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The Flying Springbok
A History of South African Airways since its inception to the post-apartheid era
South African Airways pioneered flight throughout Africa during the colonial era, long before airports, supply services, radio and weather forecasting capabilities even existed. Its staff and equipment served with the Allies in Europe and North Africa during WWII and it met the enormous challenge of having to circumvent African airspace when flying to destinations abroad after most African nations closed their skies to it in protest against the country’s racist policies in the early sixties.
Over the years SAA grew into one of the world’s major domestic, regional, and international carriers. Its long history was eventually terminated and replaced by a new entity in 2020 with the the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In its original incarnation it could proudly boast of being one of the world’s oldest and longest-surviving international carriers. It is still seen by many around the world as the airline with that much revered and fondly remembered emblem, the Flying Springbok.