Flying Belgian
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Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Thu May 22, 2003 1:24 am

Sobelair will close its only regular route between Brussels and Johanesburg.

This was decided this morning during Sobelair's board meeting.

The route will close as soon as possible. Sobelair is loosing 1 million € each month on this route. This will have no consequences for SLR's employees as they will be deployed on others charter routes.

Furthermore, SLR is still holding talks with SNBA on a possible partnership. Vastapane announced it was focusing on a better rate of use of the respective fleets.


F.B
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
Iflymidwexprss
Posts: 157
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Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB

Thu May 22, 2003 7:13 am

Well, I can't read anything besides the topic on my screen (I don't know if it's my computer or the server or what), but it'd be sad to see Sobelair axe JNB. I was just passing through Jo'burg last night (en route CPT-FRA-ORD-MSN) and got a great view of a Sobelair a/c. It'd be a shame to lose it. Forgive me for being a bit out of the loop, but is this indicative of trouble for Sobelair or was it just an underperforming route?
 
donder10
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Thu May 22, 2003 8:34 am

Yields were horrible under SN too.
 
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apuneger
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Thu May 22, 2003 9:47 am

I heard that friday Mr. Vastapane will talk (once again) with the leasing company. He's seeking some serious discount. I wonder if they'll change their price...

Ivan
Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
 
Flying Belgian
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Thu May 22, 2003 5:37 pm

Well, the problem wasn't really about the yields, but before all the loadfactors that were becoming very poor.
I know the the JNB flight left BRU last monday with 6 C-class & 48 Y-class pax.
So the problem was even more serious than with Sabena.

There is a huge market for the JNB-BRU traffic, but pax prefer to elect airlines such as BA, LH, IB, SA, KLM and even LX. In people's mind SLR remained a Belgian charter carrier. I think this lack of image was deserving a better marketing approach from SLR management.

Now about the 767 leasing deals, Mr Vastapane seeks to reduce the monthly amount of 200.000 $. They lease those two machines at a rate of 680.000 $ (each) for the moment.

F.B
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
lumumba
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Fri May 23, 2003 6:44 pm

Hi everybody.
I think the BRU JHB route can be profitable but with in a bigger structure like SNBA.
You always need transit passengers?
Or maybe they can make a stop(BRU FIH JHB).
Like they did in the 80's.
Regards
Patrice
 
Airbus Lover
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Fri May 23, 2003 7:06 pm

Lumumba,

I noticed that you have repeatedly mistaken JNB with JHB. Johannesburg is JNB and JHB is Johor (Malaysia).

 Wink/being sarcastic
 
A330DAT
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Fri May 23, 2003 7:29 pm

That's exactly right Lumumba. Today there is absolutely no feeder traffic for the Sobelair flights to Johannesburg (Jo'burg) and it is an ESSENTIAL part in making this destination successful!

I have never understood the logic why all airlines in Belgium each want to do their own thing SEPARATELY, while at the same time they are killing each other.

SN Brussels Airlines can not fill their European flights because there is not enough long haul feeder traffic and Sobelair can't fill their long haul (Jo'burg) flights because it doesn't have any
European feeder. It was the same problem back in the VG/Delsey Airlines days. You would think, after all this time, they would learn from their mistakes??? Maybe this time, with Sobelair they
have???

Everybody would be a winner if they would only work together. This does not necessarily mean that each company should lose their own identity. It would be perfectly possible to offer (for
example) Sobelair flight numbers, operated by SNBA flights, from several European cities to feed the Jo'burg flights, while having SNBA flight numbers, optd. by Sobelair aircraft.

It would be a win/win situation, allowing load factors on both airlines to improve. It is so important, that it may make a difference whether a certain route is profitable or not.

One of SNBA's 3 A330-300 aircraft (OO-SFO) is in maintenance for the moment (New cockpit door being installed, landing gear and engine replacement, amongst other things...) Not that the timing is intentional but actually this comes at a bad moment because extra capacity could easily be used right now on the Nairobi route (since British Airways stopped flying there).

If the rumor is correct, SNBA is in negotiations to allow Sobelair to take over SNBA's holiday flights to Dakar and Banjul, using their Boeing 767-300's, while freeing the A330-300 aircraft and adding extra capacity to Nairobi. Not a bad move I would say. Now that's what I would call cooperation!

Let's hope for the best for everyone. This mysery has lasted long enough here in this country and as you all know, there is enough competition to worry about outside Belgium.

