bluepoole
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Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:59 pm

Goodday everybody!

First of all, I've been visiting this site for almost two years - reading the forums, enjoying the photos, and even getting a couple of my own photos accepted into the database. I've finally signed up as a First Class member and look forward to many years as an active member on A.net.

Then, for my first forum, I want to raise the question: why don't any US carriers fly to South Africa? South African Airways flies to New York and Atlanta, and also has codeshare agreements with some US airlines for onward travel from JFK or ATL, and also for travel to South Africa.

I've been wondering why major US airlines like American, Continental and Delta don't fly to JNB directly. Is there any specific reason? Perhaps they don't see it as a profitable route?

Looking forward to your replies.



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BOEING787
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:08 pm

I believe DELTA codeshares with SAA on the JFK and ATL flights?

That is a begining perhaps?

Welcome as a First Class Member!

 
leelaw
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:10 pm

Has any scheduled American airline ever flown to South Africa? I don't recall PA or TWA ever flying there.

[Edited 2005-02-01 13:11:21]
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FlyGuyClt
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:28 pm

NWA Nortwest Airlines codeshares with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines via AMS.

Safe Flying  Smile
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BostonBeau
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:41 pm

Pan Am flew to J'burg from New York for many years. I don't think their early 747s were capable of nonstop service. I seem to remember they stopped off in Monrovia on the way.

[Edited 2005-02-01 13:42:04]
 
dtwclipper
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:44 pm

Pan Am flew to JNB for many years with stoping points in many different cities over the years.

The ones the come to mind are FRA, and ROB, I also believe the flew GIG JNB and some point as well.

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miaskies
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:45 pm

American has expressed interest in flying their 777 from MIA-CPT if I recall correctly..but I know their are some issues that they need to work out first. Range wise I think the 772 is capable...
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leelaw
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:49 pm

"Pan Am flew to J'burg for many years."

Did PA ever have 747SP's deployed on this route.

Certainly no American scheduled airlines have flown the route since the demise of PA, perhaps because economic sanctions were in effect against South Africa when PA stopped flying.
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bluepoole
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:24 pm

Thank you for all the replies so far...

Boeing787 - yes, you are correct: SAA codeshares with Delta. Cool username that you have!

Leelaw - you may have a point, the sanctions against South Africa could have been the reason (or one of the reasons) why the US airlines all decided not to expand their route networks to South Africa. It is a pity that this never changed after all the political changes that took place in our country and South Africa became a "ballplayer" in the international arena again.

It would be awesome to see an American 777 here...or any other type from any other US carrier for that matter!

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AT502B
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:20 pm

I believe SA)">UA got the routes from PA after they went out. Back in the early nineties they (UA) were considering flying to JNB but at that time they shelved it because of capacity and union issues. Now that SA is joining star alliance I don't think we'll ever see SA)">UA in Africa.
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CPH-R
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:32 pm

As far as I know, SA)">AA wants to fly to SA with the 772 - but the pilots contracts states that no flights can operate beyond a certain time limit (14-16 hours I think it was), without some specific criterias being met. It's those criterias that SA)">AA are working on ironing out - at least, that's what I heard, last time this discussion came up here.
 
MCMAHONSMR
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:35 pm

I'd say if we were to see any American carrier opening up a US-JNB/CPT route it would probably be CO. Problem is that an ExpressJet and Boeing 757-200 don't quite have the range . . . and those 7e7s aren't coming for a while . . .
 
Clipper002
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:46 pm

Pan Am operated a weekly trip to JNB with stops at DKR, ROB,ACC, LOS and DOU. We also operated a weekly flight to NBO. We never used the SP on those routes because we didn't need the range with all of those stops. For the crews, those were 13 day patterns. We quit flying to Africa more out of poor economics than anything else.

