RainerBoeing777
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What's happening with South African Airways?

Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:42 pm

It is impressive the decline of this airline, which is so bad management are receiving, as it is possible that your route JNB-LHR will be operated by a small Airbus A330-300 and with a single daily flight, when in the last flight with two Boeing 747-400 to LHR and another one to CPT, South Africa is the richest country in Africa, Johannesburg is one of the main financial centers worldwide and Cape Town is a city for leisure and attracts many tourists, because SAA does not take advantage this? Why? , most of the European destinations of Ethiopian Airlines and the ME3 Airlines are connections to Cape Town and Johannesburg, practically SAA was dominated by these airlines, because in the past SAA did not buy more efficient aircraft like the Boeing 777-300ER. It was ideal for its operations in Frankfurt, London, New York and Hong Kong, Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 to improve its international connectivity, nor take advantage of Star Alliance, destinations such as Beijing, Delhi, Mumbai, Zurich, Vienna, Copenhagen, Brussels, Istanbul , Bangkok and other destinations are Star Alliance territory because SAA do not take advantage of that being high economy countries and their airports have tremendous connections, which holds the future for South African Airway, I even think it is impressive how Ethiopian Airlines grew more than SAA both in destinations and in fleet
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77west
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:40 pm

SAA's issues are political, primarily. They have never been left alone by the politicians, there were plenty of talented management people in the past but they were never left alone to run the airline like it should have been. This, coupled with the rise of the ME3, and JNB's high altitude, made it hard for them to get ahead. The 777-300ER suffers at times out of JNB, and is too big for many of their routes. I actually think that the A350-900 would be the best, it could do longer routes to South America, North America and Asia with ease, and Europe.
77West - AW109S - BE90 - JS31 - B1900 - Q300 - ATR72 - DC9-30 - MD80 - B733 - A320 - B738 - A300-B4 - B773 - B77W
 
Themotionman
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:00 pm

A brilliant example of what happens when the state runs a flag carrier. Decisions are not made with commercial motives, they are made to suit the government of South Africa. Commonly, this means a route which bleeds money is kept running for some sort of national pride in having it operated by a flag carrier. Compare SAA to Ethiopian who managed to become a highly profitable airline in one of the world's poorest countries. Why? Because, Ethiopian is owned by the government, whereas SAA is run by the government.
 
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77west
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Themotionman wrote:
A brilliant example of what happens when the state runs a flag carrier. Decisions are not made with commercial motives, they are made to suit the government of South Africa. Commonly, this means a route which bleeds money is kept running for some sort of national pride in having it operated by a flag carrier. Compare SAA to Ethiopian who managed to become a highly profitable airline in one of the world's poorest countries. Why? Because, Ethiopian is owned by the government, whereas SAA is run by the government.


Perfect example is the LOI for A350's they placed a few years ago. Government found out, made them cancel it, now they are back to the end of the line in terms of getting any new planes in a decent time frame.
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DWC
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:17 am

Themotionman wrote:
A brilliant example of what happens when the state runs a flag carrier. Decisions are not made with commercial motives

EK, QR or SQ would strongly disagree with you.
But the RSA did not run it well, this thread duplicates others here, one mentionned corruption & politicians/relatives having houses in Dubai.
SAA is in a more difficult situation than QF, not only do they operate from a geographical hub to nowhere as seen from the northern hemisphere, both European & Asian carriers all offer superior products & connectivity. Given the situation, only balanced bilaterals & JVs would have saved SAA from their own demise & foreign predation. Add to that how BA strategically cemented their presence with Comair / Kulula...
I just dont see SAA out of their predicament... Sorry, Ailing Airline.
 
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77west
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:42 am

DWC wrote:
Themotionman wrote:
A brilliant example of what happens when the state runs a flag carrier. Decisions are not made with commercial motives

EK, QR or SQ would strongly disagree with you.
But the RSA did not run it well, this thread duplicates others here, one mentionned corruption & politicians/relatives having houses in Dubai.
SAA is in a more difficult situation than QF, not only do they operate from a geographical hub to nowhere as seen from the northern hemisphere, both European & Asian carriers all offer superior products & connectivity. Given the situation, only balanced bilaterals & JVs would have saved SAA from their own demise & foreign predation. Add to that how BA strategically cemented their presence with Comair / Kulula...
I just dont see SAA out of their predicament... Sorry, Ailing Airline.


Hang on, I think he meant operationally. The government of Dubai in no way operationally interfere with the actual management team at EK. They might be there for big fleet orders and new route openings, but those decisions are all made by Tim Clark and team. With SAA, the government would literally interfere all the way down to routes, flight times and business strategy, staff, etc.
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DWC
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:51 am

77west wrote:
Hang on, I think he meant operationally. The government of Dubai in no way operationally interfere with the actual management team at EK. They might be there for big fleet orders and new route openings, but those decisions are all made by Tim Clark and team. With SAA, the government would literally interfere all the way down to routes, flight times and business strategy, staff, etc.

I got that. But are you sure the Dubai Gov does not give more than strict mandates to EK ?
In fact to all of the EK group, Dnata included ? And to FZ ? And DXB ? And DWC ? When aviation nears a 3rd of your GDP & is your bet to the future, I bet Gov have their say. Whether they do it responsibly or not is another question.
Conversely, take EY : Abu Dhabi left free reins to the former CEO & then stepped in regretting many hundred millions lost in poor investments
 
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77west
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:06 am

DWC wrote:
77west wrote:
Hang on, I think he meant operationally. The government of Dubai in no way operationally interfere with the actual management team at EK. They might be there for big fleet orders and new route openings, but those decisions are all made by Tim Clark and team. With SAA, the government would literally interfere all the way down to routes, flight times and business strategy, staff, etc.

