effect from 1 June 2024.

    SAA interim chief executive officer Professor John Lamola says the airline is proud to be the official carrier of the Association, including Africa Cup of Nations bronze medalists Bafana Bafana, African champions Banyana Banyana, and the junior national teams.

    “We are delighted to be associated with national sports brands such as Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana. This reaffirms our indisputable position as the national carrier and airline of choice for assignments of strategic importance to our nation.

    “We welcome our national teams on board, and we look forward to flying them around the world on national duty to represent our nation.  We know the players and officials will be well taken care of and will enjoy our award-winning hospitality that SAA is renowned for,” says Lamola.

    South African Football Association CEO Lydia Monyepao said the partnership will play a massive role in getting national teams to their destinations for international matches. “We welcome back SAA to help us get to key fixtures in destinations they fly to on a non-exclusive basis. Our approach is to stabilize our commercial partnerships with diverse partners to reduce our cost base and add into our coffers. SAA will play a key role as a strategic partner for our need to travel and compete internationally on a regular basis,” says Monyepao.

    The SAA/SAFA partnership, Lamola adds, is in line with the airline’s plans to grow in Africa. It’s a win-win for both SAFA and SAA. The national teams will fly direct to their various destinations, giving players all the rest and comfort, they need for a great performance on the pitch, while exposing the SAA brand to key African markets and on television screens of Africa’s football-loving audiences.

    “We look forward to carrying these athletes, and the hopes and championship dreams of the nation. It’s our pleasure and privilege to be the official carrier of our national football teams,” added Lamola.

    ENDS

    Media enquiries may be directed to:

     

    Mr Khaya Buthelezi

    Email: KhayaButhelezi@flysaa.com

    Mobile: +27 71 364 7296

    Web: www.flysaa.com

     

  • Johannesburg, 4 June 2024 - In May 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection (“US-DOT”) imposed a civil claim against South African Airways (SAA) on behalf of passengers complaining about delayed refunds on their tickets purchased to and from the United States for flights that were cancelled during the Covid grounding of airline operation. SAA was one of several global airlines that faced the same penalty.

    SAA is pleased that it has reached an amicable settlement with the U.S. Department of Transportation) on the matter.  From the original penalty claim amount, SAA has accepted the settled imposition of a civil penalty of US$300 000 (roughly R5,4million) to void protracted litigation. The penalty will be paid to the US Treasury in tranches over 540 days of the issuance date of the consent order.

    SAA cancelled or significantly changed the flights due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. SAA’s situation was exacerbated by the fact that the company went into administration by Business Rescue Practitioners in December 2019.

    In its continuous engagements with the US-DOT, SAA has always contended that notwithstanding the challenges of Business Rescue and the COVID-19 pandemic, SAA took extraordinary steps during 2019-2022 to process refunds for passengers whose flights were cancelled or significantly delayed by the airline, not only in the USA but throughout SAA’s markets.

    Between April 2021 and March 2023 SAA has paid around R2.2 billion in Covid period unflown tickets refunds.

    “We are pleased that this matter has now been finalised. The intention of the parties was always to find an amicable way of closing this case. We look forward to normalising relations with our customers in the US and welcoming them aboard SAA when we resume flights to the Americas in the future,” said Koekie Mbeki, SAA’s Chief Legal Counsel.

    ENDS

    Media enquiries may be directed to:

     

    Ms. Vimla Maistry                              or    Mr Khaya Buthelezi

    Email: vimlamaistry@flysaa.com              KhayaButhelezi@flysaa.com

    Mobile: +27 83 324 3620                          +27 71 364 7296

     

    Web: www.flysaa.com

     

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  • Tomorrow, 25 May 2024, Africans from all corners of the Continent will celebrate 60 years since the founding of the Organisation of African Unity or African Union on 25 May 1963.

     

    This is a momentous occasion for Africa to observe Africans taking steps that bring us closer to realizing the vision of pan-Africanism as espoused by Nkwame Nkruma, the first President of an independent Ghana in 1954.

    As South African Airways (SAA), we are excited to play our part to strengthen socio-economic and cultural ties among Africans through intra-African travel and trade.

    On the back of the recent launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, the reenergized SAA plays a critical role to accelerate leisure and business travel across the African continent, supporting continent-wide efforts to integrate African markets.

    For example, our recent codeshare agreement with Kenya Airways – which established direct flights between Nairobi and major South African cities – is an example of this effort.  Work is underway to establish a Joint Venture (JV) operation with Kenyan Airways between Johannesburg and Nairobi.

     

    It is also envisioned that the successful conclusion of the JV will lead to the establishment of a Pan African Airline Group. This in addition to codeshare agreements with Air Mauritius, Egyptair, Ethiopian Airlines and LAM Mozambique in Africa.

     

    Connecting Africa’s key markets

     

    Since 2021, we have launched direct flights to Windhoek in Namibia, Lusaka in Zambia, Victoria Falls and Harare in Zimbabwe, Accra in Ghana, Lagos in Nigeria, Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Plaisance in Mauritius. These are exciting times for Africa and certainly for SAA.

