South African Cargo takes on the world from Jo’burg

Siza Mzimela, South African Airways’ (SAA) newly-appointed CEO, is a determined and feisty lady and quite likely just the right person that the carrier needs to lead it out of the woods, although she doesn’t need to worry about the cargo division. Manfred Singh reports.


The freighter fleet consists of two Boeing 737-300Fs and two Boeing 737-200Fs (converted from passenger aircraft by SAA Technical) and a Hawker Siddeley 748F (used specifically for intra-Africamarkets).

Riding out the recession
Like all carriers, the global recession hit the cargo division with SAA Cargo (SAAC) spokesman, Thola Nzuza saying, “current trends are showing that the volumes have started picking up but yields are still being eroded due to oversupply of capacity available within the market.”

SAAC has been able to maintain the small rise in tonnage primarily because Siza Mzimela, South African Airways’ (SAA) newly-appointed CEO, is a determined and feisty lady and quite likely just the right person that the carrier needs to lead it out of the woods, although she doesn’t need to worry about the cargo division. Manfred Singh reports. airfreight in Africa holds prime position. The country – in fact the whole continent – does not have good ground or water transportation. Air is the only viable option in many cases.

The last couple of years has seen a growth in air traffic between Asia and Africa, driven in part by substantial Chinese investment in the continent driven by China’s hunger for minerals and ore. This traffic has, over the last year, for example kept SAAC, profitable even though revenue year to date dropped by 33 per cent compared to the previous year reflecting the impact of current global trading conditions and fluctuation on the foreign exchange market.”