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BA Vs. LCC, African Way: JNB-DUR-CPT, Comair/Mango  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 15882 times:




Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz



Background
After returning from Dubai in March, it was time to plan another trip - preferably a long-haul trip over a weekend. So I considered going to Canada, the United States or somewhere in the Gulf region again. I was planning to depart on Saturday and return on Monday or Tuesday. Additionally, I was trying to add some domestic hops to the itinerary. After checking countless flight options, I earmarked an itinerary including a flight on Austrian's Boeing 777 from New York to Vienna. That would have been a nice flight on a new carrier and a great plane, but I could neither find an overly exciting westbound transatlantic flight nor really interesting domestic flights.

Just out of curiosity, I checked flights to South Africa where I had always wanted to go. South African Airways - high on my list for a long time - had some special fares from Germany. After discovering an exciting itinerary including three interesting widebodies, I also found highly interesting domestic flight options. Now I couldn't resist any more and booked Nuremberg-Frankfurt-Johannesburg (departure on Saturday) and Cape-Town-Johannesburg-Frankfurt-Nuremberg (arrival on Tuesday) on Cheap Tickets. Operating carriers: Lufthansa (A380), Lufthansa CityLine (CRJ700 and Embraer 190) and South African Airways (A330-200 and A340-600).

Btw - I had also considered flying to/from Munich on SAA's A340-300 (in place of LH's A380), but I didn't want to end up on one of two former Iberia frames with original (out-of-date) Iberia interior. Those all-white planes, actually planned to be refurbished by mid-2011, have been used on all SAA A340-300 routes. And even though I had already flown on LH's A380, I didn't mind doing so again - actually I was even curious to find out how comfortable it would be on a 10 hour flight.

It would have been the cheapest and most convenient option to book a Johannesburg-Cape Town flight on one of various airlines, e.g. British Airways (operated by Comair), kulula.com (operated by Comair), SAA's low-cost airline Mango, 1Time or even Velvet Sky. However, I wanted to get two new airlines in addition to SAA, so it took a while to find a suitable routing. Finally, I decided to fly Johannesburg-Durban on a Comair 737-400 (operating for British Airways) and Durban-Cape Town on a Mango 737-800. That meant that I would have to leave Johannesburg again only three hours after arriving from Frankfurt, but I was ready to take the risk. In the case of a heavily delayed arrival at Johannesburg, I would still be able to book one of countless nonstop flights to Cape Town.

While the booking process on Mango's website was faultless, I faced a problem on BA's South African website. When I had to enter my name, I couldn't find "Mr" in the drop-down list. I restarted the booking process, but it didn't work either. So I simply chose "Sir" and I was finally able to finish my booking. Later, when I was checking again, "Mr" and "Mrs" suddenly showed up. I was concerned that I may face problems with "Sir" on my boarding pass, but a quick search on various forums revealed that it would be a non-issue.

Since I would spend two nights on the plane, I only needed to book a room for one night at a Cape Town airport hotel. Actually there's not much choice - the Road Lodge is the one and only hotel in close vicinity of the airport. However, it was quite cheap - and clean and safe according to Trip Advisor. Four days, three new airlines, three new airports, two four haulers and a brand new A330-200 - I was really looking forward to that short trip.


Part I can be found here:
Africa's Best Airline? FRA-JNB On SAA A340-600 (by PlaneHunter Sep 23 2011 in Trip Reports)





Sunday, May 2011
Johannesburg (JNB) - Durban (DUR)
British Airways BA6215, operated by Comair
Scheduled times: 10:20-11:25
Actual times: 10:23-11:27
Flight duration: 00:55 (hrs)
Distance: 297 miles
Economy Class, seat 26F

Boeing 737-436
ZS-OTH (s/n 2222)
First delivered to British Airways in 02/1992 as G-DOCK


1st flight on ZS-OTH
6th 737-400 flight
26th 737 Classic flight
57th 737 flight
117th airline



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Photo © Gary Shephard
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Photo © Fanie Kleynhans



Former appearances in kulula.com colors:


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Photo © Jaco du Plessis
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Photo © Sam Chui



Former appearances as G-DOCK:


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Photo © David Unsworth - WorldAirImages
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Photo © Jernej Verbovsek



After spending about 1.5 hours on the International Terminal's observation deck, it was time to leave. I had already checked in online at home on the day before, so I could go straight to security. Here's a part of the check-in hall:



I soon found myself stuck in a long queue, but after waiting for about 20 minutes, I could finally pass the security checkpoint. It was just a short walk to my gate, but I couldn't find any windows there. So I returned to a spot near the security checkpoints where I continued spotting for a while. What a nice variety in one picture - Comair 737 Classic (BA colors), Air Namibia A319 (leased from BH Air), South African Airlink Avro RJ85 and a stored TAAG 747-300:



Another South African Airlink Avro RJ85 and a South African Express Dash 8:



Due to the unpleasant gate layout, I wasn't able to see my aircraft until I arrived at the door - and it turned out to be ZS-OTH, a 737-400 which I had seen from the observation deck earlier. The former British Airways plane - once registered G-DOCK - is one of five 737-400s in the Comair fleet flying in BA colors on the basis of a franchise agreement. Five other 737-400s are operated for subsidiary kulula.com.

