As South African Airways and SA Express both face a serious threat of going out of business, it’s easy to forget that at least 41 other South African airlines have gone under in the last 25 years, according to Wikipedia. We list the better known among them.

1time airlines south africa travel
Photo: Twitter.

1time Airline was a low-cost carrier than ran from 2003 to 2012.

Alliance Air, a joint venture between South Africa’s Transnet, Uganda and Tanzania, folded with a loss of $50 million at the time. 1995-2000.

Avia Airlines flew from Johannesburg to London, and opened and closed in 1995.

Bop Air or Mmabatho Air, created by the homeland of Bophuthatswana, was rebranded as Sun Air in 1994. Sun Air was absorbed by South African Airways in 1999 and shut down.

Flitestar, a venture of Trek Airways (see below), ran from 1991 to 1994.

Interlink operated chartered and scheduled flights from 1997 to 2010.


Nationwide (1991-2008) ran domestic and international services.

nationwide airline south africa travel
Photo: Twitter.

Skywise, a low-cost carrier running between Johannesburg and Cape Town, opened and closed in 2015.

Luxavia. Formed in 1971 by Trek Airways during the apartheid years to fly between Luxembourg and Johannesburg, according to the site Airline Timetable Images. “Cooperating with the Luxembourg carrier Luxair, aircraft were painted in Luxair colours and registered with that airline. Eventually, Trek titles were again to be seen on the timetables alongside Luxavia’s. Luxavia/Trek ceased operations in 1994, after Trek’s new venture, Flitestar, had failed to compete successfully with South African Airways on domestic routes.”

luxavia trek airline south africa travel
Photo: Perry Hoppe.

(Sources: Wikipedia and Airline Timetable Images.)