South African Express
|Founded||24 April 1994|
|Ceased operations||28 April 2020|
|Hubs||O.R. Tambo International Airport|
|Alliance||Star Alliance (affiliate; 2006–2020)|
|Parent company||Government of South Africa|
|Headquarters||O.R. Tambo International Airport|
Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa
|Key people||Siza Mzimela (acting CEO)|
Mpho Selepe (CFO)
South African Express Airways SOC Ltd, known as South African Express or simply SA Express, was a state-owned airline based in South Africa that started operations on 24 April 1994. Although the airline was operationally independent of South African Airways, its flights were incorporated within the strategic alliance with South African Airways. The airline had its head office at Airways Park, Jones Road, next to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.
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. Flights resumed on 23 August, following the issuance of airworthiness certificates for a portion of the airline's fleet.
On 13 February 2020, South African Express entered the Business Rescue process, a local form of bankruptcy protection. On 18 March 2020, the airline suspended all operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 28 April 2020, the business rescue practitioners submitted an application to the Pretoria High Court for the liquidation of the airline. The court approved a provisional liquidation, with stakeholders being given until 9 June 2020 to voice objections before a final dissolution of the company.
In November 2020, the moveable assets of the company such as the eight Bombardier's, spare parts and furniture were to be sold via an online auction managed by GoIndustry DoveBid Africa.: 20 The non-moveable assets such as the routes, landing rights and existing licences would be sold to FlySax, a consortium consisting of a key investor and ex-SA Express staff.
South African Express is loss-making, and its accounts have been qualified by the auditors since 2012/13; the 2016/17 accounts remain unaudited (as at July 2019) and have been subject to parliamentary questions. Figures that had been made available were disputed, and the previously published accounts were withdrawn in November 2011 after accounting errors that dated back several years were discovered. Some fuller reports have been published since then, although figures are frequently restated in the following year's Report. Available figures (for years ending 31 March) are:
|Net profit/loss after tax (Rm)||*||−186.9||−365.9||0.7||−10.0||−169.4||16.9||−234.0|
|Number of employees (at year end)||839||n/a||1,026||1,090||1,136||1,188||1,127||1,036|
|Number of passengers (m)||1.5||1.4||1.6||1.5||1.5||1.4||1.3|
|Passenger load factor (%)||67||64||61||65||65||62||64|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||n/a||24||24||24||22|
Notes: Profitability figures for 2008/09 are not shown above(*), as they are believed to have been restated since the publication of the Annual Report. Revised figures for 2010/11 are from press reports in April 2013; the financial statements for 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 were audited, but received a qualified audit opinion.
- Bloemfontein – Bram Fischer International Airport
- Cape Town – Cape Town International Airport
- Durban – King Shaka International Airport
- Hoedspruit – Eastgate Airport
- Johannesburg – O.R. Tambo International Airport Hub
- Kimberley – Kimberley Airport
- Port Elizabeth - Port Elizabeth International Airport
The airline fleet previously included the following aircraft:
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- Mahlaka, Ray (3 May 2020). "Unpaid SA Express workers told to fend for themselves as airline nears liquidation". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
- "Wing your way to the SA Express sale". Sunday Times (South Africa). 25 October 2020.
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- "SA Express Annual Report 2012" (PDF). SA Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
- "SA Express Annual Report 2013". SA Express. Archived from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
- "SA Express Annual Report 2015" (PDF). SA Express. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- "SA Express Annual Report 2016" (PDF). SA Express. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
- "SA Express faces bleak situation - parliamentary committee". Fin24. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
- "Route Network". Fly SA Express.
- Destinations and fleet. "SA Express". Domestic Flights South Africa. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
- "SA Express suspends operations amid COVID-19 outbreak". 18 March 2020.
- "Fleet". SA Express. 11 February 2020.
- "South African Express Airways Fleet Details and History – Planespotters.net Just Aviation". Planespotters.net. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
Media related to South African Express Airways at Wikimedia Commons