After receiving a friendly welcome at the door, I quickly walked down the aisle and took a cabin picture. The interior was in good condition and had been cleaned well:



The leather seats were comfortable...



...and legroom was absolutely sufficient:



BA's international and South African in-flight magazines:



Parked next to us was ZS-SPU of Velvet Sky, a new low-cost carrier which started operations in March:



The load factor was in the 60 to 70 percent range and I was glad that the two seats next to me remained empty.  thumbsup  The female captain made a welcome speech and informed about a flying time of 46 minutes. Finally, we left the gate three minutes behind schedule. kulula.com 737-400 in Europcar colors:



Here you can see the window front of the observation deck where I had been hanging around - I'll be back!



I was really busy writing down registrations during taxi:





Malaysian low-cost carrier Firefly in Johannesburg?



737-800 9M-FFE used to operate for SAA as ZS-SJJ:



This is ex-SAA 747-400 ZS-SAZ "Imonti", meanwhile being prepared for Transaero:



Powerful takeoff from runway 03L imminent:



Unidentified 737 Classic and Ilyushin Il-76:





Several stored South African Airlink BAe 146-200s:







Nice brown and green color tones:







Drinks and snacks were served as soon as we had reached cruising altitude. Ginger ale wasn't available, so I ordered a lemonade which tasted alright. The cashew nuts were fine, but I didn't like the sticky fruit strips at all:



We soon left cruising altitude again...



...and kept flying under the clouds for a while:



I really enjoyed watching the beautiful landscape near Durban:











On final approach:



Perfect locations for spotters?



We touched down at King Shaka International Airport after a flying time of 55 minutes, a bit more than originally announced. Colorful planes in a colorful country:



My Mango flight would depart in three hours, so there was no need to rush. After disembarking, I went to the check-in hall of the modern terminal complex:





I walked outside and enjoyed the warm sun for a while:



3B-NBF is one of two A319s in the Air Mauritius fleet - definitely a rare sight from a European perspective:






Sunday, May 2011
Durban (DUR) - Cape Town (CPT)
Mango JE337
Scheduled times: 14:40-16:50
Actual times: 14:33-16:30
Flight duration: 01:49 (hrs)
Distance: 794 miles
Economy Class (single class), seat 31A

Boeing 737-8BG
ZS-SJG (s/n 711)
First delivered to South African Airways in 11/2000


1st flight on ZS-SJG
22nd 737-800 flight
32nd 737 NG flight
58th 737 flight
118th airline



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Photo © Jaco du Plessis
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Photo © Wilco737



Former appearances in Excel Airways and SAA colors:


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Photo © Danny Versteegen
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Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



About 2.5 hours before departure, I printed my boarding pass at a check-in kiosk and passed security. The basic fare itself hadn't been cheap, but nevertheless, I had decided to invest an additional 20 Rand (= 1,85 Euro) for a seat reservation (31A, second last row).

I took a seat in the gate area and enjoyed spotting through large windows. Here's my Comair 737-400 again:





kulula.com 737-800 ZS-ZWP in "flying 101" livery - probably the funniest paint scheme ever:



One operator, two totally different brands:



My orange plane arrived on time - unfortunately, taking pictures through the windows wasn't easy. Striking livery, isn't it?



ZS-SJG is one of five 737-800s in the fleet - all of them were transferred from SAA:



Mango pilots wear orange shirts - and black leather jackets (as I would find out later):



Boarding commenced early and friendly flight attendants in orange shirts/dresses welcomed me on board. The leather seats were as comfortable as on BA/Comair...



..but legroom was tight:


The cabin wasn't in bad shape, but I noticed a few dirty spots - just have a look at the seat frame and the armrest covers on the picture above.

It was clear soon that I wouldn't have a row to myself this time, the flight was packed and I didn't see an empty seat. Parked next to us was Comair 737-400 ZS-OAV, covering a 1Time MD-80:



Sister ship ZS-SJK arrived when we were about to leave:



The comic-style safety video is almost the same one as on SAA:



We were pushed back seven minutes early and headed to runway 06, passing a South African Airlink Jetstream 41:



"Tulca 337" turning in:



Powerful takeoff in northeasterly direction...



