South African Express

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South African Express
SA Express logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded24 April 1994
HubsO.R. Tambo International Airport
Secondary hubsCape Town International Airport
Focus citiesKing Shaka International Airport
AllianceStar Alliance (affiliate)
Fleet size24
Company sloganWe Fly For You
Parent companyGovernment of South Africa
HeadquartersO.R. Tambo International Airport
Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa
Key peopleSiza Mzimela (Acting CEO)[1]
Mpho Selepe (CFO)

South African Express Airways SOC Ltd, known as South African Express or simply SA Express, is a state-owned airline based in South Africa that started operations on 24 April 1994. Although the airline is operationally independent of South African Airways, its flights are incorporated within the strategic alliance with South African Airways. The airline has its head office at Airways Park, Jones Road, next to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.[2]

SA Express is loss-making, and its accounts have been qualified by the auditors since 2012/13; the 2016/17 accounts remain unaudited (as at July 2019) and have been subject to parliamentary questions.[3]

On 24 May 2018 the South African Civil Aviation Authority grounded the airline due to "serious safety risks". They reported it could be months before the airline was operational again.[4][5] Flights resumed on 23 August, following the issuance of airworthiness certificates for a portion of the airline's fleet.[6]

Corporate affairs[edit]

A former SA Express Bombardier Dash 8-Q300 in old colors


The holding company is South African Airline Holdings (Proprietary) Limited,[7] which is wholly owned by the Government of South Africa.

Business trends[edit]

South African Express has been loss-making over recent years; figures that had been made available were disputed, and the previously published accounts were withdrawn in November 2011 after accounting errors that dated back several years were discovered.[8] Some fuller reports have been published since then, although figures are frequently restated in the following year's Report. Available figures (for years ending 31 March) are:

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Turnover (Rm) 1,857 n/a 1,640 2,022 2,296 2,562 2,594 2,391 2,310
Net profit/loss after tax (Rm) * −186.9 −365.9 0.7 −10.0 −169.4 16.9 −234.0
Number of employees (at year end) 839 n/a 1,026 1,090 1,136 1,188 1,127 1,036
Number of passengers (m) 1.5 1.4 1.6 1.5 1.5 1.4 1.3
Passenger load factor (%) 67 64 61 65 65 62 64
Number of aircraft (at year end) n/a 24 24 24 22
Notes/sources [7][9] [8][10] [11] [11] [12] [12][13] [13] Unaudited

Notes: Profitability figures for 2008/09 are not shown above(*), as they are believed to have been restated since the publication of the Annual Report.[8] Revised figures for 2010/11 are from press reports in April 2013; the financial statements for 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 were audited, but received a qualified audit opinion.[11][13][3]


South African Express served the following destinations (as of November 2018):[15][16]

 Democratic Republic of the Congo
 South Africa


Current fleet[edit]

The South African Express fleet consists of the following aircraft as of November 2018:[17]

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
Bombardier CRJ200 10 50
Bombardier CRJ700 2 70
Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 10 74
Total 24 0

Historical fleet[edit]

The airline fleet previously included the following aircraft (as of April 2013):[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sudden departure of South African Express' Inati Ntshanga adds to uncertainty".
  2. ^ "Legal Archived 2 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine." SA Express. Retrieved on 6 February 2011. "Street Address: 4th Floor Offices, West Wing, Pier Development, Johannesburg International Airport"
  3. ^ a b c "SA Express irregular, fruitless & wasteful expenditure: hearing with Minister & Deputy Minister". Parliamentary Monitoring Group. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Could be months before SA Express is off the ground again, says aviation body". Fin24. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  5. ^ "SACAA suspends SA Express flights over safety concerns". Moneyweb. 24 May 2018.
  6. ^ "South African regional SA Express cleared to restart flights". Air Transport World. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b "SA Express 2008–09 Annual Report" (PDF). SA Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  8. ^ a b c "SA Express troubles come to light". Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  9. ^ "SA Express 2008–09 Financial Performance" (PDF). SA Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  10. ^ "SA Express Annual Report 2012" (PDF). SA Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  11. ^ a b c "SA Express Annual Report 2013". SA Express. Archived from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  12. ^ a b "SA Express Annual Report 2015" (PDF). SA Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  13. ^ a b c "SA Express Annual Report 2016" (PDF). SA Express. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  14. ^ "SA Express faces bleak situation - parliamentary committee". Fin24. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Route Network". Fly SA Express.
  16. ^ Destinations and fleet. "SA Express". Domestic Flights South Africa. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  17. ^ (14 March 2017). "Fleet". Fly SA Express.
  18. ^ "South African Express Airways Fleet Details and History – Just Aviation". Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.

External links[edit]

Media related to South African Express Airways at Wikimedia Commons