CXA330300
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SAA In The '80s

Sat Jun 19, 2004 4:56 am

Did any African countries at all allow them to overfly their airspace on routes to Europe? I know most didn't, but did any?
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JGPH1A
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Sat Jun 19, 2004 5:11 am

Yes - SAA flew scheduled services during the 80's to Abidjan (Cote D'Ivoire) and Ilha do Sal (Cape Verde) in West Africa, as well as Lubumbashi (Zaire now DRC), Lusaka (Zambia), Lilongwe/Blantyre (Malawi), Maputo (Mozambique), Moroni (Comores), Mauritius, Reunion, Harare/Bulawayo/Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), Gaborone / Francistown / Maun (Botswana) (while they still had the Avro 748's, at least, so probably up to about 1981/2). They would regularly shortcut across Angolan airspace (Angola only had very basic radar and ATC - I did National Service in the SAAF and worked at signals offices in Grootfontein and Ondangwa - Ondangwa (callsign DAYTON) did upper airspace control for Northern Namibia, and would be in contact with SAA flights passing overhead into Angolan airspace) and I heard rumours that they would cut across the edge of the bulge of West Africa as well (Guinea, Senegal, Mauretania, Western Sahara) for the same reason.
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DETA737
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Sat Jun 19, 2004 6:10 am

In 1984 South Africa and Somalia signed an agreement where SAA would serve as a Somalia´s airline as well in return for economic and military aid. Though this did not prove to be too sucessful.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Sat Jun 19, 2004 6:13 am

DETA737 - I remember that now ! I was working at SAA Cargo JNB at the time, and we had tags and tagging tape made up with the code MGQ (Mogadishu) on it - but nothing ever happened. Wow, wierd memory that.
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CXA330300
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Sat Jun 19, 2004 9:35 pm

Thanks for your help.
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yyz717
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Sun Jun 20, 2004 7:12 pm

The irony is that SAA simply became self-sufficient without these overflight rights. They bought the 747SP and developed a stellar reputation for extreme longhaul flights. Ilha do Sal was heavily dependent on SAA from a revenue standpoint, while the Southern African countries that allowed SAA were very heavily dependent economically on South Africa.



I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
lxlgu
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:29 am

I remember during the 80s doing charter flights for SAA on board
our Luxavia 707 to Jeddah.Even had SAA safety cards on board with
full SAA catering.This was a long day for us cabin crew
JNB/NBO/JED/JNB

Cheers!
 
JGPH1A
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Mon Jun 21, 2004 4:14 am

Haha yes Luxavia - Trek Airways answer to the overflight ban - pretend to be from Luxemboug ! Naughty. Worked pretty well, the aircraft painted in Luxair colours (I wonder how much they paid LG for the privilege).

Re Ilha do Sal. The SA Government paid for Amilcar Cabral airport to be built for SAA, so yes there was a certain dependence. It is ironic that the airport was used by Cubana and TAAG for provisioning flights between Havana and Luanda in support of the Cuban military presence (fighting against SA in Namibia), and also by Aeroflot on flights to South America.
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dc863
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:02 pm

Angola, SW Africa, were the only countries that allowed overflights during the 1980s. in the 70s two ther countries Rhodesia and Mozambique allowed stops and overflights. I believe Rhodesia stopped SAA service when it became Zimbabwe in 1980 and Mozambique did the same after the Portuguese left in 1975.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Mon Jun 21, 2004 4:43 pm

Re: believe Rhodesia stopped SAA service when it became Zimbabwe in 1980 and Mozambique did the same after the Portuguese left in 1975.

As per my earlier posting, SAA never stopped serving Zimbabwe. SAA stopped serving Maputo for a while, but DETA later LAM kept up the service throughout the 70's and 80's with 737's and later the occasional DC10. SAA reintroduced the Maputo route after the Komati Accords were signed between SA and Mozambique, IIRC - cant remember what year that was though.