...followed by a right turn - bright orange winglet and dark blue sky:



The coastal waters were full of ships which was not surprising considering that Durban has become Africa's busiest general cargo port and home to one of the largest and busiest container terminals in the Southern Hemisphere:



Back over land:



Here you can see central parts of the city and the Moses Mabhida Stadium where Germany lost to Spain in the semi-finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup:



The city - South Africa's third largest - has been built around the natural port:



Clouds were soon blocking views of the landscape...



...so I had a look at Mango's in-flight magazine, appropriately called "juice":



SA's most on-time domestic airline:



Mango's "spaza" buy-on-board menu:



I decided to try a chicken sandwich (the alternative was beef) and a lemonade for a total of 40 Rand (= 3,70 Euro):


The sandwich tasted very good and the Schweppes lemonade wasn't bad either.

Fortunately, the cloud cover finally dissipated...



...and I was able to enjoy the beautiful scenery for the rest of the flight:







Can you see the ocean in the distance?



On descent:







Awesome landscape:





Then we turned right onto final approach and the bright sun prevented me from seeing downtown Cape Town or the Table Mountain.

Apparently not the best neighborhood down there:



We touched down after a flying time of 1 hour and 49 minutes and quickly taxied to the gate where we arrived 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Yet another South African Airlink Avro RJ85:



One of ZS-SJG's former sister ships:



Congo Express was formed by South African Express and a local investor in Congo, but both CRJ200s have meanwhile returned to the parent company again:



Cabin after most passengers had disembarked:



Last picture of my "fruit plane" - goodbye, ZS-SJG:



While walking to the official taxi stand, I passed a nice elephant statue:



After a 3 minute taxi ride, I arrived at the Road Lodge - not luxurious, but clean and safe:



Views from my room - this one is quite nice...



...and this one isn't, but I couldn't care less.  Wink


After buying some food and drinks at a nearby gas station, I finally went to rest after a long journey. Story to be continued...



Conclusion
I had a seamless trip on BA/Comair and Mango - both carriers operated on time, both planes were staffed by friendly flight attendants. However, seating comfort on Comair was better and the cabin was cleaner. When flying Mango, you may need to add some extras to the basic fare, but prices are reasonable. My impression is that Mango is one of the better low-cost carriers on the globe. I would take both airlines again, depending on travel time and fare.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - my previous trip reports:
Africa's Best Airline? FRA-JNB On SAA A340-600
Fuel Dump & Return To CDG: Enroute To LAX On 9/11
Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Exploring A Virgin: VS A343/A346 & Dubai Delights
Superb Stübli & Crew: LAS-LAX-ZRH-MUC, LX J Class
Grand Canyon & More: Scenic Flight On Dornier 228
San Francisco Sunshine...and A Frontier Fiasco
Fully Flat Bed to SFO: SWISS' New Business Class
Mountains, Meals & More: SunExpress Vs. Pegasus
Crossing Two Oceans: AKL-SFO-MUC, NZ 777 & LH A346
Bad Weather & Other Bad Luck: Touring New Zealand
Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Detours To Sydney: Wildlife, Tiger, REX & QFLink
Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777
Painful Delay & My 100th Airline: AF A380, VO F100
Fifth Freedom Tidbit: Kuwait Airways A300-600
Ship Vs. Plane: Porto Santo Line & Sata Air Açores
Awesome Approach, Splendid Scenery: LIS, FNC & TAP
Guernsey, Ash Cloud Alarm & Mostly Empty SQ 77Ws
Totally Thrilling: Scenic Flight On Lufthansa A380
Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty
Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332
Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK on Dragonair A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330
Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146
3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90
Winglets On A Classic: MUC-RIX-HEL On Air Baltic
BCN-MAD-ZRH-MUC: UX Shuttle Meets Swiss Quality
MUC-MAD-BCN: Star MD-87 & The Pain Of Vueling
Low Fares, Lovely Island: AK & Best Of Langkawi
4 Stars Or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA, Malaysia 777s
First And Last Time? JFK-FCO-MUC, Alitalia 777
JFK For 1 Day: Transatlantic Hop On CSA's A310
Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Top And Flop: KIX-HEL-MUC, Finnair A320 & MD-11
The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic)
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340
Mad Dog, A320 Tech Delay & Best Of Lanzarote
Canaries Prop-Hopping: Islas Airways & Naysa
Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321
Hubbing For 162 Miles: HOQ-FRA-STR Ret On IQ/EW/LH
BOS-JFK-AMS-MUC: SSSS-Check And KLM 777
ATL-PIT-JFK-BOS: FL B717, JetBlue E190 And Delays
MUC-AMS-MEM-ATL On NWA A332 And 40-year-old DC-9
FRA-BKK-FRA Via CMB: SriLankan A332 & A343
BNE-SIN-DXB-MUC On Emirates B772ER & B773
2 Hours In Paradise: Hamilton Island (JQ/DJ)
BNE-SYD-BNE: Domestic Run On QF’s Oldest B747-400
Testing Qantas: SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE (B738, B763, A332)
Going Down Under: MUC-DXB-SYD On EK A332 & A345
Surprised By NIKI's Newest A320 & Screw-up By AB
Leisure Vs. Full Service: Condor & SN Brussels
"betterFly" On LH: Business Class For 99 Euro
Weekend Transatlantic Trip (2): US A321 & B762
Transatlantic For A Weekend (1): MUC-DCA On US


