Latest News

Johannesburg, South Africa, April 10, 2006

Star Alliance welcomes South African Airways First African airline to join an alliance

At a ceremony held in Johannesburg today, Star Alliance, the airline network for Earth™, welcomed South African Airways (SAA) as its 18th member into the alliance. Star Alliance is the first aviation alliance to include an African airline and SAA is the first airline from Africa to have joined such an alliance.

Commenting on today's event, Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance CEO said: "On behalf of all member carrier CEOs gathered here today, it is with great pleasure that we welcome SAA into our family. With SAA we do not only gain a further member, but we more importantly provide improved access to an entire continent to our customers."

With immediate effect, customers travelling on flights operated by SAA will benefit from all the advantages which the members of the alliance offer. These include among others, a network of more than 15,500 daily flights serving 842 destinations in 152 countries, through check-in, mileage redemption and collection and access to more than 660 lounges.

"We welcome this new course for our airline that brings tremendous advantages to our passengers. Membership of this alliance places us amongst the top airlines in the world. We are an award winning airline, and vibrantly African. Our footprint on the continent reflects our African spirit, qualities that we wish to introduce to the rest of the world. Proudly South African, our membership will allow us to show-off our African culture to the rest of the world," said Khaya Ngqula, SAA CEO.

SAA adds key new routes and destinations to the Star Alliance Network. First and foremost its wide-ranging network across Africa will allow customers access to 21 destinations on the African Continent.

Additionally, SAA provides flights across both the North- and South Atlantic, thereby enhancing flights options between North and South America and South Africa and making Star Alliance the only alliance to offer this link in the network.

Members in SAA’s Voyageur Frequent Flyer Programme can now collect and redeem miles when travelling on flights operated by any of the other Star Alliance member carriers. The accumulated miles will also count towards their tier status – Star Alliance Gold and Star Alliance Silver – which entitles customers to a range of benefits across the alliance network.

About Star Alliance
Star Alliance was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer customers worldwide reach and a smooth travel experience. Star Alliance was voted Best Airline Alliance by Skytrax in 2003 and 2005. The members are Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, THAI, United, US Airways and VARIG Brazilian Airlines. Regional member carriers Adria Airways (Slovenia), Blue1 (Finland) and Croatia Airlines enhance the global network. Overall, Star Alliance offers more than 15,500 daily flights to 842 destinations in 152 countries.

About South African Airways
South African Airways (SAA) is the leading airline on the African continent, and consistently, and annually receives awards from numerous top-rated publications and international organisations for Best African Airline. The airline is 72 years old and was one of the first national airlines in the world. SAA is owned by Transnet, the South African government transport body. The airline's 11 000 employees hold a 2% stake in the company. The airline carries more than 7 million passengers a year on a route network that serves 34 cities in 26 countries. SAA has a fleet of 58 aircraft including brand new Airbus A340-600, A340-300E and A319 aircraft. SAA Technical, the largest maintenance facility in Africa, performs maintenance work for more than 40 major airlines.