Average Flight Attendant Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Flight Attendant Salary in South Africa is R33,000 per month. An entry-level Flight Attendant earns a salary range of R17,154, a Mid-career level earns about R33,000, and a senior/experienced level earns R45,200 per month.

Average Flight Attendant Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Flight Attendant 17,154
Mid-Career Flight Attendant 33,000
Experienced Flight Attendant 45,200

Types of Flight Attendants and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, the role of flight attendants encompasses various types, each with distinct functions aimed at ensuring passenger safety, comfort, and overall well-being during air travel. These professionals play a crucial role in the aviation industry, contributing to the seamless operation of flights. Here are some types of flight attendants in South Africa and their respective functions:

1. Cabin Crew Manager

Oversees the entire cabin crew team, ensuring adherence to safety protocols, regulatory requirements, and the airline’s standards. Manages crew scheduling, training, and performance.

2. Senior Flight Attendants/Inflight Supervisors

Provides leadership within the cabin crew, offering guidance and support to junior members. Handles escalated passenger issues and assists the cabin manager in coordinating crew activities.

3. Purser/Chief Flight Attendant

Acts as the liaison between the flight deck and the cabin crew. Coordinates communication, ensures proper execution of safety procedures and manages in-flight service delivery.

4. In-Flight Service Supervisor

Focuses on the in-flight service aspect, ensuring the quality of passenger experience. Manages catering, oversees meal services, and addresses any passenger concerns related to onboard amenities.

5. Lead Flight Attendant

Leads a section of the cabin, responsible for ensuring passenger safety, conducting pre-flight briefings, and managing in-flight service delivery in their designated area.

6. Cabin Crew (Flight Attendants)

The frontline staff is responsible for passenger safety, comfort, and service. Conduct pre-flight safety demonstrations, assist with boarding, attend to passenger needs during the flight, and ensure the overall well-being of passengers.

7. Specialized Crew (Medical/Security)

Trained to handle medical emergencies or security situations. They may include nurses or individuals with specific security training, ready to respond to unexpected situations on board.

8. Language-Specific Crew

Flight attendants proficient in multiple languages to cater to a diverse passenger demographic. They assist in communication, making the flying experience more comfortable for passengers of various linguistic backgrounds.

9. Long-Haul vs. Short-Haul Crew

Long-haul flight attendants may focus on managing passenger comfort during extended flights, including rest periods. Short-haul crews deal with shorter flights, often involving more frequent turnarounds.

The diverse roles within the flight attendant profession in South Africa reflect the multifaceted nature of ensuring a safe and pleasant flying experience. From leadership positions to specialized roles, each contributes to the efficient functioning of the aviation industry in the region.

Factors Affecting Flight Attendant Salaries in South Africa

Several factors can affect the salary of flight attendants in South Africa. While the salary structures may vary between airlines, here are some common factors that can influence a flight attendant’s earnings:

1. Airline and Employer

Different airlines have varying pay scales and benefits. Larger and more established airlines tend to offer higher salaries and better benefits to their flight attendants.

2. Experience

Experience plays a significant role in determining a flight attendant’s salary. More experienced flight attendants often receive higher wages. They may also have opportunities for advancement and increased responsibilities.

3. Location

The base location of the airline can impact a flight attendant’s salary. Cities with a higher cost of living may offer higher salaries to compensate for the increased expenses.

4. Seniority

Within an airline, seniority is crucial. As flight attendants gain more experience and time with the same airline, they may receive pay raises and have access to more desirable routes and schedules.

5. Type of Aircraft

Flight attendants working on larger, long-haul aircraft may receive higher pay due to the longer and more demanding flights. Different aircraft types may also have different crew complements and responsibilities.

6. Union Membership

Many flight attendants in South Africa are part of unions, and collective bargaining agreements can significantly impact salary and benefits. Unionized flight attendants may have negotiated contracts that dictate their compensation.

