BP1 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 593 posts, RR: 1 Posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7913 times:
Back in the early 1990's there was a carrier flying (2) leased American Airlines MD-11's from IAD-JNB and CPT via Il De Sol on the Cape Verde Islands. The company was called USAfrica Airways and at the time was the only US flagged carrier flying to South Africa.
A brief history on USAfrica - they started flying (2) leased MD-11's from IAD to South Africa shortly after the days of Apartheid ended. The company was based in Reston, VA and competed directly with South African Airways. After only 11 months, the carrier ceased operations the day after American Airlines (note the owner of the aircraft) entered into a code share agreement with South African Airways and repossessed the (2) MD-11's.
Did anyone, besides myself, on this forum fly USAfrica Airways or work for them? If so, it would be great to hear about your experiences as I worked for them and thought the concept was unique back in the 1990's. Today, you have North American and Delta serving Africa as US flagged carriers.
"First To Fly The A-380" / 26 October 2007 SYD-SIN Inaugural
Scxmechanic From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 534 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 7850 times:
I used to work with a guy who helped start up the MX side of that outfit... You should have heard some of the stories he had... Simply amazing they lasted as long as they did with the restrictions put on them by AA and other outside influences. He is retired now and living In PHX. He worked for TWA for many many years and had stories of all kinds. Including doing Presidential missions with TWA.
I was working at SAA at the time, and we had a pool on how many months SAA would allow USAfrica to stay afloat (SAA had very little patience with competition back in them days - same now) - needless to say, the operation folded in less than a year, IIRC.
Their biggest problem was flying from IAD with no feed at either end of the line. Precious few people apart from diplomats need to fly to Washington. They'd have done better flying out of New York, Miami or Dallas.
PA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2083 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7699 times:
I flew E8 (USAfrica's old code) roundtrip business class from IAD to CPT. I remember, the crew were fantastic, but the Business Class seats were horrible. They were AA seats, and AA would not allow E8 to reconfigure the cabins. The seat pitch was so tight that when the person in front reclined, it was nearly impossible to get in or out of your seat.
The crew were hysterical. They would switch to loud floral print shirts after take-off. They treated passengers as if they were guests at a fabulous cocktail party. I remember running into the crew during their layover in CPT. We went out for beers and partied at a couple of gay clubs. Lots of fun. Good times... good times!
It was a shame E8 didn't last longer, but long term - it was an unsustainable business model.
SkyTeamTriStar From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7578 times:
Still live :10 mins from Dulles and had been working at IAD when they started ops. Did manage to talk to a F/A who worked their flights. She loved the exotic adventure while doing the trips but some of the male pax were rude to a point where she'd have to "set the record straight" with some of them because its such a very long flight and she assured them to not take any crap from them.
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4573 posts, RR: 31
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6579 times:
Interesting forgotten airline. In the DB there are 6 pictures of N1758B of USAfrica, but it's a pity there are no pictures of the other aircraft in USAfrica livery on airliners.net yet, N1757A, hope someone can upload one.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?