The origin of South African Airways can be traced back to 1934, when the South African government purchased an airline named 'Union Airways' and renamed it to South African Airways. The airline first flew to Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. In 1935, South African Airways took over South-West African Airways, which since 1932, had been providing a weekly air-mail service between Windhoek and Kimberley. During the same decade, the airline entered international market, by plying flights to Kenya, and Uganda. The airline continued to grow at a slow, yet consistent pace.
In 1945, South African Airways started its European operations, when an Avro York Bomber flew from Palmietfontein to Bournemouth, England. It made history by becoming the first airline outside UK, to operate the world's first pure jetliner - the De Havilland Comet.
At present, South African Airways (SAA) is South Africa’s largest domestic and international airline company. Headquartered near Johannesburg, South Africa, the main hubs of the airline are OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg and Cape Town International Airport, Cape Town. The carrier operates international routes to a number of destinations within the African continent as well as to the American and European countries.
South African Airways flies to a number of around the world, covering countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. In Africa, the airline flies to Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, apart from a number of cities in its home country - South Africa. In Asia, the airline flies to People's Republic of China and India (to Mumbai). Germany and United Kingdom are the European countries covers by the airline, while it flies to United States in North America. In South America, it operates its flights to Brazil and Argentina. Australia is the sole country in the region of Oceania, to which South African Airways flies.
The airline consists of a modern fleet of several aircrafts, which includes Airbus A319-100, Airbus A340-200, Airbus A340-300, Airbus A340-600, Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 747-400.