Updated 28.08.2023

Flight Attendant Salary in South Africa

What is the flight attendant salary in South Africa? 

Flight attendants, often referred to as air hosts or air hostesses, play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers on commercial flights. In South Africa, like in many other countries, their salaries can vary significantly based on several factors. This article outlines the salary for flight attendants in South Africa. It delves into the various factors that influence their salaries.

flight attendant salary in South Africa

Factors that Influence the Salaries for Flight Attendants in South Africa

Flight attendants in South Africa get paid differently depending on their:

  • Rank and position
  • Level of experience
  • The airline they work for
  • Flight hours
  • The location they are based in
  • Benefits and allowances their employer gives, and 
  • Their level of education. 

Flight attendant salaries in South Africa may differ from those in other countries too. In some countries, particularly those with higher living costs, flight attendants may earn higher salaries. Factors like the country’s aviation industry, the airline’s financial health, and government regulations play a role in determining flight attendant salaries globally.

Experience Level

Experience is a key determinant of flight attendant salaries in South Africa. Flight attendants often start at entry-level positions and then work their way up to more experienced roles with better pay. Here is a breakdown of how experience affects pay:

  • Flight Attendant with less than two years of experience: Approximately R 12 000 monthly.
  • Experience level between two and five years: Expected to earn R 16000 per month, 34% more than those with less than two years of experience.
  • Experience level between five and ten years: Salary of R 23 700 monthly, 48% more than those with two to five years of experience.
  • Experience spanning ten to fifteen years: A salary of R 28 900 per month, 22% more than those with five to ten years of experience.
  • Experience between fifteen and twenty years: An expected wage of R 31 500 per month, 9% more than those with ten to fifteen years of experience.
  • Employees with more than twenty years of experience: A salary of R 34 100 every month, 8% more than those with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

Rank and Position

The rank and position of a flight attendant can greatly impact their salary. In general, more senior positions tend to earn higher salaries. A basic flight attendant has the lowest rank and as such earns the least. Next in rank is the senior crew member. The purser outranks the senior crew member and the chief purser outranks the purser. The chief purser is the most senior position with the best pay in the career.

Level of Education

While a formal education is not always required to become a flight attendant, it can impact earning potential just like it happens in most other careers. Here’s a comparison of flight attendant salaries by education level in South Africa:

  • Certificate or Diploma: Average salary of R 13 700 per month.
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Salary of R 21 500 per month, 57% more than those with a Certificate or Diploma degree.
  • Master’s Degree: Average salary of R 36 000 per month, 68% more than those with a Bachelor’s Degree.


The airline at which a flight attendant works can have a significant impact on their salary. Larger, international airlines often pay higher wages compared to smaller regional carriers. For instance, local airline South African Airways pays flight attendants R 25 216 on average, and South African Airlines pays them an average of R 17 000 monthly. On the other hand, international airline Qatar Airways pays flight attendants between R 35 000 and  R 66 230 monthly.

Flight Hours

The number of flight hours a flight attendant logs also affects the earnings of flight attendants. They are typically compensated for the time they spend in the air, and longer flights or more frequent trips can lead to higher incomes. Virgin Atlantic Airlines, for example, pays flight attendants between R 464 and R 706 every hour.

Base Location

The base location of a flight attendant can influence their salary. In South Africa, cities with higher living costs may offer slightly higher salaries to compensate for the increased expenses. In Johannesburg for example, the average monthly salary for flight attendants is R 22 122 per month while in Mpumalanga, it is R 14 036.

Benefits and Allowances

Benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, as well as housing and transport allowances among other perks will add to a flight attendant’s total compensation package. The value of these benefits can vary between airlines and in different locations.


The salary of a flight attendant in South Africa is influenced by various factors, including rank, experience, airline, flight hours, base location, benefits, and level of education. Aspiring flight attendants should consider these factors when planning their career path, and those seeking competitive salaries may aim to gain experience and pursue higher education in the field. 


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Job is a seasoned writer with a good understanding of the emerging markets, Africa to be specific.