[Edited 2011-10-08 06:19:25]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineROGERBCN From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 15778 times:

Hola PH!

Again a great TR in a beautiful country.

Those Mango planes look really nice in those colors. Really different from the ones we get to see over here.

Enjoyable experiences on board BA and Mango... love the pictures of your approach to CPT; I have been told of the beauty of the city but really those pictures talk by themselves.

Looking forward to the coming ones. Great you were able to fit all those flights so far away in just four days.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 15755 times:

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 1):
Again a great TR in a beautiful country.

Hola Roger, many thanks for your comments! South Africa has really impressed me, I want to go on a sightseeing tour there as soon as possible.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 1):
Those Mango planes look really nice in those colors. Really different from the ones we get to see over here.

Absolutely - and we shouldn't forget the green kulula.com planes and the red 1Time Mad Dogs.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 1):
I have been told of the beauty of the city but really those pictures talk by themselves.

I cannot wait to return to CPT!

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 1):
Great you were able to fit all those flights so far away in just four days.

Everything worked out as planned, fortunately.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 15755 times:

Hi Sir Planehunter,

Amazing trip report showing some tails that we rarely see in the forum. Some stunning scenery captured while in flight too.

But such a short trip? Did you actually manage to get out and "stretch your legs?" Have you been to South Africa before? If not, it is a shame that you did not have more time as there is so much to see and people appear to be genuinely welcoming.

You mention the friendly welcome on board, but what was the cabin service like during the flights?

Regards,

Quokka


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 15726 times:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 3):
Hi Sir Planehunter,

 

Quoting Quokka (Reply 3):
Amazing trip report showing some tails that we rarely see in the forum. Some stunning scenery captured while in flight too.

Thanks a lot for your feedback, Quokka! I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 3):
Did you actually manage to get out and "stretch your legs?"

Well, between the flights, in the hotel and for a few hours on the CPT observation deck before flying back.  

Quoting Quokka (Reply 3):
Have you been to South Africa before? If not, it is a shame that you did not have more time as there is so much to see and people appear to be genuinely welcoming.

No, it was my first visit to the country. I know there's a lot to see, but I want to return to go on a sightseeing tour with my girlfriend. And yes, people appear to be genuinely welcoming no matter where you go.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 3):
You mention the friendly welcome on board, but what was the cabin service like during the flights?

Very good on both flights, really motivated crews on both carriers.


PH

[Edited 2011-10-08 07:14:27]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3005 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 15670 times:

Excellent report as usual PH! As I mentioned before, I'm following this series with interest as I travel fairly frequently to SA  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Due to the unpleasant gate layout, I wasn't able to see my aircraft

Ah yes, the ones round to the left after security, with diddly squat view  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
ZS-SPU of Velvet Sky, a new low-cost carrier which started operations in March

They currently only have 2 planes, that one and an MD-80, so you did well to spot it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Drinks and snacks were served as soon as we had reached cruising altitude.

That's a bit of a let down, last time I flew BA on JNB-DUR a tasty chicken wrap was served. By the way, Woolworths is a department store / food hall, so they are serving store own brand products on board. Though it is the equivalent to Marks and Spencer in the UK, so still not exactly Lidl!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I walked outside and enjoyed the warm sun for a while

Good to know you can see from there, as there's no official viewing deck.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but legroom was tight:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had decided to invest an additional 20 Rand (= 1,85 Euro) for a seat reservation

I've yet to fly Mango - my wife refuses as they are known to have the least legroom - but I have a flight booked in December. I paid an additional R150 for a Mango Plus ticket, that includes flexiblility to change flight, 30kg luggage, R50 to spend on board and lounge access. A bargain I though  

As always, looking forward to the next legs!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 15631 times:

Quoting signol (Reply 5):
Excellent report as usual PH!

Hi signol, many thanks for your nice comments!

Quoting signol (Reply 5):
They currently only have 2 planes, that one and an MD-80, so you did well to spot it!