Air Zimbabwe maintained and extended the former Air Rhodesia services to SA, upgrading from Viscounts to jet equipment on the route from Bulawayo, and adding services to Durban. 707/720's were very gradually replaced by 767's (took a very long time though). SAA kept flying to HRE, BUQ and VFA, and introduced an Airbus A300 service to HRE on Sundays to connect with the QF service to SYD to meet the demand for pax connecting to SA after Australia shut down SAA's direct service to PER/SYD.

SAA continued to fly to Zambia, Zaire, Malawi and Cote D'Ivoire through the 80's as well
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SA7700
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:28 pm

Which SAA international flights actually landed in UTN, for refueling, before heading out over the ocean? What was the schedules like?

Regards

SA7700
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
 
JGPH1A
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:13 pm

I think UTN was only ever used very briefly as a stopping point, on flights to Europe, but I don't know which ones. It was during the 70's I think - I seem to recall seeing schedules for flights to Zurich vis LIS stopped in UTN. They built that 16000ft runway all for nothing - its the silliest little airport, with a tiny terminal and the worlds longest runway (at least it used to be) - for 2 DH8's a day.
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qm001
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm

Hi All,

SAA used to use other airlines operating codes as well on many services. SA Used to operation DAR, NBO, YVA/HAH and SEZ by operating JNB LLW and then using the same aircraft with a continued service to all these other places using a QM code. This system worked very well for most of the 80's.

The Malawi government was one of the few governments under Banda which had excellent relations with South Africa. South Africa paid for the construction of the new capital in LLW in exchange for these kinds of services. I know that for a short time even flights to LUN, EBB and ACC were operated in a similar manner.

In the late 80's even UTA managed to operate to South Africa by using this kind of system. If I am not mistaken the flights used to operate CDG-NCE-LLW-JNB. The last sector was operated with a QM flight designator. Other airlines used NBO like KL and LH.

There used to be 12 Intercontinental flights per week into LLW, that has since trickled down to none. Now SA is preferred carrier for all Intercontinental traffic to LLW and BLZ.

I remember also during the 70's that the SA 727 Hijack at BLZ was a big scandal because technically the flight was a QM flight.

I must admit it was a very interesting and costly decade for SA.

Kind regards,

QM001 (167 Air Malawi)
Operated by South African Airways  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
I wish there was still a flying boat service on the African Lakes!
 
JGPH1A
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:07 am

RE: SA Used to operation DAR, NBO, YVA/HAH and SEZ by operating JNB LLW and then using the same aircraft with a continued service to all these other places using a QM code. This system worked very well for most of the 80's.

Are you sure it was SA that did this ? I know Royal Swazi used to operate flights MTS-RE / FVHA), Zimbabwe">HRE-LLW-DAR/NBO/SEZ using their F28, possibly these are the flights you mean. I worked at SAA during the period you discuss, and I was not aware of any such schedules for SAA aircraft, nor of any codeshare arrangment with QM beyond LLW to East Africa/Indian Ocean.
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CXA330300
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:32 am

Pity about no intercontinentals to Lilongwe, it could handle a weekly or twice weekly 777, I suppose!

Now QM, as it happens, is Air Malawi.

BA shut down Lilongwe very recently, I remember in Nov I saw the Lilongwe flight boarding.

Upington's runway is the 2nd longest worldwide, after someplace in Siberia?
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qm001
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RE: SAA In The '80s

Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:57 pm

JGPH1A,

I am absolutely sure that this happened together with QM. SA even used to have stickers to change registrations, They started this kind of thing with a 722 and then switched over to a 732.

Royal Swazi used to operate the entire flight to SEZ using their own code and acft.

CXA330300, I am almost certain that they could handle a 777 service a few times a week. I have heard rumours that KL will restart direct services, but seeing in believing. Also I am not sure if anyone has seen this, but KQ will now be operating their 777 on Sundays to LUN and LLW. That is a mighty big plane for a regional route. But it will be LLW's first 777! Yay!!!

I think that one of AF's Dedicate A319's would be perfect for these kinds of routes. They could combine routes too like CDG-EBB/Bangui-LLW and vv. I am sure that these flights would be very popular. Its surprises me that airlines like QM have not though of doing things like this :-(

I wish there was still a flying boat service on the African Lakes!