 Smokin cool
 
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American 767
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Fri May 23, 2003 9:08 pm

I don't know if SNBA flies to FIH but if they do maybe they should drop it and let Sobelair take over the route BRU-FIH with continuing service to JNB. That'll work if both companies decide to work together. If they codeshare, then like A330DAT explains Sobelair will have feeder traffic from other points in Europe to BRU and the load factor will drastically improve especially on the BRU-FIH leg. If, in the long run, the load factor goes down on the FIH-JNB route, then maybe Sobelair will consider elimitating JNB.
I agree that an SNBA-Sobelair marriage will work out.

Lumumba, I remember when Sabena used to fly to JNB with a stop in FIH. The aircraft used to be a DC-10. Don't forget that the Belgian Congo was the first territory to which Sabena flew when they started operations in the 1920's.

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium
Ben Soriano
 
pressclub
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Fri May 23, 2003 11:38 pm

Dear A 330 DAT,

Your rumour about DKR is not correct

Regards

Pressclub
 
flying lsd
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Sat May 24, 2003 1:07 am

This rumor is maybe not correct
but the idea isn't bad.

During Sn time SLR 767 flew to Tel-aviv for SN and if I'm not wrong to Dakar.
Why not restart this system and use 330 for others destinations.
 
A330DAT
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Sat May 24, 2003 2:00 am

I stand corrected Pressclub, thanks.

In that case perhaps it may be a good idea? Just a thought  Smile

American767 - Talking about Kinshasa (FIH), Pressclub, perhaps you can confirm whether or not a cooperation is in the works between SNBA and Hewa Bora Airways? SNBA would take over all flights between FIH (no more Lockheed L-1011), while Hewa Bora would act as a feeder and fly intra Congo/Africa flights? That wouldn't be a bad idea either (If you can't beat them, join them), working together and feeding each other's networks (where have we heard that before). Of course, having a cooperation with such a company may bring up certain safety issues to take into consideration. Is the airline up to the standards of an IATA company? How's their maintenance record, dispatch reliability, etc...?

Of course, this may once again be a rumor but perhaps you could shed some light into that? Where there's smoke there may be a flame Big grin
 
gaut
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Sat May 24, 2003 2:19 am

A330DAT,

SN Brussels Airlines can not fill their European flights because there is not enough long haul feeder traffic and Sobelair can't fill their long haul (Jo'burg) flights because it doesn't have any

SNBA has a European network but they can't fill their long haul neither.

gaut
«Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae.»
 
Sabena 690
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Sat May 24, 2003 5:29 am

Nice post (again), A330DAT! Consolidation is indeed the word...

@gaut: the africa flights maybe have a quite low load factor, but are profitable (which means that the pax that fly are high yield pax). Also the cargo is important (that's why the A333 is so important).

/Frederic
 
SN-MD11
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Sat May 24, 2003 7:25 pm

SNBA just wants to get rid of Birdy... which becomes increasingly expensive with unreliable machines. No secrets about that.

This Sobelair file is real opportunity for SNBA. Sobelair is in a very very weak position.
But Sabena's receiver Van Buggenhout looks closely at the file as Sabena Interservice Center is still shareholder (and creditor...!) at SN Air Holding and also one of Sobelair's creditors. He will have his word on it no doubt .

See ya.
 
lxlgu
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Sat May 24, 2003 8:14 pm

Tonights flight has 7 C and 22 Y
They could never make it!
As a South African travel agent I have never sold Sobelair as airfares are
far too ecpensive with high add ons to other European destinations
Flights are also not marketed properly here-even though they have brought
in a promotional fare-BA to London still cheaper
Yet Sabena I used to have paxs on every flight from here.Their fares were
good but unfortunately the problem here is the weak rand exchange rate

Cheers!
Tony
 
donder10
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Sat May 24, 2003 9:15 pm

I suspect BA can be cheaper at the back than Sobelair because they get so many passengers in the front cabins on good yields.

Would a SNBA+Sobelair marriage get past the competition authorities?

From what I have heard,the SN JNB flights went out quite fall but the weak rand may have played a role in the lowish yields.Also,the JNB-BRU leg being a daytime one may not have helped.
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Sobelair Pulls Out Of JNB.

Sun May 25, 2003 12:31 am

Will problems for Belgian airlines EVER end?

$600,000 (dry) lease rate is very high for these days...
Some of the ex-SN A330/340 have found new lessors for considerably less.

Konstantin
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...

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