South African Airways proudly honours Nelson Mandela with special fly-over
On Saturday December 2 in Johannesburg, South African Airways, the national flag carrier and iconic South African brand, joined the world in honour of Nelson Mandela, the first President of a democratic SA and Nobel Laureate, with a special fly-over at the Global Citizen Concert.
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. The moment when Madiba walked onto the pitch wearing a Springbok cap and replica of the number six captain jersey was immortalised in the inspiring movie Invictus.
SAA again captured the crowds at the concert when the biggest aircraft type in its fleet, the Airbus A340-600, with a message “Global Citizen – Be The Legacy – Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018” on its belly, seamlessly executed the fly-over at approximately 13h35. In the cockpit were Captain Andre Steenkamp, and First Officer Bradley Bennetts, with Captain Pierre Gouws overseeing safety. The crowds cheered when the SAA aircraft glided across the skies over 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 initiative”, is a fitting tribute to Nelson Mandela’s contribution to Global Humanity. SAA is proud to have played a part, however small, says Vuyani Jarana, SAA CEO.
The generous contribution of sponsors made the fly-over possible. SAA expressed gratitude to Engen and Shell SA for sponsoring jet fuel, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and Air Trafficand Navigation Services (ATNS) who wavered take-off and landing fees, as well as SAA flight deck crew and technicians who volunteered their time.
The flyover is the highlight of SAA’s activities to mark the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations. The airline introduced a campaign in his honour in celebration and recognition of his influence towards the course of humanity in general and for his selfless contribution towards the transformation of South Africa, its freedom, and democracy South Africans enjoy today.