    We also welcome ongoing work by the African Union’s Agenda 2063 on the creation of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM). South Africa is one of 34 signatories to the SAATM.

    Growing across Africa means businesses need the means to move products, services, and people quickly and safely across the continent. Air travel is key to that, especially for countries where it’s costly and time-consuming to move products across borders using rail or road links.

    SAA’s careful, sustainable recovery is happening as Africa stands on the cusp of integration and opportunity. We are determined to do our part to accelerate these efforts.

    Happy Africa Day Everyone!

    Prof. M. John Lamola

    Interim Chief Executive Officer

  • Johannesburg, 17 April 2024—South African Airways (SAA) welcomes yesterday’s order issued by Judge Unterhalter of the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, regarding a matter brought against SAA by Airlink.

    Judge Unterhalter’s order was  by mutual agreement of the parties without any admission of guilt on the part of the respondents. It orders the removal of the matter from the urgent court roll to be dealt with by the ordinary courts.

    Airlink had alleged that a valued SAA staff member who resigned from Airlink in September 2023 and rejoined SAA had shared commercially sensitive information with SAA.

    The court order provides that, while a court date is awaited, SAA accedes to destroy any alleged commercially sensitive information. SAA contends that it does not need information from any other airline to run its operations and that the information Airlink claims to have proprietary rights to, is generally available on airline industry platforms.

    The order contains an explicit declaration that, “The Twelfth Respondent [SAA] does not concede that Airlink is entitled to such relief.”

    “SAA is pleased with the conclusion of this matter. In the event that Airlink elects to take the matter further, SAA will vigorously defend its case. It is unfortunate that certain media reports bordered on a campaign of defamation against SAA,” said SAA’s interim CEO, Professor John Lamola.

    Lamola adds that, “As a responsible national flag carrier with an interest to  promote  a vibrant and competitive South African airline industry, SAA is pursuing its internal processes in dealing with all aspects of Airlink’s allegations. These processes are now subject to the sub judice rule, as the matter is being litigated in court.” he added.

    ENDS

    Media enquiries may be directed to:

     

    Ms. Vimla Maistry

    Email: vimlamaistry@flysaa.com

    Mobile: +27 83 324 3620

    Office: +27 11 978 2303

    Web: www.flysaa.com

  • Singapore, 08 April 2024 - Since its founding in 1997, Star Alliance and its member airlines have maintained a significant presence in Northern Europe. Loyal customers who travel to and from Sweden, Denmark, and Norway have come to appreciate the many benefits of the superior customer experience and loyalty reciprocation that Star Alliance member airlines proudly provide globally, and in Scandinavia.

    SAS Scandinavian Airlines plans to exit Star Alliance on August 31, 2024. On behalf of our member airlines, we thank SAS and its employees for contributing to the superior customer experience for which Star Alliance is globally renowned.

    During this transition, the experience of our customers is top of mind. Star Alliance, its member airlines, and SAS intend to ensure that this change is seamless for customers, particularly with respect to previously booked flights. Members of frequent flyer programs should consult their individual airline programs directly with specific questions related to mileage accrual and redemption for travel within the Star Alliance network.

    Going forward, 17 Star Alliance member airlines will continue to offer direct flights to and from Scandinavia, including Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, TAP Air Portugal, Thai, Turkish Airlines, and United. These Star Alliance member airlines will operate more than 3,700 flights per month to Scandinavia from 23 hubs worldwide, offering customers connections to more than 1,100 international destinations — the most by any airline alliance. In the future, Star Alliance member airlines may bring additional service to Scandinavia.

    On September 1, Star Alliance will have 25 member airlines dedicated to fulfilling and enhancing their customers’ global journeys. Star Alliance continues to hold its position as the world's largest and foremost global airline alliance, providing over 17,000 daily departures and serving more than 1,100 airports across 187 countries. In Scandinavia, Star Alliance and its member airlines will continue to provide customers with a wide choice of travel options and focus on delivering a superior customer experience.

    About Star Alliance

    The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance, based on a customer value proposition of global reach, worldwide recognition, and seamless service. Since inception, it has offered the largest and most comprehensive airline network, with a focus on improving customer experience across the Alliance journey.

    The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, and United.

    Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 17,000 daily flights to almost 1,200 airports in 187 countries. Further connecting flights are offered by Star Alliance Connecting Partner Juneyao Airlines.

  • Johannesburg (8 April 2024) – This past weekend, South African Airways (SAA) has advertised five interim executive management positions, including that of the Chief Executive Officer.

    Over the past three years SAA has been led by a talented and committed interim executive management team that has specifically been tasked with steering the airline until the anticipated Strategic Equity Partner (SEP) could come on board. As the pursuit of this transaction with Takatso Aviation has now been terminated, the Board has deemed it necessary to have a properly constituted and permanent executive team to pilot the airline’s strategic plan into the future.

    “The filling of these posts is a positive and decisive step aimed at providing organizational stability and predictable direction of the growth plans and expansion plans currently being pursued”, says Derek Hanekom, Chairperson of the Interim Board of Directors.

