LatinAviation From Ireland, joined Nov 2003, 1276 posts, RR: 15 Posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2551 times:
Did anyone on the list ever get to fly (or work for) USAfrica Airways? Just curious as to what their service was like? I know they were only operational for something like nine months or so. They used two MD-11s leased from AA at terribly high rates.
IslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2490 times:
I think they had a good idea but were poorly funded. There was no other direct service to Africa from the USA at that time. Even now, I believe SAA is the only one to fly direct to the continent from the USA.
AA777MIA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 686 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2441 times:
The flew from IAD to JHB and CapeTowne I believe. They leased MD11's from AA. They also bought all the old dishes from AA. Those of you who remember the old Powder Blue stuff, YUK! They bought all that when AA changed their dishes. If I remember correctly they wore a traditional uniform, except in coach, they wore slacks and a nice tropical print shirt. I think it looked nice. I was at IAD the day that AA seized the aircraft and USAfrica halted operations..
Planemannyc From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1004 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2321 times:
Right on, Sean. All those carriers have been flying to the US for a number of years. One more: Ethiopian Airlines.
I think USAfrica had a marketing pact with Continental Airlines. I think it was a good idea, but poorly financed and executed. I think there is still room for a US based carrier to serve Africa. Accra/Ghana, Abidjan/Ivory Coast, Dakar/Senegal, Conakry/Guinea, Lagos/Nigeria could easily provide a good return, just based on the number of immigrants that live in the Northeast from these countries. Also, the tourist/safari destinations in East Africa would fetch enough traffic. Given the security concerns, however, I don't think there will be too many investors. If an airline were to be recommenced, I think it has to be low-key and not use "US", "America" or "United" as part of its name. My two cents' worth
LatinAviation From Ireland, joined Nov 2003, 1276 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2171 times:
They flew just to South Africa and the fuel stopover in Ihla do Sal - they never had an opportunity to expand further, though they had plans to expand to Zimbabwe and West Africa. They signed a marketing agreement with CO after they suspended service, with a planned re-launch from EWR in conjunction with CO. This, of course, never happened but World Airways took over the service and operated flights to West Africa, South Africa, Ireland and Tel Aviv from EWR with MD-11s, also in conjunction with CO.
They were ground-handled in IAD by UA, one of my friend's used to work their flight. They had some sort of agreement with UA, but I don't think it was a codeshare - maybe just a feed type of operation - surprising, given that both USAfrica's aircraft and some of senior management (incl. Wes Kalhdal) came from AA.
Nwacrew From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2034 times:
I remember going to a splashy launch party for USAfrica at the Mark Hopkins Hotel here in San Francisco.
In discussion with the guy who was creating the airline (I have no idea at this point what his name was) I mentioned something about the cabin crew laying-over in Sal, and he told me there would be no crew change; the flight attendants would work from Dulles straight through to South Africa. Ditto on the return flight.
USAfrica was not even planning any kind of crew rest facilities on their aircraft. I told this guy that having a dead-on-their-feet cabin crew - on duty for as long as 22 hours - was no way to launch a new service, and if USAfrica was that cheap, I suspected they were under-funded and would fail.
JGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2021 times:
No crew change at SAL ? Blimey, that's a hard slog. I know some Cabin Crew at SAA used to work the JFK-SID-JNB flights straight through (known as "the bullet") in order to get a longer layover in NYC - but it was the exception rather than the rule. (One hears vicious and obviously TOTALLY false rumours about what used to go on during the crew layovers at SID - but what do expect, there's sod all to do there and no cable TV !).