I got that. But are you sure the Dubai Gov does not give more than strict mandates to EK ?
In fact to all of the EK group, Dnata included ? And to FZ ? And DXB ? And DWC ? When aviation nears a 3rd of your GDP & is your bet to the future, I bet Gov have their say. Whether they do it responsibly or not is another question.
Conversely, take EY : Abu Dhabi left free reins to the former CEO & then stepped in regretting many hundred millions lost in poor investments


I suppose you could argue that, yes. Certainly, EK govt would not do something for purely political/prestige reasons that was against EK's benefit. SA govt would.
77West - AW109S - BE90 - JS31 - B1900 - Q300 - ATR72 - DC9-30 - MD80 - B733 - A320 - B738 - A300-B4 - B773 - B77W
 
ghdc10
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:05 am

I have been lurking for years, so this is a lengthy cathartic post. Please be gentle.

I don't have anything to say about the current management/politics, but the future could be great if SA were to play their cards right...
...In the last couple of weeks, the Single African Air Transport Market agreement has been signed by over 20 participating nations including South Africa. South African, Ethiopian, Kenya Airways and Egypt Air will all have enormous opportunities to swoop in on routes from cities they already serve to new destinations from which there is proven and under-served demand. https://au.int/sites/default/files/newsevents/workingdocuments/33100-wd-6a-brochure_on_single_african_air_transport_market_english.pdf
Image

SA could, in theory, open new destinations like Bamako with a stop in Brazzaville 3 times a week and Libreville 4 times a week. Neither of these countries have home carriers: there is lots of potential for SA between Central Africa and West Africa.

There is also the possibility of opening up more routes from Cape Town/ Durban to avoid damaging profitable non stop routes like Lagos or Accra to Johannesburg. In the Anglophone markets, think of flights from Cape Town to Accra or Lagos with stops in Harare and full 5th freedom rights along the way. This would be the first West African connection to Harare since the 90s and the first direct service from Cape Town to West Africa. The beauty of these one stop services is that city pairs with even 50 passengers a day (albeit high yielding ones) would work well given the right aircraft. SA could open Accra 3 times a week and Lagos 4 times a week on a C-series. (yes, I dare to dream! how sexy would that be? mockup anyone?)
I think geographic positioning of Johannesburg could make it a strong contender for all south-eastern to north western traffic.
If more countries joined this agreement, it would be a thing of beauty. Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria could all be excellent additions via current West African destinations with 737/A320.

Many will openly mock thinner routes from Harare or Brazzaville because we have a tendency to overlook those markets in favor of the sexier European mega hubs. SA focused largely on those routes and they could not withstand the intense competition from the likes of BA/KLM/AirFrance/Lufthansa and now even the low-cost long haul carriers. Pretty amazing to see that Ethiopian successfully built the backbone of its network in Africa focusing on traffic that did not originate or terminate in Addis Ababa. Perhaps this is where SA's future lies.
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aemoreira1981
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:31 am

ghdc10 wrote:
I have been lurking for years, so this is a lengthy cathartic post. Please be gentle.

I don't have anything to say about the current management/politics, but the future could be great if SA were to play their cards right...
...In the last couple of weeks, the Single African Air Transport Market agreement has been signed by over 20 participating nations including South Africa. South African, Ethiopian, Kenya Airways and Egypt Air will all have enormous opportunities to swoop in on routes from cities they already serve to new destinations from which there is proven and under-served demand. https://au.int/sites/default/files/newsevents/workingdocuments/33100-wd-6a-brochure_on_single_african_air_transport_market_english.pdf

SA could, in theory, open new destinations like Bamako with a stop in Brazzaville 3 times a week and Libreville 4 times a week. Neither of these countries have home carriers: there is lots of potential for SA between Central Africa and West Africa.

There is also the possibility of opening up more routes from Cape Town/ Durban to avoid damaging profitable non stop routes like Lagos or Accra to Johannesburg. In the Anglophone markets, think of flights from Cape Town to Accra or Lagos with stops in Harare and full 5th freedom rights along the way. This would be the first West African connection to Harare since the 90s and the first direct service from Cape Town to West Africa. The beauty of these one stop services is that city pairs with even 50 passengers a day (albeit high yielding ones) would work well given the right aircraft. SA could open Accra 3 times a week and Lagos 4 times a week on a C-series. (yes, I dare to dream! how sexy would that be? mockup anyone?)
I think geographic positioning of Johannesburg could make it a strong contender for all south-eastern to north western traffic.
If more countries joined this agreement, it would be a thing of beauty. Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria could all be excellent additions via current West African destinations with 737/A320.

Many will openly mock thinner routes from Harare or Brazzaville because we have a tendency to overlook those markets in favor of the sexier European mega hubs. SA focused largely on those routes and they could not withstand the intense competition from the likes of BA/KLM/AirFrance/Lufthansa and now even the low-cost long haul carriers. Pretty amazing to see that Ethiopian successfully built the backbone of its network in Africa focusing on traffic that did not originate or terminate in Addis Ababa. Perhaps this is where SA's future lies.