Ed
Ed
 
dtwclipper
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:51 pm

Clipper002:

A friend of mine, who worked for PA through the 60's til the end, told me that there was also service through GIG. Is this correct?

dtwclipper
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Bicoastal
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:59 pm

I assume the Delta codeshare will end when SAA joins the Star Alliance in the next few months. Has SAA determined when they'll move their flight from Atlanta to either IAD (Washington-Dulles) or Chicago? I'd love to have United fly its own aircraft to South Africa but I'm sure they'll only codeshare on SAA.
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malaysia
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:32 am

Aww I miss Pan Am, it seems Pan Am was the airline that flew to the places you would never picture a US airline at. my favorite Pan Am stop is BEY. on the other hand, did the AF Concorde fly to DKR at one time?
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MAH4546
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:37 am

As stated, American has expressed interest in flying to South Africa (both CPT and JNB) from Miami, but there are logistical issues and using a 772 just wouldn't make the profits. However, with the 787 coming, and an order from AA inevitable, this is definitley the type of route that AA could use it on.
a.
 
alb222
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:39 am

DL has the rights to South Africa as part of their purchase of the Pan Am routes. The route had been stopped by the time SA)">DL got it and no direct service by any carrier including SA was allowed until 1994 when apartheid ended. SA's first codeshare on the route was AA through JFK and MIA. SA)">DL started the codeshare in about 1999 with ATL and JFK. The ATL flight stopped at FLL until 9/11.
SA)">DL has experimented and flown their 777 ATL-JNB. Currently, the 343-600 SA is using on the ATL trip requires a stop in both directions. Direct service to CPT ends 2/6 and will require a change of aircraft in JNB.
 
AT502B
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:44 am

I flew the CPT-Atlanta flight last week and the Flight attendant mentioned that they were moving to Washington Dulles this summer. I hope they change there Eastbound transatlantic flight departure time from 10am. It's almost impossible to connect to that flight from anywhere other than the immediate area. It also makes the Jet Lag worse as you leave in the morning and arrive 17hours later at 8am! I prefer to fly Eastbound on the JFK flight(departs at 8pm)- I find the Jet Lag easier to handle. Also the stop in Cape Verde is a killer- An hour and a half stuck in the plane.
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JGPH1A
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:31 am

PA did flight to JNB via GIG in the 60's - the flight to JNB was revived in the 80's with a stop in Monrovia, it was operated by a 747 classic. That continued to operate until PA went under, I believe, but it was not taken over by UA when they inherited the route.

In the early 90's, after apartheid was dismantled, a US carrier called USAfrica Airways operated MD11's (bought/leased from AA) from IAD to JNB via SID(? or possibly LBW), but it didn't last long (SAA basically killed them off, as they tend to do with most unwanted rivals on their milsch-cow routes). It wasn't a daily service, and IAD as a gateway didn't have the pull of JFK or MIA.
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ltbewr
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:37 am

I would also suggest that since codeshares cover the USA-SA market with direct or with stops in Europe, there is little need for the costly investment in a/c, crews, ground services, marketing costs for the very finalcially strapped USA based airlines to consider what could be a very limited additional demand route/market. This market has probably been further reduced by the post-9/11 additional visa limits.
 
aa777jr
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:46 am

MAH4546,

Do you have a source for your information? Just really curious.

MIA-JNB 8061 mi
MIA-CPT 7667 mi

Even if AA stopped at DKR with their 772, they couldn't do it?

regards,
AA777jr
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Imonti
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:58 am

South African airways in recent times have been looking for 4 more 744 to use to Singapore and washington and they will keep the atlanta and new york routes, however if this bears any fruit i will be amazed.

They will move to Washington from atlanta but currently the route to atl is as "profitable" as it can be, if they dont start a third service.

 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:08 am

As stated, American has expressed interest in flying to South Africa (both CPT and JNB) from Miami, but there are logistical issues and using a 772 just wouldn't make the profits.

It's not all logistical either, a lot of it is legal hassle.

Pilot stipulations (which should soon, if not already, no longer be a factor) and FAA refusal to grant ETOPS180 for the route play a big


SA)">DL has experimented and flown their 777 ATL-JNB.

Not really...

They flew it there to demonstrate on behalf of Boeing (as well as for a possible lease) with somewhat embarrassing results.

They flew it again for a golf tournament charter.

That's about it.




Currently, the 343-600 SA is using on the ATL trip requires a stop in both directions.

A340-600

It doesn't require an eastbound stop per se, SA chooses to stop so that they can pack on greater payload upon departure.



