21 June 2024 – The South African Football Association (SAFA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with South African Airways (SAA) that will see the airline becoming the official carrier of South Africa’s national football teams.

SAFA CEO Lydia Monyepao said the 12-month partnership will play a massive role in getting national teams to their destination for international matches.

“We welcome back SAA to help us get to key fixtures in destinations they fly to on a non-exclusive basis,” the SAFA CEO said. “It is important for us as SAFA to give considerations to our own when we consider partners, albeit on a short-term basis. Our approach is to stabilize our commercial partnerships with diverse partners that reduce our cost base and also add into our coffers, so SAA will play a key role as a strategic partner for our need to travel and compete internationally on a regular basis.”

SAA interim chief executive officer Professor John Lamola said the airline is proud to be the official carrier of the Association, including Africa Cup of Nations bronze medalists Bafana Bafana, African champions Banyana Banyana, and the junior national teams.

“We are delighted to be associated with national sports brands such as Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana. This reaffirms our indisputable position as the national carrier and airline of choice for assignments of strategic importance to our nation,” said Lamola.

“We welcome our national teams on board, and we look forward to flying them around the world on national duty to represent our nation.  We know the players and officials will be well taken care of and will enjoy our award-winning hospitality that SAA is renowned for.”

Lamola added that the SAA/SAFA partnership is in line with the airline’s plans to grow in Africa. It’s a win-win for both SAFA and SAA. The national teams will fly direct to their various destinations, giving the players all the rest and comfort they need for a great performance on the pitch, while exposing the SAA brand to key African markets and on television screens of the continent’s football-loving audiences.

“We look forward to carrying these athletes, and the hopes and championship dreams of the nation. It’s our pleasure and privilege to be the official carrier of our national football teams.”