Financially speaking though, if such an agreement happens, I see Ethiopian in a better position to do this than anyone else on the continent. The government is hands-off there. Also, SAA might have to swallow a bitter pill and reduce service on its New York route and run it as a one-stop via DSS and fly to EWR so that one doesn't have to rely on O&D (where only 1 plane would be needed---currently 3 planes are needed for JNB-JFK, which is the longest route out of JFK and second-longest from JNB).
 
RainerBoeing777
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:50 am

77west wrote:
SAA's issues are political, primarily. They have never been left alone by the politicians, there were plenty of talented management people in the past but they were never left alone to run the airline like it should have been. This, coupled with the rise of the ME3, and JNB's high altitude, made it hard for them to get ahead. The 777-300ER suffers at times out of JNB, and is too big for many of their routes. I actually think that the A350-900 would be the best, it could do longer routes to South America, North America and Asia with ease, and Europe.


Air China, Cathay Pacific, Delta Airlines, Emirates and others operate with their Boeing 777s in JNB and CPT, South Africa if it has a high demand for that in the past SAA used its B747 in several routes, and British Airways operates with two daily flights using your Airbus A380 and are already looking for a third daily flight with the madness that SAA did with the JNB-LHR route, in CPT British they operate two daily flights with Boeing 747, Air France, Lufthansa, Qantas use their Jumbos in JNB, SAA I have long needed a large plane for missions in Australia, Europe, even North America , as Ethiopian Airlines did, they use their B77W for their high demand missions like Beijing, Guangzhou and Washington DC
CX - JL - LH - KE - KL - SQ - QR - QF - TG
 
ghdc10
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:18 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
ghdc10 wrote:
I have been lurking for years, so this is a lengthy cathartic post. Please be gentle.

I don't have anything to say about the current management/politics, but the future could be great if SA were to play their cards right...
...In the last couple of weeks, the Single African Air Transport Market agreement has been signed by over 20 participating nations including South Africa. South African, Ethiopian, Kenya Airways and Egypt Air will all have enormous opportunities to swoop in on routes from cities they already serve to new destinations from which there is proven and under-served demand. https://au.int/sites/default/files/newsevents/workingdocuments/33100-wd-6a-brochure_on_single_african_air_transport_market_english.pdf

SA could, in theory, open new destinations like Bamako with a stop in Brazzaville 3 times a week and Libreville 4 times a week. Neither of these countries have home carriers: there is lots of potential for SA between Central Africa and West Africa.

There is also the possibility of opening up more routes from Cape Town/ Durban to avoid damaging profitable non stop routes like Lagos or Accra to Johannesburg. In the Anglophone markets, think of flights from Cape Town to Accra or Lagos with stops in Harare and full 5th freedom rights along the way. This would be the first West African connection to Harare since the 90s and the first direct service from Cape Town to West Africa. The beauty of these one stop services is that city pairs with even 50 passengers a day (albeit high yielding ones) would work well given the right aircraft. SA could open Accra 3 times a week and Lagos 4 times a week on a C-series. (yes, I dare to dream! how sexy would that be? mockup anyone?)
I think geographic positioning of Johannesburg could make it a strong contender for all south-eastern to north western traffic.
If more countries joined this agreement, it would be a thing of beauty. Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria could all be excellent additions via current West African destinations with 737/A320.

Many will openly mock thinner routes from Harare or Brazzaville because we have a tendency to overlook those markets in favor of the sexier European mega hubs. SA focused largely on those routes and they could not withstand the intense competition from the likes of BA/KLM/AirFrance/Lufthansa and now even the low-cost long haul carriers. Pretty amazing to see that Ethiopian successfully built the backbone of its network in Africa focusing on traffic that did not originate or terminate in Addis Ababa. Perhaps this is where SA's future lies.


Financially speaking though, if such an agreement happens, I see Ethiopian in a better position to do this than anyone else on the continent. The government is hands-off there. Also, SAA might have to swallow a bitter pill and reduce service on its New York route and run it as a one-stop via DSS and fly to EWR so that one doesn't have to rely on O&D (where only 1 plane would be needed---currently 3 planes are needed for JNB-JFK, which is the longest route out of JFK and second-longest from JNB).


Good observation. I was thinking the same for ETs YYZ and IAD via DUB until I realized the agreement only covers intra-African traffic. I was hoping to see ET route through ACC or LOS to YYZ and put KL/BA/AF/SN to shame on their ridiculously high fares to Canada. Would be excellent for the Star hub at YYZ for onward flights. SA is currently flying IAD via ACC 4 times a week and DSS 2 times a week. It is not unthinkable that they could secure additional traffic rights from Senegal or Ghana (higher yielding traffic due to Ghana's mini oil-boom our of ACC) with their government's help but that would fall completely out of the SAATM. With the hot and high conditions at JNB (and I imagine the resulting payload restrictions) and the additional cost of carrying fuel for the longer non-stop, this may prove yet another smart decision. What I am afraid will happen ultimately is management will see the one stop service via West Africa as disadvantageous to the time sensitive business traveler and opt to keep the nonstop to New York. We are more likely to see ET routing through ACC to North America if they win the national airline contract in Ghana so I'm keeping fingers, toes and tonsils crossed for that development.
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77west
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:58 am

RainerBoeing777 wrote:
77west wrote:
SAA's issues are political, primarily. They have never been left alone by the politicians, there were plenty of talented management people in the past but they were never left alone to run the airline like it should have been. This, coupled with the rise of the ME3, and JNB's high altitude, made it hard for them to get ahead. The 777-300ER suffers at times out of JNB, and is too big for many of their routes. I actually think that the A350-900 would be the best, it could do longer routes to South America, North America and Asia with ease, and Europe.