Even if AA stopped at DKR with their 772, they couldn't do it?L

AA could technically do it nonstop to CPT or JNB with a 656K 777-223ER....

...problem is, they'd need ETOPS180 to have any chance of doing so with any decent loads, and their requests have thusfar only been obliged with an ETOPS138 allotment.

Also, there were stipluations regarding rest areas in their 772ERs (as well as other factors) for flights of that length in their pilot contract.
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aa777jr
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:14 am

Pilot stipulations (which should soon, if not already, no longer be a factor) and FAA refusal to grant ETOPS180 for the route play a big

friggin etops... Smile

Also, there were stipluations regarding rest areas in their 772ERs (as well as other factors) for flights of that length in their pilot contract.

so it's all but killed, guess we'll have to wait and see if AA gets the 787.

Has AA even petitioned DOT for route authority to CPT or JNB, or is this a AA rumor?

Regards.
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DeltaMIA
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:22 am

Pan Am operated a weekly trip to JNB with stops at DKR, ROB,ACC, LOS and DOU

The African Queen.
707 then a 747-100. This dispatchers and rampers had this flight balanced down to the ounce. It would leave JFK with so much freight, disassembled automobiles and excess baggage. PA wondered if the hassle was worth the profit.
Even if it was empty upstairs it would be maxed out below. The region loved to import.
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AussieItaliano
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:40 am

Even with SA being a member of SA (Star Alliance), I think they have every intention of maintaining their codeshare with DL (sort of like how SQ does).

I wonder if CO would think of starting service to South Africa from EWR once it gets the 787? They are planning to serve LOS with a 762, so Africa is a place that they are looking at.

Otherwise, I would think that AA from MIA is the best candidate for a US airline to serve South Africa. They might be willing to try to fill up a 772, but otherwise, I would think that they will wait until they get some 787's (and I think an AA 787 order isn't THAT far off in the future).
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LAXintl
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:45 am

Following Pan Am, two other US airlines did operate to South Africa during the 1990s.

-US Africa Airways operated between IAD and South Africa with its fleet of 2 MD-11s during 1994-5.

-World Airways operated between NY and South Africa in the mid/late 90s using MD-11s as part of its attempt to re-enter the scheduled service business. They also operated between NY and Israel for a short time. World joined Continental's OnePass frequent flyer program.

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dtwclipper
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:11 am

JGPH1A;

Thanks for the confirmation on Pan Ams GIG-JNB service. However, the last services by Pan Am were FRA-JNB.

dtwclipper
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MAH4546
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:38 am

Has AA even petitioned DOT for route authority to CPT or JNB, or is this a AA rumor?
AA studied starting this service after they ended their relationship with SAA. There was no reason to file with DOT, because, as stated, they don't have a plane to do it economically. The 787 may change this.
a.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:38 am

Has AA even petitioned DOT for route authority to CPT or JNB, or is this a AA rumor?

AA studied starting this service after they ended their relationship with SAA. There was no reason to file with DOT, because, as stated, they don't have a plane to do it economically. The 787 may change this.
a.
 
Clipper002
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:48 am

Pan Am's last runs to JNB were done with A-310's from FRA. We also operated DC-8's in the late 60's and early 70's from JFK with the numerous stops I already mentioned. World's service was doomed from the beginning. We never really even had a decent res system and very, very little knowledge of the product. The EWR/TLV flights were the same. World is a charter airline plain and simple.

Ed
Ed
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:55 am

There was no reason to file with DOT, because, as stated, they don't have a plane to do it economically.

That's not entirely true... lest you add "within the current regulatory constraints imposed"

Part of the reason why they lack such aircraft is because they cannot get authority to utilize said aircraft to its optimum potential.
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gkpetery
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:12 am

Not sure if it's true, but I heard from a travel agent that US carriers don't fly to the African continent, not because they don't/won't have the load factors, it was because of the potential terrorist/hijacking threats. They would rather code share with a regional carrier than undergo the possibility. You could imagine the bad PR for an entire airline from a hijacking.
 
Leskova
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:23 am

Gkpetery, I'd say that that's not true.

