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South African Airlines



South Africa has a variety of excellent airlines on offer for those travelling both within the country and those venturing abroad. Here is a list of the main airlines travelling within SA or to and from the country:

South African Airways
British Airways


Here is a list of SA’s most popular airlines along with a bit of history about each airline.

South African Airways, or SAA, is the national flag carrier of the country and is the largest airline within SA as well. SAA is an airline much loved by business people and frequently travellers and it flies to over 38 destinations around the world from OR Tambo International Airport – its home base. The airline started in 1934 and was known as the Suid-Afrikaansse Lugdiens (SAL) for many years until 1997. The company also owns Mango airlines, a low cost domestic carrier in South Africa.

Kulula is one of South Africa’s low cost carriers owned by Comair, a franchise of British Airways. This popular airline adds an element of humour to the air industry by means of its quirky and lively green-coloured advertisements. They are well known for their adverts stating that anyone can now fly (as a result of their reasonable prices). The name Kulula comes from the Zulu and Xhosa languages meaning ‘It’s easy’. Kulula was first established in 2001 and its headquarters are located in Kempton Park, Gauteng.

Owned by South African Airways, Mango is the country’s second low cost carrier and is located at OR Tambo Airport near Johannesburg. This airline was launched in October 2006. Mango now offers in-flight Wi-Fi to all passengers, provides in-flight entertainment (Mango TV) as well as a travel-oriented Mango Juice in-flight magazine.

British Airways was established over 90 years ago and is still going strong. This superb airline’s slogan is, “To Fly. To Serve” and it most definitely lives up to these words. The airline is run by Comair and is a full service domestic airline that offers both economy and business class flight options. Comair has been a franchise of BA since 1996.

Other major airlines that fly to/from South Africa include:

KLM, Lufthansa, Air France, Air Madagascar, Air Mauritius, Air Namibia, Cathy Pacific Airways, Delta Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Swiss International Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways and many more. For a full list of available airlines within South Africa view the ACSA (Airports Company of SA) website now.