Air China, Cathay Pacific, Delta Airlines, Emirates and others operate with their Boeing 777s in JNB and CPT, South Africa if it has a high demand for that in the past SAA used its B747 in several routes, and British Airways operates with two daily flights using your Airbus A380 and are already looking for a third daily flight with the madness that SAA did with the JNB-LHR route, in CPT British they operate two daily flights with Boeing 747, Air France, Lufthansa, Qantas use their Jumbos in JNB, SAA I have long needed a large plane for missions in Australia, Europe, even North America , as Ethiopian Airlines did, they use their B77W for their high demand missions like Beijing, Guangzhou and Washington DC


I have no real bias towards Airbus or Boeing products; just that the 77W in current form does have issues out of JNB on hot days. Zeke could confirm this. We do not yet know how the 779 will perform. Possibly a bit better due to the bigger wing. I just think the combination of the A359 as the core long-haul aircraft with possibly the A35K for beefier routes would suit SAA well. The 789 would as well, but the 787-10, not as much, although it might still be good for Europe. So in terms of commonality, a 359/35K fleet for long haul would work quite well to replace the A340's, better than a B789/7810 fleet would.. The 779 is too big for SAA (in current/near-future guise), although the 778 could be a good. They have fairly new A330-200/300CEO for trunk domestic, regional/African routes which don't need to go anywhere soon.

SA is quite far south, and not a logical hub like Ethiopia is, so comparing with them is apples-oranges. (in terms of routes/capacity)
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evanb
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:07 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
Financially speaking though, if such an agreement happens, I see Ethiopian in a better position to do this than anyone else on the continent. The government is hands-off there. Also, SAA might have to swallow a bitter pill and reduce service on its New York route and run it as a one-stop via DSS and fly to EWR so that one doesn't have to rely on O&D (where only 1 plane would be needed---currently 3 planes are needed for JNB-JFK, which is the longest route out of JFK and second-longest from JNB).


There is a very significant O&D market between JNB and NYC, hence the choice of JFK over EWR. It's a business heavy, high-yield route and one of the better performers for SAA. Furthermore, SAA codeshare with B6 at JFK and arguably have a better deal than they do with UA at IAD (or would have at EWR).
 
Amiga500
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:09 pm

SAA are screwed.

They need to spend massive amounts of money overhauling their systems and processes. When folks are standing around for hours at the customer services desk to get a ticket, then miss said flight (by hours) because the systems were so slow then you have serious structural problems within the organisation.
 
Bostrom
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:05 pm

ghdc10 wrote:
Many will openly mock thinner routes from Harare or Brazzaville because we have a tendency to overlook those markets in favor of the sexier European mega hubs. SA focused largely on those routes and they could not withstand the intense competition from the likes of BA/KLM/AirFrance/Lufthansa and now even the low-cost long haul carriers. Pretty amazing to see that Ethiopian successfully built the backbone of its network in Africa focusing on traffic that did not originate or terminate in Addis Ababa. Perhaps this is where SA's future lies.


Ethiopian has an advantage in a better located hub. For flights between Europe and Subsaharan Africa, transfering in ADD makes sense, more so than transfering in Joburg or Cape Town. There might be other markets where JNB is a good hub, and I hope SAA can find them. Australia-Africa maybe?
 
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PM
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:07 pm

I've flown SAA quite a bit over the past couple of years and it seems to me that they are in melt-down. The long-haul Business Class product is declining rapidly and cancellations of short-haul flights are becoming more common. I'd avoid them if I could.
 
evanb
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:02 pm

Bostrom wrote:
Ethiopian has an advantage in a better located hub. For flights between Europe and Subsaharan Africa, transfering in ADD makes sense, more so than transfering in Joburg or Cape Town. There might be other markets where JNB is a good hub, and I hope SAA can find them. Australia-Africa maybe?


And this is the challenge, for SAA to find an optimal business model. They're not going to be a strong hub and so they need to exploit South Africa's strong O&D traffic and good yields much like Qantas has done recently. This might require shifting their network to integrate into stronger partnerships. However, this is all irrelevant if they cannot fix their balance sheet, human resource capacity decline and governance issues.
 
jfk777
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:08 pm

RainerBoeing777 wrote:
77west wrote:
SAA's issues are political, primarily. They have never been left alone by the politicians, there were plenty of talented management people in the past but they were never left alone to run the airline like it should have been. This, coupled with the rise of the ME3, and JNB's high altitude, made it hard for them to get ahead. The 777-300ER suffers at times out of JNB, and is too big for many of their routes. I actually think that the A350-900 would be the best, it could do longer routes to South America, North America and Asia with ease, and Europe.


Air China, Cathay Pacific, Delta Airlines, Emirates and others operate with their Boeing 777s in JNB and CPT, South Africa if it has a high demand for that in the past SAA used its B747 in several routes, and British Airways operates with two daily flights using your Airbus A380 and are already looking for a third daily flight with the madness that SAA did with the JNB-LHR route, in CPT British they operate two daily flights with Boeing 747, Air France, Lufthansa, Qantas use their Jumbos in JNB, SAA I have long needed a large plane for missions in Australia, Europe, even North America , as Ethiopian Airlines did, they use their B77W for their high demand missions like Beijing, Guangzhou and Washington DC


SAA dumped their 747 for A340-600 over a decade ago, the only airline flying 747-400 on a regular basis is Qantas. LH uses either A380 or 747-8. BA rarely flies in a 744 after one taxied by accident into building at night about three years ago.
 
