Airlines in South Africa

Flying somewhere and not sure which airline to take? You can now search through and compare many airlines in South Africa to find the best deal to suit your time and your wallet.
Simply click on the image below to be taken to the flight comparison tool. The Comparison Tool will compare all the airlines in South Africa, and includes both domestic and international airlines.

Compare Airlines in South Africa

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Domestic Airlines in South Africa

There are many airlines in South Africa and this includes homegrown airlines as well as foreign airlines. The seven airlines that offer domestic flights in South Africa include: South African Airways and British Airways as premium domestic airlines; SA Express and SA Airlink who offer domestic flights to East London, Richards Bay and other smaller airports; kulula and Mango airlines who specialise in cheap flights in South Africa; and the newest addition to the domestic flights operators in South Africa, FlySafair who launched in October 2013 with one route, namely flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg and flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

Whilst the South African domestic flights industry may not be as competitive as India or China (with demand being substantially lower), the seven domestic airlines in South Africa ensure that there are daily flights between South Africa’s major cities as well as to some of its smaller towns.

If you would prefer not to fly economy class and are looking for premium class, then British Airways, South African Airways and it’s subsidiary, SA Express are your choice of domestic airlines in South Africa. However, if you are more interested in cheap domestic flights, then Mango, kulula and the latest addition to the South African Airline industry, FlySafair are your ticket to the cheapest flight. All flight operators offer online booking services, with payment by credit card or directly into the relevant bank account.

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is in charge of managing and operating the seven larger South African airports, namely: OR Tambo International (Johannesburg), Cape Town International, King Shaka International Airport (Durban), Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Upington International airports; and the airports in East London, George and Kimberley. They are also responsible for the airport tax that gets charged by the different airlines in South Africa.

kulula Airlines

kulula offers cheap flights between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town, Durban, George, Port Elizabeth, and Nelspruit. The airline also offers flights from Johannesburg’s Lanseria Airport to Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and George. They only operate economy class flights as their big brother, British Airways, offers premium class domestic flights. kulula have partnered with Discovery to offer further discounts on tickets for Discovery Vitality members.

Contact kulula: 0861 kulula / 0861 585852

Mango Airlines

Mango Airlines is operated by SAA. Mango offers cheap flights between Johannesburg, Cape Town Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Bloemfontein. They have joined kulula at Lanseria Airport and in September 2013 started flying direct between OR Tambo International (Johannesburg) and Zanzibar. A great perk offered by Mango is a complimentary newspaper (and occasionally, a magazine) to keep you occupied on your flight.

Contact Mango: 0861 1 MANGO (0861 162 646)

FlySafair Airlines

FlySafair is the newest low-cost passenger airline in South Africa. FlySafair started flying 17 October 2013, offering cheap flights between Joburg and Cape Town. Initially, they operated six daily flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg, growing to ten during November 2013. They guarantee that they will be a breath of fresh air for passengers and have labelled themselves “a high value airline”. Whilst being new to the passenger industry, Safair have been around for over four and a half decades, and are positioning themselves as a premium service cheap flights airline.

Contact FlySafair: 087 135 135 1

South African Airways

SAA is the national airline in South Africa. South African Airways flies locally between Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Bloemfontein, George, Pietermaritzburg, Mthatha, Kimberley, Polokwane, Richards Bay, Upington, Nelspruit/Kruger, Hoedspruit, Phalaborwa, Mmabatho, Manzini and Maseru – as well as into Southern Africa, the rest of Africa and the world. It offers economy, business and first class cabins.

Contact SAA: 0861 FLY SAA (0861 359 722)

SA Express

SA Express is a subsidiary of SAA and specialises in flights to smaller towns or cities. SA Express flies locally between Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, George, Hoedspruit, Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Nelspruit – as well as into Botswana, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Flights are in economy, business and first class.

Contact SA Express: +27 11 978 9900

SA Airlink

SA Airlink is a subsidiary of SAA and specialises in flights to regional African cities. SA Airlink flies locally between Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, George, Hoedspruit, Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Nelspruit – as well as into Botswana, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Flights are in economy, business and first class.

Contact SA Airlink: 0861 606 606

British Airways

British Airways in South Africa is operated by Comair Limited, who also own and operate kulula airlines. British Airways offers return flights to and from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and the Kruger National Park in economy, premier economy, business/club or first class. Whilst it is often the more expensive choice of airline it offers a nostalgic flight experience of how air travel used to be before the rise of the low-cost airline industry.

Contact British Airways: +27 11 441 8400

International Airlines in South Africa

Apart from these, many international airlines fly to and provide international flights from South Africa. All of the airlines use Jet Engine technology and most have very new fleets. Air France has recently called itself, “The most modern fleet in Europe” referring to the arrival of 3 new Boeing 777-300ER and 2 Airbus A380s in 2011. This bold endeavour meant that it is a rival to South Africa Airways who prides itself as a leader in airline fleets, winning African Cargo Airline of the year in 2011.

Other international airlines in South Africa include:

Air France
LAM Airways
Virgin Australia
Air Mauritius
Air Namibia
Continental Airlines
Egypt Air
Qantas Airways
Singapore Airlines
Swiss Air
Thai Airways
United Airlines
Virgin Atlantic Airlines
Emirates Airlines
South African Airways
Mango Airlines
kulula Airlines
British Airways
SA Express
Kenya Airways
Delta Airlines
Malaysian Airlines
Inter Air
Jet Airways
Cathay Pacific
Air Malawi

There has been an international trend in the airline industry towards the formation of airline groups or alliances. One of the largest of these ‘groups’ is the Star Alliance which currently includes SAA. Alliance member airlines use other airlines in the group to increase their route portfolio by passing passengers onto each other if they do not fly certain routes and enable improved flexibility in destinations for passengers. This allows the airlines to better manage prices and passenger flexibility.

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