I think they only had the 733 and a leased DC-9 in May, so I was lucky indeed. Btw - the fleet currently consists of the 733 and two DC-9-30s leased from Gryphon Air. One of them is painted in full colors, it looks really nice.

Quoting signol (Reply 5):
That's a bit of a let down, last time I flew BA on JNB-DUR a tasty chicken wrap was served.

Maybe it depends on the time of the day - when did you take that flight?

Quoting signol (Reply 5):
By the way, Woolworths is a department store / food hall, so they are serving store own brand products on board. Though it is the equivalent to Marks and Spencer in the UK, so still not exactly Lidl!

Interesting, thanks.

Quoting signol (Reply 5):
Good to know you can see from there, as there's no official viewing deck.

You cannot see the runway from there, but I didn't check the other side.

Quoting signol (Reply 5):
I've yet to fly Mango - my wife refuses as they are known to have the least legroom - but I have a flight booked in December.

Less legroom than on kulula or 1Time? Would be interesting to know much legroom you get on all the competitors.

Quoting signol (Reply 5):
I paid an additional R150 for a Mango Plus ticket, that includes flexiblility to change flight, 30kg luggage, R50 to spend on board and lounge access. A bargain I though

Definitely a bargain!


PH

[Edited 2011-10-08 07:18:37]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3270 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 15608 times:

Nice report. I'm stil puzzled as to how the BA/Comair franchise works in S.A. Do most South Africans like the idea of the Brits running an airline down there?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
kulula.com 737-800 ZS-ZWP in "flying 101" livery - probably the funniest paint scheme ever:

Great livery

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My Mango flight would depart in three hours, so there was no need to rush. After disembarking, I went to the check-in hall of the modern terminal complex:

Lovely looking terminal



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-TPE-
User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 15594 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Thanks a lot for your feedback, Quokka! I'm glad you liked it.

My pleasure and thank you for the speedy response.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
but I want to return for a vacation with my girlfriend

Any ideas on where you would like to go? The Cape area is a must with its combination of history, landscapes and wineries. If your girlfriend would like to cuddle a cheetah, check out Cheetah Outreach next to Spiers Winery in Stellenbosch. Spiers also has some very good examples of bead art on display that at first sight can be mistaken for pointillist paintings. Really good pieces.

Another area for scenery combined with wildlife (but no big cats) is Sun City/ Pilanesberg. Big Cats you want? Go to Kruger and the adjacent Sabie Sands where there are plenty of opportunities for "bush style" accommodation and night drives. Should you venture into Swaziland, a word of caution. When you join in the dancing be mindful that if you are not used to it you might get a hernia.  

My favourite tip to those with an aviation interest - a helicopter flight over Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg Mountains.

When you and your girlfriend are able to travel, I hope that you both have a wonderful time and (of course) I look forward to your trip report.

Regards,

Quokka.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 9, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 15519 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Nice report.

Thanks!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
I'm stil puzzled as to how the BA/Comair franchise works in S.A. Do most South Africans like the idea of the Brits running an airline down there?

It seems to work fine despite fierce competition. 16 planes are operating in BA colors, including two recently added ATRs.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Great livery

  

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Lovely looking terminal

Just too bad you don't find an observation deck there.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 8):
Any ideas on where you would like to go? The Cape area is a must with its combination of history, landscapes and wineries. If your girlfriend would like to cuddle a cheetah, check out Cheetah Outreach next to Spiers Winery in Stellenbosch. Spiers also has some very good examples of bead art on display that at first sight can be mistaken for pointillist paintings. Really good pieces.

Another area for scenery combined with wildlife (but no big cats) is Sun City/ Pilanesberg. Big Cats you want? Go to Kruger and the adjacent Sabie Sands where there are plenty of opportunities for "bush style" accommodation and night drives. Should you venture into Swaziland, a word of caution. When you join in the dancing be mindful that if you are not used to it you might get a hernia.

Thanks for your advice! I guess we would make a guided tour, definitely including the Cape area and Kruger Park.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 8):
My favourite tip to those with an aviation interest - a helicopter flight over Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg Mountains.

Sounds great!

Quoting Quokka (Reply 8):
When you and your girlfriend are able to travel, I hope that you both have a wonderful time and (of course) I look forward to your trip report.

Many thanks! Whenever we go, I'll definitely write a report.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 15491 times:

Hi PH!

Another great tripreport of yours!
Looks like you had a couple of nice domestic flights in SA.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After disembarking, I went to the check-in hall of the modern terminal complex:

Looks nice, although quite alot of ads!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
kulula.com 737-800 ZS-ZWP in "flying 101" livery - probably the funniest paint scheme ever:

I like that one too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My orange plane arrived on time - unfortunately, taking pictures through the windows wasn't easy. Striking livery, isn't it?

