FlySafair (pronounced: “fly-saf-air”) began operations in October 2014, but the company behind the airline, Safair, has been in operation for over 50 years. Here’s a bit of history on both entities.
Safair, established in 1965, is one of Africa’s foremost specialist aviation companies offering a wide range of specialist airlift services. In one part of the business we operate an incredible type of aircraft called the Lockheed Hercules C130. These amazing aircraft allow us to carry large and bulky cargo, such as small fire engines, and land in obscure places, such as short dirt runways in deep Africa.
The other side of our business has been a leasing and cargo business. Here we largely operate Boeing aircraft on contracts for other airlines. If you’ve been a semi-regular flyer in South Africa since the 1980s there’s actually a very high chance that you’ve been on a Safair aircraft before. We actually operated the maiden flight for Kulula and have done work for Air Namibia, South African Airways and Ryanair to name a few.
Safair has been involved in passenger airlines for a long time, but before FlySafair, we’d never flown under our own colours. Operating on a lease basis we’ve flown for numerous local and international airlines including SAA, Mango, Kulula, RyanAir and many others.
On the 16th of October 2014 we took to the skies with our own pink and blue tail and the business entered into a whole new era. Our low fares immediately disrupted the market bringing down the average cost of flying by as much as 32% on some of the routes we operated. This in turn opened up the world of air travel to many South Africans who’d never had the chance to fly before. We can imagine that after landing on dirt runways in the heart of Africa, the smooth runways of South Africa’s major airports are no sweat at all for Safair’s skilled crews.