BigTexFlyer
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:44 am

Maybe they should try one of the entitled US cities to JNB via west Africa. The airports “will gladly pay for it” as mentioned by a poster regarding MNL-AUS as plausible.

Heck, RFD could pay for this money losing venture!
 
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juliuswong
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:09 am

File SAA, MH and TG under same category. Government meddling with every aspect of operation. These airlines have been in and out of ICU/CCU for many years repeatedly. AI too.
- Life is a journey, travel it well -
 
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enzo011
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:04 am

There are a couple of reasons why SAA struggles and they have been mentioned before. There has been mismanagement from the top due to political interference. Add in to this at the same time the rise of EK (and the other ME airlines to a lesser extent) you have an airline that had to be adaptable to change to ensure profitable operations under trying circumstances. The fact that the board was/is a political tool and seems in no way capable of a competent plan to turn the airline around means we are having their problems multiply more and more each year.
 
QF1607
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:12 am

The first thing SAA needs to do to return to profit, is get rid of those fuel guzzling A340's and replace them with 787's or A350... reducing the number of J seats on planes by half and adding more Y seats would be a good move as well...
 
Egerton
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:54 am

The Republic of South Africa is in the process of removing their corrupt President, and replacing him with a person who may or may not prove to be incorruptible. (Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.) It will be a good signal if the new broom sweeps clean by shutting down SAA. Others may take its place, if there is a commercial case for such a thing, which I doubt. If not, then it will not be missed.
 
grjplanes
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:40 am

Depending on what happens over the next few days in the government, could be an indicator of what path SAA might be on over the next few years. Already since Mr Ramaphosa was elected as the new ANC president, with hopes of Zuma being replaced sooner than later, the economy and optimism started to look like it's improving.

SAA finally got a new CEO towards the end of 2017 and he already also have taken a more harsh stance on things and that can be seen in all the changes that's happened over the last few months, many that feels tough but needs to be done:
Cutting of routes intra-Africa (BZV, LBV, PNR, COO, ABV, DLA)
Reduction of frequency on some routes due to tougher competition (NBO, EBB) from East African carriers like KQ, ET and WB...or to the reason of struggling to repatriate funds ie reducing JNB-LAD from daily widebody ops to just 2 weekly A320.
Transfering of big chunk of domestic operations to low-cost arm Mango (JNB-CPT, JNB-DUR, JNB-PLZ) or just reducing frequency (JNB-ELS).
Optimising some routes ie: JNB-MRU reduction in frequency but daily use of widebody...which helps with widebody utilisation...also JNB-CPT less widebody ops again.

Withdrawal of some aircraft off leases...2 older A320s returned, 3 737-800s transfered to Mango, last 3 to be gone by end of March (either return to leasee or transfer to Mango?)
1 A340-300 withdrawn
 
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:56 am

Apparently I found out that 2 A320's ZS-SZY/SZZ and 1 A319 ZS-SFN was already grounded few months.
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cv990Coronado
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 am

juliuswong wrote:
File SAA, MH and TG under same category. Government meddling with every aspect of operation. These airlines have been in and out of ICU/CCU for many years repeatedly. AI too.


You are absolutely correct.

As others have said the very corrupt SA president is likely to be gone very soon. However, the culture of having a state airline for employment of friends and associates has been around long before he was president. SAA working with a good partner/shareholding foreign airline i.e Emirates would work, whether there is the political will in the ANC government for this to happen is another matter. The optimist in me says yes but sadly the realist in me says no.
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:38 am

SQ789 wrote:
Apparently I found out that 2 A320's ZS-SZY/SZZ and 1 A319 ZS-SFN was already grounded few months.


SZY/SZZ were never intended to stay longer than 5 years, they were short term solutions to a sudden exodus of 2 737's in 2011 until SAA's own batch of A320's were delivered. SFN was returned to lessor and eventually scrapped which is unfortunate as SA's 319's are well kitted out.
 
parapente
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:49 am

Over the recent past oil has been 50-60$ a barrel. So whilst it is true that a 346 burns a little more than a 773er it's by no means a key factor.
From what one reads here it's the whole gamut of what is in effect a service industry.What does the Brand stand for these days?
To compete against the majors they need to be 'better than' not 'worse than'.Need to take a leaf out of Air Newzealand/Qantas' books as examples.
Internally (Africa) an economical aircraft such as the A321LR might be the way to go.
 
evanb
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:37 pm

QF1607 wrote:
The first thing SAA needs to do to return to profit, is get rid of those fuel guzzling A340's and replace them with 787's or A350... reducing the number of J seats on planes by half and adding more Y seats would be a good move as well...


I don't think replacing the A340s with B787s or A350s or adjusting the premium mix would be a panacea. The challenges are fundamentally governance related.
 
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cv990Coronado
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:45 pm

evanb wrote:
QF1607 wrote:
The first thing SAA needs to do to return to profit, is get rid of those fuel guzzling A340's and replace them with 787's or A350... reducing the number of J seats on planes by half and adding more Y seats would be a good move as well...


I don't think replacing the A340s with B787s or A350s or adjusting the premium mix would be a panacea. The challenges are fundamentally governance related.