7. Additional Duties

Flight attendants who take on additional responsibilities, such as senior cabin crew positions or lead roles on flights, may receive higher pay.

8. Layovers and Per Diem

Flight attendants are often compensated for layovers, which can vary based on the destination and duration of the layover. Per diem rates and allowances for meals and accommodations can add to a flight attendant’s income.

9. Language Proficiency

Flight attendants who are proficient in multiple languages, especially those relevant to the airline’s routes, may receive language-based incentives or bonuses.

10. Education and Training

Some airlines may offer higher starting salaries to flight attendants with a college degree or additional training in areas like first aid, safety, or customer service.

11. Incentives and Bonuses

Airlines may offer performance-based incentives, attendance bonuses, or safety bonuses to reward flight attendants for their contributions.

12. Market Demand

Economic conditions, demand for air travel, and the overall health of the aviation industry can impact salaries. In times of high demand and profitability, airlines may offer more competitive wages.

13. Government Regulations

Government regulations and labour laws can also influence salary and working conditions for flight attendants.

How to Become a Flight Attendant in South Africa

Becoming a flight attendant in South Africa typically involves a combination of education, training, and specific qualifications. Here are the general steps to become a flight attendant in South Africa:

1. Meet Basic Requirements

– Age: You must typically be at least 18 years old to work as a flight attendant in South Africa, but some airlines may have higher age requirements.
– Citizenship/Work Permit: Ensure you have the legal right to work in South Africa.

2. Educational Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is usually the minimum educational requirement for flight attendant positions. Having a post-secondary education or relevant courses in hospitality, tourism, or languages can be beneficial.

3. Develop Required Skills

Flight attendants need excellent communication and customer service skills, as well as the ability to remain calm under pressure. Good problem-solving and interpersonal skills are crucial.

4. Language Proficiency

Many airlines in South Africa require flight attendants to be proficient in English and, in some cases, additional languages depending on the airline’s routes.

5. Physical Fitness

You should be in good physical health and have the stamina to handle long working hours, sometimes on your feet. Airlines typically have specific height and weight requirements.

6. Prepare Your Resume and Cover Letter

Create a professional resume that highlights your relevant skills and experiences. Tailor your cover letter to the airline you’re applying to.

7. Apply for Job Openings

Keep an eye on job openings for flight attendants at various airlines. You can apply through the airline’s official website or job portals. Submit your resume and cover letter as instructed in the job posting.

8. Interview and Assessment

If your application is successful, you may be invited for an interview and assessment. This can include group discussions, role-playing, and individual interviews. Be prepared to demonstrate your customer service skills and your ability to handle various in-flight scenarios.

9. Medical Examination

Pass a medical examination to ensure you’re fit for the demands of the job, including vision and hearing tests.

10. Training Program

If hired, you’ll undergo an airline-specific training program. This training usually covers safety procedures, emergency protocols, first aid, and customer service. Training can last several weeks.

11. Licensing and Certification

After completing your training, you’ll receive certification from the airline. This certification, along with your required safety training, is necessary to work as a flight attendant in South Africa.

12. Probation Period

Many airlines have a probationary period for new flight attendants. During this time, you’ll be closely monitored to ensure you meet the airline’s standards.

13. Start Your Career

Once you’ve completed your training and probation, you’ll begin your career as a flight attendant. You’ll typically start with domestic flights before progressing to international routes.



The average Flight Attendant Salary in South Africa is R33,000 per month. Becoming a flight attendant in South Africa involves meeting age, education, language, and physical requirements. A strong foundation in customer service and problem-solving skills is crucial. Applicants should create a tailored resume and cover letter, apply for openings, and prepare for interviews and assessments.

Successful candidates undergo rigorous airline-specific training, gain necessary certifications, and often serve a probationary period. The specific requirements may vary by airline. Persistence, dedication to safety, and outstanding customer service skills are essential in this competitive and rewarding career.