South African Airways (SAA), which is one of the oldest airlines in existence, this month celebrates 83 years of air transport services.
“This month South African Airways (SAA), which was formed in February 1934, marks 83 years of service to the South African people and to the world,” the national carrier said on Sunday.
When it was launched, the carrier had only 40 staff members and a handful of aircraft. In its first year of operation, SAA serviced only 3000 passengers. Over the years the airline has evolved to where it now transports over nine million passengers and 114 000 tonnes of freight per year.
“SAA connects South Africa to all of its major trade and tourism partners and, in doing so, supports 34 000 jobs within the country and contributes R9.2 billion which is approximately 0.3% of the national Gross Domestic Product every year,” SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said.
“We are the longest serving network carrier in Africa with a proven track record. Our route network gives more people greater access to air travel than ever before, and the world-class customer experience we offer has ensured that we remain an airline of choice for so many travellers.”
Through its affiliation with Star Alliance which is the world’s largest international airline network, SAA provides its customers with access to 1300 airports in 190 countries.
With a fleet of 57 aircraft, SAA is also one of the leading carriers in Africa, serving 74 destinations in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and SAA’s low-cost carrier, Mango. The partnership serves the entire continent and nine intercontinental routes.
“SAA is a globally ranked 4-star airline and continues to deliver excellent products and service. The airline wins numerous awards every year and boasts being awarded the best airline in Africa for 14 consecutive years.”
The airline is set to continue to play a vital role as a catalyst for growth and development across the continent by providing seamless passenger and cargo transport services. – SAnews.gov.za