Exactly, one often sees comments on a-net regarding SAA to the effect that the 777 or 787 would sort out their problems or that they wouldn't have had such problems had they had them. Maybe these comments are because SAA was a mainly Boeing airline way back or perhaps people don't understand the situation of a carrier who is controlled by a government in a 3rd world country. The main issues are government interference and incompetence that has to be sorted before anything else. Geographic problems, alliances, equipment and route strategies won't fix the problem without fixing the main one. If the correct management was allowed to manage with no threat of interference and if a substantial share could be sold to a competent industry player such as EK, I then believe there is a chance of success. Depending on the strategy chosen then the re-equipment decisions can then be made. I would think on the basis of the current fleet and crews the A359 and A321LR would be a good way to go in keeping with the current A330/320's. I really hope this is possible, I have flown on SAA 6 times in the past 6 months and the service was friendly and competent. The staff just need a management team who can operate as such and not with one hand tied behind their backs.
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:04 pm

Can the 77W of ET not run ADD-IAD/YYZ on their own? I've always wondered why the stop in DUB. Many 77Ws fly routes much further.
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:14 pm

AA777223 wrote:
Can the 77W of ET not run ADD-IAD/YYZ on their own? I've always wondered why the stop in DUB. Many 77Ws fly routes much further.


ADD sits an altitude of 7656 feet ASL, hence the tech stop
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evanb
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:19 pm

cv990Coronado wrote:
Depending on the strategy chosen then the re-equipment decisions can then be made. I would think on the basis of the current fleet and crews the A359 and A321LR would be a good way to go in keeping with the current A330/320's.


A few people seem to think the A321LR will be good for SAA although I'm not sure why this would be? I'm not sure the A321neo (which the LR ultimately is) will be a good performer at 5,500ft and not sure which routes it would be needed for?
 
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:26 pm

evanb wrote:
cv990Coronado wrote:
Depending on the strategy chosen then the re-equipment decisions can then be made. I would think on the basis of the current fleet and crews the A359 and A321LR would be a good way to go in keeping with the current A330/320's.


A few people seem to think the A321LR will be good for SAA although I'm not sure why this would be? I'm not sure the A321neo (which the LR ultimately is) will be a good performer at 5,500ft and not sure which routes it would be needed for?


I think you are correct with the altitude in JNB perhaps a normal NEO would be better. I was also thinking more of perhaps basing some in CPT and using them direct to MRU and perhaps up to places in Africa. But sadly I don't think the traffic would be there at present. Yes, the A320NEo would be very good and more versatile. I wonder what the range of an A320NEO would be ex JNB?, does anyway know based on full payload 25C midday takeoff at JNB?
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:57 pm

cv990Coronado wrote:
I think you are correct with the altitude in JNB perhaps a normal NEO would be better. I was also thinking more of perhaps basing some in CPT and using them direct to MRU and perhaps up to places in Africa. But sadly I don't think the traffic would be there at present. Yes, the A320NEo would be very good and more versatile. I wonder what the range of an A320NEO would be ex JNB?, does anyway know based on full payload 25C midday takeoff at JNB?


The A321neo and A321LR are the same aircraft, the latter just with extra fuel tanks, so they would both have the same challenges with hot and high performance, which primarily come from the wing. I'm not sure what the penalty would be ex JNB, but the A321ceo wasn't great. But I'd let people who have the performance data weigh in on it. The A319/320neo should have a touch more range than the ceo but I wouldn't expect too much better take-off performance.

CPT-MRU is 2226nm and CPT-LOS is 2575nm. They're both well within the range of A319/320ceo if SAA were inclined to try either of them. There isn't a destination in Africa which SAA currently fly to which cannot be reached with the A319 from CPT, including DKR/DDS.
 
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:09 pm

From videos I have seen, their cabin interior, including their business class seems very old ... Not their biggest problem, but considering the competition from big European Airlines and also African Airlines With much newer equipent such as Kenya Airways and Ethophian it's not helping.
 
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:13 pm

Thanks "evanb" well the A321 doesn't look a good option then, maybe that's why they have stuck to the A319/320's which are great aircraft in my opinion.
I can't really see them opening up CPT just a dream, SAA are JNB airways as BA are London Airways.
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evanb
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:57 pm

Mortyman wrote:
From videos I have seen, their cabin interior, including their business class seems very old ... Not their biggest problem, but considering the competition from big European Airlines and also African Airlines With much newer equipent such as Kenya Airways and Ethophian it's not helping.


SAA's A320 has a significantly better on-board product that anything on KQ or ET's B737s while SAA's A330-300 has a better on-board product than KQ or ET's. The A330-200 and A340-300/600s are also much the same on-board product as KQ and ET, although the A340s are a little tired.
 
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:15 pm

cv990Coronado wrote:
Thanks "evanb" well the A321 doesn't look a good option then, maybe that's why they have stuck to the A319/320's which are great aircraft in my opinion.
I can't really see them opening up CPT just a dream, SAA are JNB airways as BA are London Airways.


Absolutely, SAA are JNB Airways, but that business model was built when there was significantly less direct capacity into CPT, particularly on regional routes. Now that CPT has direct regional services to ADD, GBE, LAD, LVI, MRU, NBO, VFA, WDH and WVB through non-SA code while only MUB, VFA, WDH and WVB served by SA code there is probably a case to start looking at more direct services.
 
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:31 am

Rumor has it some SAA heavies are in/ have been to Seattle. Could they be looking at a B787-8/9/10 order to replace the A343/346 fleets?
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evanb
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:20 am

T54A wrote:
Rumor has it some SAA heavies are in/ have been to Seattle. Could they be looking at a B787-8/9/10 order to replace the A343/346 fleets?


No.
 
