Thrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2674 posts, RR: 11 Posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5650 times:
Hi. I just wanted to ask: Doesn't it seem rather strange that no US carriers fly to Africa? AA, UA, DL, CO, and NW combined serve every continent except Africa (and Antarctica, why on earth would anyone serve a continent with a lower population than St. Louis and Chicago combined). TWA and Pan Am once flew to Africa, but it seems that no U.S. airline seems to be interested in Africa. Is it because they fear they will spread the viruses and diseases of Africa into America? (Don't mean to sound discriminatory)
Cory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 6 Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5635 times:
Well, I know that a while ago there had been a rumor that CO was looking into serving LOS from either IAH or EWR to connect to the oil industry there, but it was simply a rumor. I don't know what came of it; maybe Artsyman, 777gk, or COAB767 could enlighten us as to that route's status.
M404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2214 posts, RR: 5 Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5490 times:
I think it's because our carriers are total capitalists and profit is the ONLY motivation. We have to answer to stockholders and not national pride and almost immediate profit is sought. We had virtually no colonial heritage on that continent so no expats or descendants to work from. Note that both TW and PA are very sadly gone.
You have to admit that now is certainly not the time to strike out there now in this financial era for air carriers. Security and support structure is another factor.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
Oneworldman From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 190 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5443 times:
"We had virtually no colonial heritage on that continent so no expats or descendants to work from".
Actually M404, that statement is not exactly accurate...practically the entire country of Liberia is made up of decendants of ex-slaves from the United States who went there and created there country, Hence the Name Liberia and why there flag is so similar to ours.
Boeing757/767 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2264 posts, RR: 2 Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5379 times:
I don't get your comment about Antarctica. It has a year-round population of a handful of scientists and no airport -- I don't get the reference to the population of St.Louis and Chicago... Or am I reading the sentence wrong?
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 12365 posts, RR: 12 Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5368 times:
Demand, economics, politics, safety and security are all reasons why US based airliner apparently do not serve African destinations. I am surpised that their isn't any direct USA airline services to Cairo, Johannasburg, etc. Let us not forget that there are several 1st line, very experienced and well operated African based airlines.
Demand - Better served by African or European based airlines, their hubs and connecting services. Recent stricter US visa standards have also reduced demand.
Economics - Investments in a/c, facilities and operations are put at too much risk for poor returns. Far too many countries there are not too observant of the rule of law and airlines cannot risk loss of a/c, etc. The oft changing economics of some African countries along with demand and service already by African based carriers preclude US carriers going there.
Politics - Fewer US airlines serving means African based carriers have a chance to survive with the limited demand. Often the leaders of some of those countries limit access to their national carriers to keep income, profits, jobs to people in their countries. Also, some countries unfortunately work on the bribe system to get things through or done, even on a daily basis and as US companies are severely limited in paying bribes and are probably perceived as having a bottomless barrel of money they don't want to get into that trap.
Safety - Some people in some of these countries are quite anti-American, so US airliners would be at high-risk of attack as symbols of USA. Their is also the far too often corruption of local police, military leaders whom might jeopardise US airlines/property.
Security - Especially after 9-11, would you want to have to rely, with some exceptions, on the local security agents in some African countries? Better they have to funnel through the national carrier or via Europe and subject to further screening there.
PA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1952 posts, RR: 26 Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5288 times:
As quite a few have already mentioned, the reason is pure economics. The only scheduled commercial direct service between the USA and Africa is:
AT: from New York to CMN
GH: from Baltimore and New York to ACC
MS: from New York to CAI
ET: from Dulles and Newark to ADD
SA: from Atlanta and New York to JNB and CPT
The only one that actually makes money is SA due to a better mix of high yield and leisure/ethnic traffic. I think ET does ok with government contracts, but AT, GH and MS have mostly low yield leisure/ethnic traffic and fly more for national pride than anything else (or as a ferry service for government ministers). GH is on life support and barely hanging on. Two other carriers (RK and WT) have already gone under because of rampant corruption and little ability to capture high yield traffic willing to actually pay their bills. The two U.S. carriers that flew direct were extremely short-lived. E8 (US Africa Airways) had a poor business model and could not sustain a profit as a single route airline. World tried regular scheduled service to South Africa as well and did not stay for long. World now only operates charter flights to Africa.
Why a US carrier would want to enter this envronment is answered by the fact that none have.
Warren747sp From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1132 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5237 times:
I was in Luanda a few month ago. It is interesting how they have one terminal for everyone else and one checking terminal dedicated to ESSO.
They told me the flight goes to Texas non-stop as confirmed by B747skipper.
I guess it confirms economics dictate US Airlines route expansion.
MaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 15814 posts, RR: 50 Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5186 times:
"Actually M404, that statement is not exactly accurate...practically the entire country of Liberia is made up of decendants of ex-slaves from the United States who went there and created there country, Hence the Name Liberia and why there flag is so similar to ours."
N79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5168 times:
"I guess it confirms economics dictate US Airlines route expansion."
Is there supposed to be any other motivation or rationale? I hope not.