First of all, CO is planning to fly to LOS - which would put a US carrier onto African soil, at least as soon as the flights commence.

Second, why, on the face of this planet, should there be any terrorist or hijacking risk originating in JNB or CPT at any higher level than out of most airports in Europe? Safety at these two airports is at the same levels as we've got here (or at least it was when I was there last in December 2001, but I doubt that they've decreased the levels).

No-one expects to see US carriers in the more problematic African regions - but those regions probably wouldn't present too much of a market anyhow.

Regards,
Frank
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aaflt1871
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:28 am

so it's all but killed, guess we'll have to wait and see if AA gets the 787.

Even with the 787, ETOPS will still come into play, barring the route.

and FAA refusal to grant ETOPS180 for the route play a big

Do you think with the 787, the route would be granted by the FAA?
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Leskova
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:31 am

and FAA refusal to grant ETOPS180 for the route play a big

Do you think with the 787, the route would be granted by the FAA?



If AA cannot get ETOPS approval for a plane with the proven high reliability of the B777, then I doubt they'll be more succesful with the B787... which they haven't even ordered... yet...

Regards,
Frank
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jetjack74
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:43 am

This doesn't really count, But World Airways operates IAH-Luanda and Malabo service on behalf of Sonair. But it's to Southern Africa nonetheless


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jumbojet
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:56 am

Well I would have thought that SA)">AA would codeshare with BA through LHR (OneWorld). But that makes it one hell of a trek to get to SA from USA. I agree with you Bluepoole, it would be great to see some US carriers going to CPT or JNB. It would be good sense if these flights were out of MIA.
 
Argonaut
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:11 am

In the 50s and 60s, Pan Am flew through ACC from IDL/JFK to JNB at least once a week---DC-6Bs, then DC-7Cs, then DC-8s. Used to see them southbound, then, a couple of days later, the same plane going back north. PA did indeed stop almost everywhere along the coast...at one time I think it even included ABJ. Beyond LOS, the service also stopped at Leopoldville (whatever its code was; it's now Kinshasa). As far as I recall, PA was the only US airline to venture into Africa (apart from TWA to Cairo) before anti-apartheid overflight bans resulted in suspension of service.

I fancy that at least part of the answer to the original question is that, as has been suggested, US airlines know very well that all Americans are convinced they'll be hijacked/blown up if they dare to fly anywhere near Africa  Big grin , so there's no point in even trying to market a service. Better to leave it to the codeshare partners, as someone said. (On the subject of security, I experienced 50 times better security at MBA in the 1980s than I ever did at any US airport pre-9/11.)

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alb222
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:16 am

BA does codeshare with SA)">AA LHR-JNB/CPT.....just did it.

Actually, flight time via LHR to JNB from my home apo, SFO is 21.25hrs. Via JFK it's 21.05hrs and via ATL it's 20.30hrs.

With SA eliminating CPT direct, it is easier and now faster going thru Europe than having to change twice if you are going to CPT..

As my wife is from Capetown, we travel there frequently. Have done DL/SA, SA)">AA/SA(when they codeshared), BA, NW/KL, AF. The best was KL in my opinion. BA was okay too.
 
Thrust
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:40 am

No US carriers even fly to Africa for that matter. Codesharing most likely is the reason the US carriers do not fly to Africa (yes, which South Africa is part of  Big grin. NW does not need to because they have KLM. UA does not because they are in the Star Alliance. AA does not need to do South Africa because of BA. DL does not need to because of Skyteam. The key word here is "codesharing"  Big thumbs up  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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N743AS
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:54 am

CPT is increasing in popularity with Americans. Now with the strength of the EURO a lot of Americans are looking more and more at South Africa to an alternative from an expensive European vacation. I've been going back and forth for a few years and love the country. The plus side to an US airline serving the country would be ease of getting there, the downside is an influx of American tourists...Right now SA is kind of a little secret spot (for the most of).

If anyone does it'll be AA...

Anybody know of any cheap air fares or deals to get down there right now??? I'm thinking about Non-Reving on BA, KLM, or SAA but if there are some sweet deals I'd buy a ticket. Let me know and you'll be rewarded for your work...
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africawings
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:29 am


Interesting Question.

