Are you ready to take your pilot career to new heights? South African Airways (SAA), the national flag carrier and leading airline of South Africa, is seeking dedicated and skilled individuals for a First Officer Position. Based in the heart of Gauteng, Kempton Park, this opportunity not only allows you to explore the skies but also to be part of a prestigious team committed to safety, excellence, and innovation in aviation.

As a First Officer at SAA, your role is pivotal in ensuring the safety and satisfaction of our passengers, contributing directly to the mission of connecting South Africa with the world and enhancing our reputation on the global stage.

First Officer Position Overview:

  • Reference Number: SAA231220-1
  • Location: Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa
  • Job Title: First Officer
  • Division: Operations
  • Business Unit: Flight Operations
  • Job Type: Permanent

Key Qualifications:

Matric Certificate / Grade 12 / N3 or Relevant Tertiary Qualifications (SAQA accredited):

    • Applicants must possess a Matriculation Certificate, equivalent Grade 12 education, or an N3 qualification. Additionally, those with relevant tertiary education that is accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) are also eligible. This foundational educational requirement ensures that candidates have a solid grounding in critical thinking, problem-solving, and basic academic skills necessary for the complexities of aviation training and operations.

Valid South African Airline Transport Pilot’s License (ATPL) or Commercial Pilot License (CPL) with Completed ATPL Ground Subjects (previously known as a Frozen ATPL):

    • A valid ATPL is preferred, indicating that the applicant has met the highest standard of pilot certification, including the requisite flight experience, knowledge, and skills. However, candidates with a CPL having completed all ATPL ground subjects are also considered. This “Frozen ATPL” status signifies that the pilot has passed the theoretical knowledge exams required for an ATPL and is on the path to fulfilling the flight experience requirements. These qualifications are crucial as they certify the pilot’s capability to operate commercial aircraft safely and proficiently, aligning with both South African and international aviation standards.

Valid Class 1 Medical Certificate:

    • A current Class 1 Medical Certificate is mandatory, underscoring the importance of excellent physical and mental health in the demanding environment of commercial aviation. This certificate assures that the candidate meets the rigorous health and fitness standards required to perform safely under the physical and psychological stresses encountered during flight operations. Regular medical assessments are required to maintain this certification, ensuring ongoing fitness and wellbeing of the flight crew.


Proficiency in Applying Safety Standards and Safe Operating Practices:

    • The aviation industry’s cornerstone is safety. First Officers must exhibit a deep understanding and unwavering commitment to upholding the highest safety standards and practices. This includes the ability to identify potential safety risks, apply effective risk management principles, and adapt to changing safety protocols. Proficiency in safety practices ensures that every flight operation is conducted with the utmost care, prioritizing the safety of crew, passengers, and cargo.

Detailed Knowledge of National and International Aviation Regulations:

    • Mastery over both South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) regulations and international aviation laws (such as those outlined by the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO) is essential. This skill encompasses an understanding of the regulatory frameworks governing flight operations, airspace regulations, and cross-border aviation activities. It is crucial for ensuring compliance during flight planning and operations, thus facilitating smooth and lawful international travel. A thorough grasp of these regulations helps in navigating the complexities of global aviation, ensuring legal compliance, and fostering international cooperation.

Excellent Business Communication Skills, Both Verbal and Written:

    • Communication is a vital skill in the dynamic environment of aviation. First Officers must possess the ability to convey clear, concise, and accurate information under normal and emergency situations. This skill extends beyond cockpit communications to include effective interaction with the flight crew, ground staff, air traffic control, and, when necessary, passengers. Excellent communication skills enhance operational efficiency, safety, and teamwork. They also play a critical role in crisis management, where clear and calm communication can significantly impact the outcome of emergent situations. Furthermore, written communication skills are essential for accurately completing flight documentation, reports, and communicating with various stakeholders across the aviation industry.


  • Emotional intelligence and the ability to inspire commitment.
  • Ability to deal with complex operational issues in a fast-moving environment.
  • Results-driven with a focus on self-development and the development of others.

Role Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Perform duties as a Second-In-Command Pilot (P2) or Cruise Relief Pilot (P3), ensuring the safety of all flights, whether on the ground or in flight.
  • Comply with SAA’s Pilot Employment Equity Plan, giving preference to female pilot applicants.
  • Undergo pre-employment assessments including criminal, credit, reference checks, simulator/written and psychometric tests.

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  • Compensation and Benefits: Competitive salary package, comprehensive health benefits, pension plans, and generous leave policies.
  • Professional Growth: Continuous training and development opportunities to advance your career in aviation.

Application Process:

Application Requirements:

  • Submit your CV, certified copies of required documents (including Matric Certificate, Pilot License, Medical Certificate, and Aviation Training Records), and a summary of flight hours per aircraft type.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who include a cover letter explaining how they meet the qualifications and why they are a good fit for the position.

How to Apply: Candidates are required to register and complete their profiles on the SAA online recruitment tool. Ensure all mandatory fields are filled and information is current. Incomplete profiles may lead to disqualification.

Embark on a rewarding career journey with South African Airways. If you are a passionate and qualified pilot, eager to contribute to the SAA esteemed flight operations team, we encourage you to apply.

For further inquiries, please contact