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77west
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:51 am

T54A wrote:
Rumor has it some SAA heavies are in/ have been to Seattle. Could they be looking at a B787-8/9/10 order to replace the A343/346 fleets?


Nothing would actually surprise me with SAA, but I still don't feel the 787 family fit their ops. (Also, Boeing does NOT want to sell more 787-8, they would almost give you the -9 for the same price to avoid it.)

The -9 may work to North America and Asia, and the -10 would probably do Europe OK, but the A359/A35K option fits so much better. (I will say again I have no personal bias towards either of the manufacturers.)

On the short/midhual / African routes, the A321LR could work pretty well I think. May even be able to upgrade a daily flight with the A330 to more frequencies with the A321.

If they ever regained their market share, they could fill a 777-9 to LHR twice daily. In fact the 777-8/9 would work quite well, IF they could regain some of the market share and routes they had 10-15 years ago.
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oceanvikram
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:44 am

"What's happening with South African Airways?"

Re-joining the illustrious club of basket case airlines. It was a basket case airline during the Apartheid days. Then became decent during the Mandela days and then during the Mbeki day's the decline started to happen.

They can go to Seattle, Toulouse, Montreal, São José dos Campos or Moscow and buy new toys and it still won't make any difference to the airline. If they can not get their current operations profitable, what will new aircrafts do for them?
 
Egerton
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:33 pm

oceanvikram wrote:
"What's happening with South African Airways?"

Re-joining the illustrious club of basket case airlines. It was a basket case airline during the Apartheid days. Then became decent during the Mandela days and then during the Mbeki day's the decline started to happen.

They can go to Seattle, Toulouse, Montreal, São José dos Campos or Moscow and buy new toys and it still won't make any difference to the airline. If they can not get their current operations profitable, what will new aircrafts do for them?


Fill their pockets with more bribes?
 
evanb
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:38 pm

77west wrote:
The -9 may work to North America and Asia, and the -10 would probably do Europe OK, but the A359/A35K option fits so much better. (I will say again I have no personal bias towards either of the manufacturers.)


As long as the A359/A35K has a hot and high advantage over the B787 then this will be SAA's preference.

77west wrote:
On the short/midhual / African routes, the A321LR could work pretty well I think. May even be able to upgrade a daily flight with the A330 to more frequencies with the A321.


Firstly, unless the A321LR has massively improved hot and high performance over the ceo then it's a non-starter. Secondly, the challenge is that the routes where this idea might have promise, maybe JNB-LOS or JNB-ACC-ABJ, there is little benefit to be gained by upping frequency. The current departure schedules offer all the necessary domestic and regional connecting options. If higher frequency will increase unit cost but not increase yield then it'll be a poor move.

77west wrote:
If they ever regained their market share, they could fill a 777-9 to LHR twice daily. In fact the 777-8/9 would work quite well, IF they could regain some of the market share and routes they had 10-15 years ago.


Assuming that the A359/A35K is the backbone of the fleet, what routes would they utilize B777-9 on? I'm not sure it would be a big enough fleet to justify. They probably need at least 10x B777-8/9 to make it work. 2x daily LHR, 1x daily FRA ... where else?
 
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:08 pm

evanb wrote:
77west wrote:
The -9 may work to North America and Asia, and the -10 would probably do Europe OK, but the A359/A35K option fits so much better. (I will say again I have no personal bias towards either of the manufacturers.)


As long as the A359/A35K has a hot and high advantage over the B787 then this will be SAA's preference.

77west wrote:
On the short/midhual / African routes, the A321LR could work pretty well I think. May even be able to upgrade a daily flight with the A330 to more frequencies with the A321.


Firstly, unless the A321LR has massively improved hot and high performance over the ceo then it's a non-starter. Secondly, the challenge is that the routes where this idea might have promise, maybe JNB-LOS or JNB-ACC-ABJ, there is little benefit to be gained by upping frequency. The current departure schedules offer all the necessary domestic and regional connecting options. If higher frequency will increase unit cost but not increase yield then it'll be a poor move.

77west wrote:
If they ever regained their market share, they could fill a 777-9 to LHR twice daily. In fact the 777-8/9 would work quite well, IF they could regain some of the market share and routes they had 10-15 years ago.


Assuming that the A359/A35K is the backbone of the fleet, what routes would they utilize B777-9 on? I'm not sure it would be a big enough fleet to justify. They probably need at least 10x B777-8/9 to make it work. 2x daily LHR, 1x daily FRA ... where else?


JFK, GRU and Perth. SAA could add more destination in Europe. SAA should also change alliances, Star is the wrong alliance for them.
 
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cv990Coronado
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:09 pm

evanb wrote:
77west wrote:
The -9 may work to North America and Asia, and the -10 would probably do Europe OK, but the A359/A35K option fits so much better. (I will say again I have no personal bias towards either of the manufacturers.)


As long as the A359/A35K has a hot and high advantage over the B787 then this will be SAA's preference.

Exactly, the larger wing helps a lot here.

77west wrote:
On the short/midhual / African routes, the A321LR could work pretty well I think. May even be able to upgrade a daily flight with the A330 to more frequencies with the A321.


Firstly, unless the A321LR has massively improved hot and high performance over the ceo then it's a non-starter. Secondly, the challenge is that the routes where this idea might have promise, maybe JNB-LOS or JNB-ACC-ABJ, there is little benefit to be gained by upping frequency. The current departure schedules offer all the necessary domestic and regional connecting options. If higher frequency will increase unit cost but not increase yield then it'll be a poor move.