Looks like EZY isn't the only orange in the skies.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...followed by a right turn - bright orange winglet and dark blue sky:

Beautiful!

Looking forward to your next report!

Martin


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 15478 times:

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
Another great tripreport of yours!

Hi Martin, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
Looks nice, although quite alot of ads!

Yes, that's true. And you even find oversized Europcar ads on kulula planes...  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
Looks like EZY isn't the only orange in the skies.

And EZY planes aren't even half as orange as Mango planes!  


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26999 posts, RR: 57
Reply 12, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 15142 times:

Hey and nice to read another report by you. Glad both airlines performed well. Only ever been to SA once but always wanted to go back and explore more. Nice insight into your Domestic trip.

Thanks for the report.


Philip  

PS. Do they just use English language in the Airports there now ?


User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8546 posts, RR: 54
Reply 13, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 15105 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi PH,

I've been looking forward to this, a good read and nice pictures as expected.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I faced a problem on BA's South African website. When I had to enter my name, I couldn't find "Mr" in the drop-down list. I restarted the booking process, but it didn't work either. So I simply chose "Sir" and I was finally able to finish my booking. Later, when I was checking again, "Mr" and "Mrs" suddenly showed up

- That's quite an interesting glitch in the system, never really noted Sir being listed before but guess it does!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
stored TAAG 747-300

- They have moved it since I was there last year, it was 'hidden' behind the hanger and could not be seen from the terminal.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
737-800 9M-FFE used to operate for SAA as ZS-SJJ

- Interesting to see 738's leaving the SAA fleet, I know 320's will be arriving (again) but not sure when these are due.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
3B-NBF is one of two A319s in the Air Mauritius fleet - definitely a rare sight from a European perspective

- I saw that one to in JNB, nice  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I decided to try a chicken sandwich (the alternative was beef) and a lemonade for a total of 40 Rand (= 3,70 Euro):

- I don't generally fly LCC's these days so no idea about BOB charges but that seem's reasonable to me.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then we turned right onto final approach and the bright sun prevented me from seeing downtown Cape Town or the Table Mountain.

Apparently not the best neighborhood down there:

- Shame about the sun, views are excellent & yes, there are some very grotty looking neighbourhood's that can be seen on approach.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 15065 times:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 12):
Hey and nice to read another report by you.

Thanks for your feedback, Philip!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 12):
Only ever been to SA once but always wanted to go back and explore more.

Same here!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 12):
PS. Do they just use English language in the Airports there now ?

Probably, I didn't pay attention to that, to be honest.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 13):
I've been looking forward to this, a good read and nice pictures as expected.

Hi Mark, thanks a lot for your comments!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 13):
That's quite an interesting glitch in the system, never really noted Sir being listed before but guess it does!

You can find numerous titles on BA. There are funny threads about that on various forums.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 13):
Interesting to see 738's leaving the SAA fleet, I know 320's will be arriving (again) but not sure when these are due.

Five 738s were transferred to Mango, two others are now flying for Firefly. Five A320s are on order, first deliveries planned in 2013, according to ATDB.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5170 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 14990 times:

Servus, PH,

what a bunch of great pictures. Never been to South-Africa myself but it makes me want to go, really nice.
Also both flights looking good. Really interesting when we know that BA and SAA are behind these companies.

Sounds you had a good time there.
Have a nice weekend,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1718 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 14947 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi PH,

Very interesting report with again crisp clear pics. Somehow you always manage to travel in perfect weather conditions it seems, not different this time. You were not able to see any wildebeest from up above  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Former appearances in kulula.com colors:

Colorful scheme to say the least.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Malaysian low-cost carrier Firefly in Johannesburg?

According to fellow a.net user Initious Firefly's 738's are being returned. Perhaps this was already one of those?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Colorful planes in a colorful country:

To say the least!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
bright orange winglet and dark blue sky:

Awesome photo!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
..so I had a look at Mango's in-flight magazine, appropriately called "juice":

Clever branding! 'Commerce man' did a good job.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 14934 times:

Hi PH,

great report with some really stunning pictures. The landscape in South Africa must be awesome. Never been there myself, but your report makes me want to go there as well. Also aviation-wise it seems to be an interesting country, especially when you like colorful airliners.

Greetings
CaptainRed


User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 515 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 14850 times:

Hi PH,

Great second installment to your series! It seemed like you had 2 decent domestic flights with BA/Comair & Mango. There seems to be quite a few carriers nowadays on the South African aviation scene, especially LCC's. Definitely more than I previously expected. Also as others have said, the scenery in South Africa looks absolutely amazing. Makes me want to visit there sometime.