In the early 90's there was a small start up US based airline called US-Africa Airways that used two Ex American Airlines MD11s to fly from Washington Dulles to J. Berg (via Dakar and Nairobi, I believe). But it was a short lived venture as it was very badly underfunded and never really got off the ground (lasted about two years).

Continental as you may have heard will begin operations to Nigeria in West Africa in May. It would make sense to develop a hub and spoke system on the continent to move passengers to a central staging point in the southern hemisphere (SA in the South ) and perhaps Nigeria in West Africa.

I've often argued for a US carrier to resume direct flights to the continent and S. Africa in particular but the push back I get is the low ROI. Believe me at $1,500 for an economy ticket I think there is a tidy profit to be made on the route even flying once a week.

In the meantime, I'll just have to keep giving my money to the European carriers and change planes somewhere in Europe on my way there.
Ah Well

PS, I don't think Pan Am flew directly to SA due to economic sanctions and the fact that African countries didn't allow over air rights (i.e. allowing any S. African or US airlines to fly over their countries to S. Africa.)

S. Africans had to either fly on S. African Airways, go directly to Europe and change planes or, fly to Nairobi Kenya where Pan Am picked them up. It was a difficult time for cross border air travel during the apartheid regime.

 
Clipper002
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:37 am

African services were suspended by Pan Am do to economic questions, nothing at all to do with security. Don't forget, Pan Am built most of those airports in West Africa. World tried to get into the LOS market but soon found out that the corruption is rampant and finally had to cease operations do to lack of payment. I wish CO all the luck in the world, but this is a completely different type of operation than they're used to. The EU carriers seem to have it figured out and have been able to show a decent profit with African services.

My company issued 1969 timetable shows flight 150 leaving JFK on TU at 1700l routing JFK/DKR/ROB/ACC/LOS/LEO and return. The same flight operated on Th but skipped LEO and went onto EBB, NBO and DAR. On Mo, flight 156 operated JFK/DKR/ROB/COO/DOU. Flight 150 also operated on FR JFK/RBA/LOS/DLA/JNB.

Quite a schedule.

Ed
Ed
 
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PA110
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:47 am

DTWClipper and Clipper002 - PA never operated A310 service out of FRA to JNB. I think you are confusing JNB with NBO. PA discontinued JNB services around the same time sanctions started. They continued services to NBO almost to the very end. When JNB was halted, the African Queen continued to NBO instead of JNB. I think it was PA188/189 but not 100% sure. They discontinued the milk run across West Africa around the time of the first oil crisis. Even with all that freight, they couldn't make the service pay. I think there was a gap in service to NBO, but it was then started up again via FRA. It was this route authority that Delta gained in the buyout.
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Clipper002
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 11:39 am

PA110,
My bad. You are absolutely correct. I guess I was reading too much about JNB before I sent this thread. Thanks for the correction.

DeltaMIA,
Where did you get this information from? Judging from your bio, you weren't very old when Pan Am suspended service to Africa. Actually the dispatchers and ramp crews had nothing to do with getting the optimum CG for the flight. We had a separate entity called "Load Control" who made up all of the loading instructions for our flights. We also had "Loadmasters", known today as Ops Reps who were certified in the weight and balance application of all of our aircraft. The dispatchers merely gave the limitations of the flight based on numerous factors and the "rampers" only loaded as instructed by the ops rep. You're correct in stating that the Eastbound load was very heavy, but the Westbound load was virtually nil.

One of the major problems Pan Am had was trying to get paid by the Nigerians for services rendered. Sounds familiar? I sure hope that CO was listening as this still exists today.

Rgds,
Ed
Ed
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:20 pm

PA110 - thanks for clearing up the question about FRA-JNB by A310 - I was trying to recall ever seeing a PA 310 at JNB (I worked there for 7 years in the late 80's, early 90's, and I recall PA 747's but not A310's). Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Clipper002
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RE: Why Don't US Carriers Fly To SA?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:38 pm

JGPH1A,
Pan Am never operated the A310 to JNB. They came onboard very late in Pan Am's life.

Ed
Ed

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