    “The interim executive management team has admirably rebuilt the airline as it emerged out of business rescue with the understanding that their posts would remain interim positions until a new controlling shareholder appoints its management team. All of them, including the Interim CEO, Prof John Lamola, supports this development as a necessary and natural step in strengthening SAA’s position in both the local and international aviation markets.”

    “SAA’s strong recovery would not have been possible without the dedication and passion of every single valued SAA employee. The commitment of all employees who serve as the backbone of the airline and who believe in the growth of SAA is highly appreciated by the SAA Board,” added Hanekom.

    Applications for SAA’ Chief Executive Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Human Capital Officer, South African Airways Technical CEO, and Air Chefs CEO closes on Friday, 26 April 2024. Suitably qualified and interested candidates, including the present incumbents, are invited to apply.

    ENDS

    Media Enquiries may be directed to:

     

    Ms. Vimla Maistry

    Email: vimlamaistry@flysaa.com

    Mobile: +27 83 324 3620

    Office: +27 11 978 2303

    Web: www.flysaa.com

    SAA social media:

     

  • Johannesburg, 13 March 2024 - South African Airways (SAA) is pleased to announce the implementation of customer-driven changes to its flight and route schedule, aimed at improving convenience for its customers.

    SAA has undertaken a schedule review of its upcoming Perth, Australia route to identify areas for enhancement. Customers travelling from Perth can expect more convenient departure and arrival times, allowing for easier domestic and regional connections and reduced travel times. This change also assists connecting customers from New Zealand and other cities in Australia. Customers out of Perth, will benefit from an overnight flight which allows better rest on your journey so that you are refreshed and ready to immerse yourself in true African hospitality.

    From its inaugural flight on Sunday 28 April 2024, flights from Johannesburg to Perth will depart at 20h55 and arrive at 12h20 the following day. The schedule for outward bound remain unchanged.

    On Monday 29 April 2024, the inaugural flight from Perth to Johannesburg will now depart Perth at 23h50 and arrive in Johannesburg at 04h45 on Tuesday 30 April 2024. All times are local for both Johannesburg and Perth.

    Customers already booked on the earlier departure time from Perth, will be accommodated on the flight on the same day. Customers who may be adversely affected should call the SAA call centre in Johannesburg on +27 11 978 1111 and in Perth on +61 2 9286 8960 for assistance with the rebooking and reissuing of their tickets.

    "We are thrilled to introduce this enhancement to our flight schedule, which directly addresses feedback and preferences from our customers," says SAA’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mr Tebogo Tsimane. "At SAA, we are dedicated to providing exceptional service and a seamless travel experience to meet the needs of all our customers."

    With these adjustments on the Perth route, passengers are assured that their feedback will continue to shape and influence the airline's commitment to customer centricity.

    The changed full schedule for the time being is:

     

    Flight No.

    Effective Date

    End

    Date

    Frequency

    Departure Airport

    Dept. Time

    Arrival Airport

    Arrival Time

    Block Time Duration

    SA 0280

    28-Apr-24

    24-Oct-24

    Tuesday Thursday Sunday

    JNB

    20:55

    PER

    12:20+1

    09:25

    SA 0281

    29-Apr-24

    25-Oct-24

    Wednesday

    Friday

    Monday

    PER

    23:50

    JNB

    04:45+1

    10:55

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    For more information, visit www.flysaa.com

    ENDS

    Media enquiries may be directed to:

     

    Ms. Vimla Maistry

    Email: vimlamaistry@flysaa.com

    Mobile: +27 83 324 3620

    Office: +27 11 978 2303

    Web: www.flysaa.com

    SAA social media:

     

     

  • Johannesburg, 6 March 2024 - South African Airways (SAA) is pleased to announce that the seasonal route to Gqeberha, formally known as Port Elizabeth will continue as a permanent destination on the airlines flight itinerary beyond 31 March 2024.

    This decision reflects SAA’s commitment to expanding its network not only for regional and international, but also for domestic customers and aims at improving convenience for its customers.

    SAA offers two return flights per day, seven days a week - between OR Tambo International Airport and Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport in Gqeberha.

    "We are delighted that SAA is able to keep Qqeberha as a permanent route offering and provide a seamless travel experience to meet the needs of all our customers," says SAA’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mr Tebogo Tsimane.

    Below is the daily flight schedule.

     

    Flight

    Number

    Origin

    ETD

    Destination

     

    ETA

     

    SA0405

    JNB

    11:25

    PLZ

    13:00

    SA0419

    JNB

    16:00

    PLZ

    17:35

    SA0410

    PLZ

    13:30

    JNB

    15:05

    SA0422

    PLZ

    18:05

    JNB

    19:40

     

    For more information, visit www.flysaa.com

    ENDS

    Media Enquiries may be directed to:

     

    Ms. Vimla Maistry

    Email: vimlamaistry@flysaa.com

    Mobile: +27 83 324 3620

    Office: +27 11 978 2303

    Web: www.flysaa.com

    SAA social media:

     

Please view previous news and media releases here.