Looking forward to the LH A380 report!

Regards,
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6570 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 14801 times:

Hi PlaneHunter!

Excellent report with excellent pictures !

Nice picture of the TAAG 743 along with the other aircraft tyopes and airlines in the same picture!

Both carriers seem nice but I really like the colors of Mango much more. Very reasonable cost for a sandwich and soda!

I LOVE the picture of the JE winglet against the blue sky!

Nice to see the MK 319 in DUR; I flew on its sistership 3B-NBH a few years ago MRU-RUN.

Great pictures of the landscape on the DUR-CPT flight and especially of the approach to CPT.

Hotel in CPT looks okay, especially the first view from your room.

Looking forward to the last chapter in this series!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 14493 times:

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
what a bunch of great pictures.

Servus Markus, thanks for your comments!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
Never been to South-Africa myself but it makes me want to go, really nice.

You should, it's a top destination.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
Really interesting when we know that BA and SAA are behind these companies.

It will be interesting to see how things will develop in the market.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 16):
Very interesting report with again crisp clear pics.

Thank you for your feedback, Nils! Good to hear you enjoyed it.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 16):
Somehow you always manage to travel in perfect weather conditions it seems, not different this time.

Hopefully that won't change!  

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 16):
You were not able to see any wildebeest from up above

No, unfortunately...but I saw some nice birds from my hotel room.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 16):
According to fellow a.net user Initious Firefly's 738's are being returned. Perhaps this was already one of those?

No, 9M-FFE was delivered to Firefly shortly after my trip. All six 738s and two 734s are still operated by Firefly - the new carrier called Sapphire won't start operations before 2012.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 16):
Clever branding! 'Commerce man' did a good job.

  

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):
great report with some really stunning pictures.

Hi CaptainRed, thanks for your reply! Good to hear from you.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):
The landscape in South Africa must be awesome.

  

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):
Never been there myself, but your report makes me want to go there as well.

I'm sure you'd enjoy it.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):
Also aviation-wise it seems to be an interesting country, especially when you like colorful airliners.

...and interesting and rare types. 1Time operates MD-82s, MD-83s and MD-87s, Velvet Sky has leased two DC-9-30s.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 18):
Great second installment to your series!

Hi aflyingkiwi, many thanks for your comments!

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 18):
There seems to be quite a few carriers nowadays on the South African aviation scene, especially LCC's.

Absolutely - and not to forget about the regional airlines with interesting fleets.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 18):
Also as others have said, the scenery in South Africa looks absolutely amazing. Makes me want to visit there sometime.

I can only recommend to do so.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 18):
Looking forward to the LH A380 report!

In the making!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):

Excellent report with excellent pictures !

Hi Lars, thanks so much for your kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed the report.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
Very reasonable cost for a sandwich and soda!

  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
I LOVE the picture of the JE winglet against the blue sky!

Yes, that's one of my favorites.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
Hotel in CPT looks okay, especially the first view from your room.

That wasn't bad - I saw some nice birds (not planes).  


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 14394 times:

Hi PH,

Yet another amazing trip report with two rarely covered airlines. Work, work and work prevented me from reading your report on South African - but I'll get back to it later.

Looks like you had two solid flights on two reliable carriers. Did you check the fares (and schedules) for getting on the 1Time MD-80? That would have been my preferred choice.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Four days, three new airlines, three new airports, two four haulers and a brand new A330-200 - I was really looking forward to that short trip.

Good catch!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What a nice variety in one picture - Comair 737 Classic (BA colors), Air Namibia A319 (leased from BH Air), South African Airlink Avro RJ85 and a stored TAAG 747-300:

I'd fly any of the any day, any time, no questions asked!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and informed about a flying time of 46 minutes

Wow, I'm impressed!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My orange plane arrived on time - unfortunately, taking pictures through the windows wasn't easy. Striking livery, isn't it?

Absolutely, some of the most cool liveries out there.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The basic fare itself hadn't been cheap

More detailed information would be welcomed, also for the Comair flight.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Parked next to us was Comair 737-400 ZS-OAV, covering a 1Time MD-80:

Well, those two certainly don't have some kind of agreement, have they?
Makes me remember this winter when Finnair covered for Blue1, that was a charter flight though and didn't happen many times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...so I had a look at Mango's in-flight magazine, appropriately called "juice":

I'm starting to like this airline more and more!

Looking forward to your next adventure!  
717Flyer


User currently offlinephotoshooter From Belgium, joined Feb 2010, 454 posts, RR: 20
Reply 22, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 14360 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SUPPORT

Hey PH!

