South African Airways almost in bankruptcy, Full review of SAA

South African Airways seeks short-term governmental support for continued operations by the start of this week. There is a need for short-, medium- and long-term support in their company survival program.

Ethiopian Airlines are eager to assist with financial needs to South African Airlines.

Since 2011, South African Airways (SAA) had generated no revenue and is under a process of liquidation cover during the last year. Creditors have accepted a turnaround proposal, but the government has to find at least 10 billion rands ($580 million) of funds for this to continue operating. Since March, whenever the country placed a lockdown on COVID-19, the airline hasn’t operated commercial passenger flights.


South African Airlines has certified as a 4-Star Airline. SAA earned this rating for the quality it provides on its airport and onboard product and staff service.

Check-in and security

The employees in the SAA are known for their hospitality. The agents are available for any questions that the passengers may have and respond in kind and helpful way. Flying Business class allows passengers to access a premium security lane.


The Lounge is available for all the Star Alliance business and first-class passengers. It has a large food area that features breakfast items. This also includes essential continental items such as bread, bagels, and other pastries with various fresh fruits. A self-serve bar area with an espresso machine is also available for use for the passengers. The Lounge has equipped with comfortable recliner-esque chairs.

Entertainment on-flights:

On-flight, Business class seats have equipped with their entertainment systems. It has a personal 15″ TV with a variety of shows included and noise-canceling headsets. It has equipped with its USB and power port, which allows passengers to charge their devices.

In-flight meals:

The SAA strives to provide a quality service of a variety of meals with different courses. Passengers are served local wines that have been skillfully selected with a selection of canapés. Passengers could select among a variety of menus, and a complete course of meals is offered, from the appetizers to main courses and a dessert.


Business-class in SAA is fitted with fully reclining seats, which can be laid out to create a flatbed. The seats are made of the finest leathers and fabrics and acts as a cushy mattress. Luxurious pillows provided on each seat and a padded seat cover provide the passengers with extra comfort.

Inflight services: Business class

The business class has the best the airlines have to offer. The SAA airlines offer a variety of services to the Business class passengers. Passengers are welcomed aboard with a refreshing drink as soon as they step into the plane. Moreover, they are also provided with an amenity bag. This includes travel necessities and other indulgent cosmetics.


The Business class cabin has a reclining seat , which can be turned into a flatbed. The seats are made with the finest leather and fabrics. The seats can be turned into a soft and cushy duvet to provide a good night’s sleep. Passengers are provided with large pillows and padded seat covers. The seats are equipped with a built-in chair massager for the Airbus A340-600.

SAA has also acquired a new A330-300 model. This offers a newer design of the reclining flatbed, which is almost 2 meters long when extended. The updated cabin has a 1-2-1 layout, which allows for individual aisle access and more personal stowage. This also provides an increase in privacy for the passengers.

The seating area is spacious and equipped with their USB ports and a Laptop charging point. It also has an adjustable headrest with generous legroom. For entertainment, each seat fits with its own high-resolution, 15″ screen with noise cancellation headsets. In recent years, SAA has also introduced a new app. This allows the customers to download extra entertainment before their flight.

Local Wines and Dines:

In the SAA business class, the passengers are sure to experience restaurant quality à la carte dining. Alongside their medals, SAA also offers a variety of award-winning South African wines. The wines are selected each year at the Wine of the Year awards gala. Only 24 red wines and 24 white wines are chosen from a selection of over 500 different wines produced in South Africa. The airline also taps an international panel of experts to honor its favorite vintages. The airline’s South African cheese board and selected Wine provides a high-class dining experience.

For its domestic and regional routes, South African Airways operates its Airbus A319 and Airbus A320-200. The Airbus A319 has a seat configuration of 3-2 layout with 36″ seats while the Airbus A320-200 has a seat layout of 2-2 with 39″ seats.

Frequent Flyer Program

Frequent Flyer Program (FFP) of South African Airlines , which is known as Voyager. South African Airways has more than 35 airline partnerships, which include the Star Alliance global network. This grants the members access to more than 1300 destinations in more than 190 countries. SAA also has 20 non-airlines partnerships. This allows SAA to provide more services to its Voyager members.

There are different tiers in the Voyager, and with it, its benefits:

1. Blue

1. Silver

1. Gold

1. Platinum

1. Lifetime Platinum

To reach higher tiers, members have to earn “Tier miles.” This can be earned only on a few selected flights. The “Tier miles” are tracked whenever a member enters their unique SAA Voyager membership number at booking. With a higher tier, members can access the more benefits that come alongside the tier. As an elite status member, passengers can get access to many services. This includes chauffeur-driven services, lounge access, and even free bonus miles.

South African Airlines was established on 1 February 1934. Established was done after the acquisition of Union Airways by the South African government. South African Airlines(SAA) is the state-owned flag carrier of South Africa. South African Airlines has based its headquarters in Airways Park at O.R Tambo International Airport. It operates a hub-and-spoke network, which links the SAA over 40 local and international destinations. Including all the habitable six continents. On 10 April 2006, South African Airlines joined the Star Alliance. It became the first African carrier to sign with one of the three airline alliances.

Initially, the airline was overseen and controlled by South African Railways and Harbours Administration. During the apartheid, the airlines could not stopover in Africa. This was due to African countries’ Anti-apartheid sanctions, forcing the airlines to bypass the continent with long-range plans known by its Afrikaans name Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens. This name has since been the airlines.

In 1997, ASS rebranded itself and changed its name, plane livery, and image. It also introduced an online ticketing system. The “Flying Springbok” logo had been used as the airlines’ logo since the year it was formed, i.e., 1934 to 1997. This logo was discontinued after 1997. However, the word “Springbok” remains the airline’s radio callsign. In its place, the SAA replaced it with a new livery based upon the new national flag, with a sun motif. The airline’s name on its plane was also changed to South African.

However, in 2006, SAA was split from its parent company Transnet. This was the South African government’s plan to operate it as an independent airline. As of now, SAA remains one of the biggest state-owned enterprises in South Africa.

South African Airlines lives up to its expectation of being a Skytrax 4-star airline. The employees and staff of the airline are kind and helpful, and the services provided are exceptional. It is the most significant state-owned enterprise in South Africa. It is one of the biggest and busiest airlines in South Africa. As such, it provides flight services to more than 40 destinations across the six continents.

You May Also Like