I agree, plus the fact that I think the cargo capacity is often needed which the A321LR would certainly lack.

77west wrote:
If they ever regained their market share, they could fill a 777-9 to LHR twice daily. In fact the 777-8/9 would work quite well, IF they could regain some of the market share and routes they had 10-15 years ago.


Assuming that the A359/A35K is the backbone of the fleet, what routes would they utilize B777-9 on? I'm not sure it would be a big enough fleet to justify. They probably need at least 10x B777-8/9 to make it work. 2x daily LHR, 1x daily FRA ... where else?


With SAA's crew and maintenance so geared for Airbus products these days, a small fleet of Boeing's makes no sense. In fact with all the others things needing to fixed why introduce a completely different aircraft when you can obtain ones from Airbus which have a large degree of commonality.
I certainly miss the many good memories of flying in SAA's 747's & SPs but that was a different time. Boeing was the best and the longest ranged product available, things have changed in the world and at SAA.
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jfk777
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:31 pm

cv990Coronado wrote:
evanb wrote:
77west wrote:
The -9 may work to North America and Asia, and the -10 would probably do Europe OK, but the A359/A35K option fits so much better. (I will say again I have no personal bias towards either of the manufacturers.)


As long as the A359/A35K has a hot and high advantage over the B787 then this will be SAA's preference.

Exactly, the larger wing helps a lot here.

77west wrote:
On the short/midhual / African routes, the A321LR could work pretty well I think. May even be able to upgrade a daily flight with the A330 to more frequencies with the A321.


Firstly, unless the A321LR has massively improved hot and high performance over the ceo then it's a non-starter. Secondly, the challenge is that the routes where this idea might have promise, maybe JNB-LOS or JNB-ACC-ABJ, there is little benefit to be gained by upping frequency. The current departure schedules offer all the necessary domestic and regional connecting options. If higher frequency will increase unit cost but not increase yield then it'll be a poor move.

I agree, plus the fact that I think the cargo capacity is often needed which the A321LR would certainly lack.

77west wrote:
If they ever regained their market share, they could fill a 777-9 to LHR twice daily. In fact the 777-8/9 would work quite well, IF they could regain some of the market share and routes they had 10-15 years ago.


Assuming that the A359/A35K is the backbone of the fleet, what routes would they utilize B777-9 on? I'm not sure it would be a big enough fleet to justify. They probably need at least 10x B777-8/9 to make it work. 2x daily LHR, 1x daily FRA ... where else?


With SAA's crew and maintenance so geared for Airbus products these days, a small fleet of Boeing's makes no sense. In fact with all the others things needing to fixed why introduce a completely different aircraft when you can obtain ones from Airbus which have a large degree of commonality.
I certainly miss the many good memories of flying in SAA's 747's & SPs but that was a different time. Boeing was the best and the longest ranged product available, things have changed in the world and at SAA.




Things changed in the world but Airbus is not lways the better solution, for SAA a 250 seat long haul plane is better then a 300 seater. A 787-9 being smaller then an A350-900 would be better for SAA on their ultra long haul routes. SAA long hauls move 200 passengers from 5,000 to 8,000 miles, its doesn't need bigger planes.
 
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cv990Coronado
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Re: What's happening with South African Airways?

Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:13 pm

jfk777 wrote:
cv990Coronado wrote:
evanb wrote:

As long as the A359/A35K has a hot and high advantage over the B787 then this will be SAA's preference.

Exactly, the larger wing helps a lot here.



Firstly, unless the A321LR has massively improved hot and high performance over the ceo then it's a non-starter. Secondly, the challenge is that the routes where this idea might have promise, maybe JNB-LOS or JNB-ACC-ABJ, there is little benefit to be gained by upping frequency. The current departure schedules offer all the necessary domestic and regional connecting options. If higher frequency will increase unit cost but not increase yield then it'll be a poor move.

I agree, plus the fact that I think the cargo capacity is often needed which the A321LR would certainly lack.



Assuming that the A359/A35K is the backbone of the fleet, what routes would they utilize B777-9 on? I'm not sure it would be a big enough fleet to justify. They probably need at least 10x B777-8/9 to make it work. 2x daily LHR, 1x daily FRA ... where else?


With SAA's crew and maintenance so geared for Airbus products these days, a small fleet of Boeing's makes no sense. In fact with all the others things needing to fixed why introduce a completely different aircraft when you can obtain ones from Airbus which have a large degree of commonality.
I certainly miss the many good memories of flying in SAA's 747's & SPs but that was a different time. Boeing was the best and the longest ranged product available, things have changed in the world and at SAA.




Things changed in the world but Airbus is not lways the better solution, for SAA a 250 seat long haul plane is better then a 300 seater. A 787-9 being smaller then an A350-900 would be better for SAA on their ultra long haul routes. SAA long hauls move 200 passengers from 5,000 to 8,000 miles, its doesn't need bigger planes.


I can't say I agree here, the A359 is a more capable aircraft especially from JNB and although the A359 is slightly bigger that's not that many extra seats. Besides SAA in the past has needed the seats and possibly will in the future. However, irrespective of those points I just don't see any sense changing and losing all the commonality especially for a small airline at the end of Africa. SAA's A332's are only a few years old and the A333 are new. The A359 would slot in well and there must be way less training involved going from an A330/340 or even A320 to an A359 than there is going to a 787. Ditto mechanics, ground staff and other departments. SAA is not in the league of BA and AF where they can operate the A350/787 combination and take the best from each.
I
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