With its daily direct service between Perth and Johannesburg and a convenient Virgin Australia codeshare alliance, Australians will find it easier than ever to take advantage of South African Airways' vast African route network.
One of Africa's largest airlines, South African Airways (SAA) operates the continent's most extensive route network. Based at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, connections are available to close to 40 cities in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and as far away as New York and Washington D.C.
Australian's looking to connect with South African's Johannesburg flight from Perth can do so through the airline's convenient codeshare alliance with Virgin Australia. Not only does the Aussie airline provide efficient connecting service to South African Airway's flights from dozens of cities, but it provides Velocity points and status credits when flying with South African.
South African has its own frequent flyer program too. Known as Voyager, the frequent flyer scheme partners not only with Virgin Australia but with dozens of hotels, car rental companies, banks, and even health spas. Status tiers are Blue, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Lifetime Platinum, each with their own set of special benefits and rewards.
South African Airways operates a virtually all Airbus fleet. The widebody A340 (300 and 600 series) is used on flights between Johannesburg and Perth.
- Airbus A319
- Airbus A320
- Airbus A330-200/300
- Airbus A340-300/600
- Boeing 737-800 (slated for retirement in 2016)
For international travel, South African Airways requires all guests to be checked in for their flight a minimum of two and a half hours before departure. For flights departing Johannesburg for the USA, the minimum time is 3 hours. Online and web check-in is available for many South African Airways operated flights.
Arranged in a 2 x 2 x 2 across configuration, international Business Class on the A340s consist of 38 or 42 seats which recline to a lie-flat position. For longer flights, such as to Perth, a comforter, duvet and pillow are provided. Seats offer ample storage space for personal items and an amenity kit with socks, ear plugs and various toiletry items are distributed.
Adding to your superior Business Class experience is the three course in-flight menu including starters, main courses, desserts and cheeses. South African wine is also a highlight of the menu, with wines specially selected to complement the chef’s creations. If you have any dietary requirements, special meals are available on select flights and can be requested up to 24 hours prior to departure.
South African Airways offers a variety of on-demand entertainment via personal touch screen video monitors. Movies and music are updated monthly while noise cancelling headsets provide quality sound. For those who enjoy an interactive experience, up to 15 games are available on the entertainment system.
The free checked baggage allowance for South African Business Class is 2 bags, each with a maximum weight of 32kg. For passengers with Gold or Platinum frequent flyer status, one additional 32kg bag is permitted. Hand luggage taken in the cabin is restricted to 2 small bags no greater than 8kg each.
Club Lounges & Alliances
SAA lounges can be found in the South African cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth. These lounges are open to Business and First Class guests as well as to top tier frequent flyer members enrolled in SAA Voyager, Virgin Australia Velocity or any Star Alliance frequent flyer program. Within the premium lounge guests can unwind and enjoy the full serve bar, à la carte menu, showers, sleep rooms and an audio-visual entertainment room. Internet access and Business facilities are also available. The airline’s Business Class Lounge is available to Business Class passengers and hosts a staffed bar, self-service food area, audio-visual entertainment room, dedicated children areas and showers.
South African Airways maintains a codeshare alliance with Virgin Australia. This alliance extends benefits and rewards such as lounge access, extra baggage and priority boarding to top tier flyers enrolled in the South African Voyager or Virgin Australia Velocity program, as well as offering easy connections between one another's route network. SAA is also a member of the Star Alliance. Top tier members of all Star Alliance frequent flyer programs receive reciprocal benefits similar to that of the Virgin Australia agreement. Star Alliance airlines include:
- Air Canada
- Air New Zealand
- Singapore Airlines
- United Airlines