South African Airways (SAA), the award-winning national flag carrier of South Africa, joined the world in honor of Nelson Mandela, the first President of a democratic South Africa and Nobel Laureate, with a special fly-over at the Global Citizen Concert in Johannesburg on Sunday, December 2, 2018.

The fly-over was reminiscent of another special and historic “Madiba Moment” when SAA did a fly-over more than two decades ago at the 1995 Rugby World Cup finals. The world watched as former President Mandela captivated the crowd and the world wearing a Springbok rugby team hat cap and replica of the number six captain jersey was immortalized in the inspiring movie Invictus.  SAA, once again, captured the crowds when the biggest aircraft type in its fleet, an Airbus A340-600, with a message “Global Citizen – Be The Legacy – Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018” on its belly, executed the fly-over of the excitement-filled FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, shortly before the official program for the day got underway.

“At the time when the world faces major challenges of inequality, poverty and intolerance, the Global Citizen Concert is a fitting tribute to Nelson Mandela’s contribution to Global Humanity.   SAA is proud to have played a small part in this celebration,” says Vuyani Jarana, chief executive officer of South African Airways.

The flyover is the highlight of SAA’s activities to mark the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations. The airline introduced a campaign in his honor to celebrate and recognize his influence towards the course of humanity in general and for his selfless contribution towards the transformation of South Africa, its freedom, and democracy that South Africans enjoy today.

The generous contribution of sponsors made the fly-over possible and SAA would like to express gratitude to Engen and Shell Oil of South Africa, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), as well as, dedicated contributions of the SAA flight deck crew and technicians who volunteered their time to participate in this honorary celebration.

As the leading carrier from the U.S. to Africa, South African Airways offers the most flights with non-stop service from New York–JFK Airport to Johannesburg and daily non-stop service from Washington, DC-Dulles to Dakar, Senegal, or Accra, Ghana, with continued service to Johannesburg. From its hub in Johannesburg, SAA together with its regional partners SA Express, Airlink and Mango offer easy, convenient connections to more than 75 destinations throughout Africa.  SAA’s awarding –winning premium Business Class offers 180 fully lie-flat seating with duvet and full-size pillows, gourmet cuisine designed by renowned South African celebrity chefs, a wine cellar featuring some of South Africa’s finest vintages and extensive programming of on-demand audio and visual entertainment.

For further information on South African Airways product and services, please visit or for reservations call 1-(800) 722-9675.