South African Airways

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South African Airways Booking

The South African Airways (SAA) was established in the year 1934, making it one of the oldest carriers in the South Africa. Before this time, it was known as the Union Airlines, but its name was changed to South African Airways, when it was purchased by the South-African government. This airline is the principal national flag carrier and the largest airline in the country.

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South African Airways Logo

The airline witnessed its first intercontinental operation in November 1945, when it began to navigate to and from Europe. This operation started as a weekly one, but soon became a daily affair when the demand from the passengers kept rising. Upon the entry of the jet age in the 1950s, the number of passengers practically doubled year after year.

In February 1969, South African Airways began fly to New York, even though they had to go through Rio de Janeiro first. Up to this point flights generally took longer periods (compared to what we witness now), due to many reasons. The first is that the jets being utilized for these travels were limited in terms of technological capability and could only carry a limited number of people over a limited range of distance, before stopping to refuel. Secondly, many countries (except South Africa’s neighbors), refused South Africa the use of their airspace and this necessitated very long and unnecessary detours, before arrival at the destination. In June 1974, South African Airlines, began to ply Asia, when they opened a flight route to Hong Kong.

Since that period, South African Airways has gone on to witness massive growth and development, so much so, that it is the only airline in South Africa, to have received the Skytrax 4-star ranking as well as receiving the award of the best African airline, for many years.

Flight Routes and Number of Fleet

South African Airways has a wide range of flight routes, with over 38 destinations all around the world, including regional, domestic and international destinations. Some of these destinations are Europe, China, Nigeria, Benin, London, DR Congo, Cameroon, among others.

South African Airways also boast an impressive fleet size, with over 50 different aircrafts, including the Boeing and Airbus aircrafts, which are approximately 10 years old.

Baggage Allowance and Limitations

Generally, the baggage allowance differs, depending on the class of flight (Economy or Business) and the baggage is assessed based on the dimension and the weight.

For Economy class, 1 baggage of not greater than 23 Kg and whose dimension does not exceed 90 cm X 72 cm X 45 cm is allowed.

For Business class, 2 luggage with a maximum weight of 32 Kg each, whose dimension is not more than 90 cm X 72 cm X 45 cm is allowed.

For both classes, every additional luggage results in extra cost of GBP 35 for economy class and GBP 75 for business class.

Partnerships and Code Share Agreements

South African Airways is a reputable member of the prestigious Star Alliance, which is the largest airline alliance in the whole world. South African Airways therefore has Codeshare agreements with most of these Star Alliance members. Apart from these, it also has partnerships with a host of other airlines outside the Star alliance, such as Air India, Air Canada, Emirates Airlines, and so on.

How to contact South African Airways?

Customer service: +1 800-722-9675
Reservations: +27 11 978 5313
Baggage tracking: +27 11 978 3733