Great TR you've got there!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
kulula.com 737-800 ZS-ZWP in "flying 101" livery - probably the funniest paint scheme ever:

Yeah, I agree. Makes me laugh everytime I see it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My impression is that Mango is one of the better low-cost carriers on the globe.

Well, I haven't tried Mango before but from the pictures you took, I'm kind of jealous we don't have such a good
low cost carrier in Europe! Plus I love their livery.

Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!

Niek.



'A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.' - Winston Churchill
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 14343 times:

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 21):
Yet another amazing trip report with two rarely covered airlines.

Many thanks for your comments, 717Flyer!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 21):
Work, work and work prevented me from reading your report on South African - but I'll get back to it later.

   It's never too late!  

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 21):
Did you check the fares (and schedules) for getting on the 1Time MD-80? That would have been my preferred choice.

Flying times weren't suitable as far as I remember. Fares were very reasonable.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 21):
More detailed information would be welcomed, also for the Comair flight.

I'll send you a message.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 21):
Well, those two certainly don't have some kind of agreement, have they?

Oh no, I meant the 1Time MD-80 was parked behind the Comair plane.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 21):
Looking forward to your next adventure!

In the making!

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 22):
Great TR you've got there!

Hi Niek, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 22):
Yeah, I agree. Makes me laugh everytime I see it.

I hope they will keep it for a long time.

Quoting photoshooter (Reply 22):
Well, I haven't tried Mango before but from the pictures you took, I'm kind of jealous we don't have such a good
low cost carrier in Europe!

It seems 1Time and kulula are very special, too.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 24, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 14336 times:

Good morning PH

Thank you for posting this latest part of your trip.

Quote:
What a nice variety in one picture - Comair 737 Classic (BA colors), Air Namibia A319 (leased from BH Air), South African Airlink Avro RJ85 and a stored TAAG 747-300

Very nice! Looks great. Love that shot. Do you know how long the TAAG 743 has been there? Is it going back to Luanda any time soon or perhaps to be scrapped in SA?

Interesting that Comair have two inflight mags - I expect they are now with the rest of your collection?

Quote:
3B-NBF is one of two A319s in the Air Mauritius fleet - definitely a rare sight from a European perspective

suberb! Nice to see this little, and rarely photographed A319. Looking good in the bright sunshine.

Interesting comparison between the two carriers. Nice to see you got some variety as well. Those Mango colours are certainly bright - you could not miss them!

Thanks again P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
25 PlaneHunter : Hi Palmjet, thanks for your comments! D2-TEB (in the picture) has been there since January 2011, sister ship D2-TEA since May 2010. I have no idea wh
26 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi PH, Great stuff - nice to read about some carriers not too often reported here. South Africa really seems to be the place to go for exotic and colo
27 akhmad : Hi PH, Excellent report. I just love your South African domestic adventure! And they look immaculate. Good maintenance job! Is that typical South Afri
28 Post contains images dkdaviator : Hi PlaneHunter, What an interesting report there on those domestic segments of your trip. And nice that it covers (another) place I would like to visi
29 767747 : Good report, PH! Nice to read about your latest two flights; both Comair and Mango look pretty similiar. I guess I'd like the BA service as the snack/
30 SPLTA : Hi again PH, Thanks a lot for giving insight into domestic flights in SA. I was aware of BA presence on South African domestic market, still it feels
31 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi P., thanks for your comments, good to hear you enjoyed reading! Yes, there's a lot to see for us enthusiasts. Well, it was still worth it. I'll be
32 MSS658 : Hi PH Wonderfull trip report, learning me about one unknown airline for me. The pictures really make my desire to visit South Africa bigger!!! Looking
33 Post contains images infodesk : Hi PH, Very enjoyable second installment of your South African adventure and nice to read about some airlines not senn that often here. I just love th
34 PlaneHunter : Hi Marc, thanks for your comments! I can only recommend to visit the country. JNB-FRA was indeed my longest A380 flight after LHR-DXB (EK), SIN-HKG (
35 Post contains images parton87 : Hello PH! Thanks for a nice insight about some domestic flights in South Africa which at least I didn´t know too much about!:D You seems to have a go
36 PlaneHunter : Hi Robert, thanks a lot for your comments! "Sir" is a honorific title in many English speaking cultures. You even find Master, Captain, Lord and othe
37 Parton87 : Hello again PH! Thanks for your answers! Ok, I have missed that when I have booked flights on BA. But I remember when I was in the US there were a lot
38 Post contains images eastafspot : Hello PH, What a lovely Low cost vs legacies comparison, both of them seem fine for a short ride. Did Mango not change seats or they use A/C on longer
39 PlaneHunter : Hi again! Yes, I heard about that. Really interesting. Yes, titles and other formalities are still important, e.g. in business life. And the main com
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