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Safair logo.jpg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded March 1969
Hubs O.R. Tambo International Airport
Fleet size 10
Company slogan Experience. Expertise. Excellence
Parent company ASL Aviation Group Limited
Headquarters Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa

Safair is an aviation company based at the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park South Africa.[1] Operator of one of the world's largest fleets of civil Lockheed L-100 Hercules cargo aircraft,[2] it also conducts aircraft chartering; leasing and sales; contract operations and leasing services; flightcrew leasing and training; aircraft maintenance and modification; aviation safety and medical training; and operations support.[3]


It was first established as an airline in March 1969 by Safmarine and started operations on 18 March 1970. Its primary client in the 1980s was the South African Defence Force.[citation needed] Until the 1990s it mainly served the local and regional air cargo market. In 1991 it diversified into aircraft maintenance and overnight courier operations before concentrating on leasing and chartering. In 1998 it purchased a 49% stake in Air Contractors, based in Ireland, and was itself acquired by Imperial Holdings for $40 million in December 1998. In July 1999 Safair acquired control of National Airways Corporation and Streamline Aviation (a charter and aircraft sales company). It is wholly owned by ASL Aviation Group Ltd based in Dublin, Ireland,[4] a subsidiary of the Belgian group Compagnie Maritime Belge.[5] Humanitarian Aid and Relief operations has always been Safair's "niche" market. Safair assists aid and relief agencies such as the United Nations, World Food Programme and the International Committee of the Red Cross in delivering much needed humanitarian aid to stricken regions on the African continent as well as other areas in the world where such assistance is required. In 2007, Safair obtained its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)[6] approval.


Safair Boeing 737-300 at Sharjah International Airport
Safair Lockheed L-100-30 Hercules

As of July 2014 the Safair fleet consists of the following aircraft:[7][8]

Safair Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet On Order Notes
Boeing 737-300QC 1 Convertible between passenger and freight configuration
Boeing 737-300F 2 Freight only
Boeing 737-400 1 Combi aircraft
Lockheed L-100-30 Hercules 6 Freight only, passenger only, or combi
Lockheed LM-100J 10 Ordered in 2014 to replace current L-100s
Total 10 10

Previously operated[edit]


Main article: FlySafair

In 2013, Safair created a low-cost carrier subsidiary called FlySafair. The initial plan to operate flights in October 2013 had to be cancelled, as a result of a high-court application by Comair.[9] FlySafair is currently operational with the first flight having taken place on 16 October 2014.[10] FlySafair operates to Cape Town, George, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg, with plans to serve Durban and East London.


  1. ^ "Contact". Safair. Retrieved 2015-07-30. 
  2. ^ Flight International 2010 World Airliner census retrieved 27 August 2010
  3. ^ Flight International 12–18 April 2005
  4. ^ "ASL | Welcome". 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-05-02. 
  5. ^ About us - History, ASL Aviation official website
  6. ^
  7. ^ "ASL Aviation Group Signs Letter of Intent to Procure Lockheed Martin LM-100J Freighters" - CNN MONEY retrieved 16 July 2014
  8. ^ "Our Fleet" - Safair retrieved 12 December 2013
  9. ^ "Safair Flights, Bookings | SFR Flights". Retrieved 2015-07-31. 
  10. ^ Ensor, Linda (17 October 2014). "FlySafair will bring needed competition". Business Day (Johannesburg). Retrieved 13 January 2015. 

External links[edit]