European carriers are much better able to consolidate Africa-bound traffic from the US and Europe at their hubs and fly them on to their destination. This ability to consolidate gives them what I believe is called "economies of density" as the routes are short and flights can be filled.
To serve Africa, US carriers would be forced to fly very long, very thin routes that would be uneconomical without a constant stream of premium paying passengers. The economics of flights of those durations are challenging. The Europeans can do it much cheaper.
It is not strange at all that US carriers do not serve Africa. It makes perfect sense.
American 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3334 posts, RR: 14 Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5101 times:
Pan Am used to go to Nairobi. They also flew to Johannesburg but they dropped that destination when the United States government, the Reagan era in the 80's, banned all flights bound to/from South Africa.
I don't think any other US carrier has ever flown to Nairobi or Johannesburg, the busiest international airport in Africa.
"Aimer jusqu'a l'impossible, c'est possible". Tina Arena.
ERJ From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 244 posts, RR: 2 Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5024 times:
I understand the primary reason to be safety. Except for Egypt, most of Africa is extremely primitive, decades behind North America, Eastern Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Navaids are unreliable, ILS's are almost non-existant. It's the same reason, there are a limited number of flights to South America. Things may change as GPS approaches come to be more accepted and (more importantly) certified for part 121 operators.
Korg747 From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 549 posts, RR: 6 Reply 24, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4805 times:
Well if you guys speaking of profit. I can tell you all that the four TWA flight I had to CAI where full to the last seat. So I guess I would have to say security is the reason of why US airlines don't fly to Egypt.
Please excuse my English!
25 Danialanwar: Safety better not be the reason why no US airliner flies to Africa. Many European airlines with high(er) security standards do fly to Africa a lot. My
26 Usatoeze: I'm not sure that the US knows where Africa actually is. Pathetic comment. It seems we knew Mobutu well.
27 Korg747: "Safety better not be the reason why no US airliner flies to Africa. Many European airlines with high(er) security standards do fly to Africa a lot."
28 TheSilverBirds: Spike's comment wasnt meant to be insulting.. haha, its that british humor. I found it to be pretty funny.
29 Yulguy: Please. Security is not the reason why American airlines do not fly to Africa. If there was a market, they'd be there. There were no Am airlines flyin
30 Yulguy: And the comment from ERJ....We don't need that kind of backwards thinking here. Do you know where Africa is ERJ? It is not primitive. How about gettin
31 Usatoeze: Spike's comment wasnt meant to be insulting.. haha, its that british humor. I found it to be pretty funny. That's why I responded that we knew Mobutu.
32 Andz: ERJ is partly right. I have spoken to several SAA pilots who have said that some of the ATC facilities and procedures over central Africa are dicey at
33 Airfrancejfk: Ok, first things first, Liberia is not made up of mostly freed American slaves. Yes the capital is named after President Monroe (hence Monrovia), and
34 Jfernandez: Without insulting the people, the reality is that the air infrastructure is not in very good shape. In addition, security situations in various parts
35 N276AASTT: As far as AA is concerned. I think they rely on the traffic feed provided by their Oneworld alliance with British Airways which serves a lot of destin
36 Spike: Its not just Africa, look at the US international network, compared with the European / Asian carriers international network. The US airline industry
37 ERJ: Sure economics fit into the equation. The economics do not outweigh the risks. And security, while commonly a separate department, is absolutely a saf
38 Aviasian: ERJ : Please grow up and don't sway towards the extremes only. I am just saying that it is not accurate to say that other than Egypt, most of the rest
39 ERJ: The question was "Why no US Carriers in Africa" I answered that question. I am not going to speculate on non-US carriers, I will stick with the discus
40 MAH4546: TACV had a direct flight between Boston and Sal. Ist this flight still operating ? Yes, every Monday. Except for Egypt, most of Africa is extremely pr
41 AirGabon: ERJ :"Navaids are unreliable, ILS's are almost non-existant." Every airports of the main African cities have ILS !! In Africa we are talking about the
42 JGPH1A: Re: Countries like Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Gabon are OK for Navaids, ILS and ATC. You forgot the m
43 Airnondo: MAH4546, I think the comment by ERJ about 'primitiveness' was referring to the state of atc equipment, novaids, etc; it was Not an attempt to bash Afr
44 Myk: Algeria has new ultramodern ATC equipment. Things change and improve in Africa, slowly, but they change !
45 ERJ: Airnondo: Thanks for understanding what I'm trying to say.
46 SA006: An new African airline called Island Air will be operating from Sao Tome to Houston, TX soon this year I think with 747-SP's Here in South Africa we h
47 5NEOO: The answer is simple; lack of demand! Since tourism is almost non-existent in this continent, most people flying between both continents are either fr
48 JGPH1A: Possibly the tourist and business traffic needs to go to different places, which makes running direct services less profitable. Tourists want to go to
49 Transat1011: Airfrancejfk Just a note on AT flights that used to stopover in JFK... The 767 service is really appreciated, especially here in YUL saving the troubl
50 Spike: At least Clinton took AF1 around the continent. It can't be that bad. JFK-LAG-NBI would work commercialy, secuity US side would be a nightmare though.