South African Express

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South African Express
SA Express logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 24 April 1994
Hubs O.R. Tambo International Airport
Secondary hubs Cape Town International Airport
Focus cities King Shaka International Airport
Alliance Star Alliance (affiliate)
Fleet size 23
Destinations 19
Parent company Government of South Africa
Headquarters O.R. Tambo International Airport
Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa
Key people Victor Xaba (Acting CEO)[1]
Mark Shelley (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]

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.[3][4]

Corporate affairs

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


The holding company is South African Airline Holdings (Proprietary) Limited,[5] which is wholly owned by the Government of South Africa.

Business trends

Over recent years, South African Express was loss-making. Figures that had been made available were disputed, and the previously published accounts were withdrawn in November 2011 after accounting errors that dated back several years were discovered.[6] Fuller reports are now being published, and available figures (for years ending 31 March) are:

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Turnover (Rm) 1,857 n/a 1,640 2,022 2,296 2,562 2,591
Net Profits/Losses after tax (Rm) * −186.9 −365.9 0.7 −10.0 −132.0
Number of employees (at year end) 839 n/a 1,026 1,090 1,136 1,136 1,188
Number of passengers (m) 1.5 1.4 1.6 1.5 1.496 1.451
Passenger load factor (%) 67 64 61 65 65 64
Number of aircraft (at year end) n/a 24 24 24
Notes/sources [5][7] [6][8] [9] [9] [10] [10]

Profitability figures for 2008–09 are not shown above(*), as they are believed to have been restated since the publication of the Annual Report.[6] Revised figures for 2010–11 are from press reports in April 2013; the financial statements for 2012–13 were audited, but received a qualified audit opinion.[9]


Before the suspension of operations in May 2018, South African Express served the following destinations (as of February 2016):[11]

 Democratic Republic of the Congo
 South Africa


SA Express Bombardier CRJ200ER

Current fleet

The South African Express fleet consists of the following aircraft as of November 2017:[14]

Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
Boeing 737-500 1 110 Wet-lease
Bombardier CRJ-200ER 8 50
Bombardier CRJ-700ER 2 70
Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 10 74
Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia 2 29 Wet-lease
Total 23 0

Historic fleet

The airline fleet previously included the following aircraft (as of April 2013):[15]

See also


  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. ^ "Could be months before SA Express is off the ground again, says aviation body". Fin24. Retrieved 2018-05-29. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "SA Express 2008–09 Annual Report" (PDF). SA Express. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "SA Express troubles come to light". Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "SA Express 2008–09 Financial Performance" (PDF). SA Express. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "SA Express Annual Report 2012" (PDF). SA Express. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c "SA Express Annual Report 2013". SA Express. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "SA Express Annual Report 2015" (PDF). SA Express. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "SA Express Adds Pilansberg/Sun City Service from April 2015". 3 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "SA Express to Start Durban – Lusaka from July 2012". Airline Route. 18 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "South African Express Airways Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 2017-11-16. 
  15. ^ "South African Express Airways Fleet Details and History – Just Aviation". Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 

External links

Media related to South African Express Airways at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website
  • South African Express Airways fleet
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