|Quoting Jaysit (Reply 3):|
Wrong aircraft for the route.
Why did they think that the A343 or A346 could operate out of a hot and high airfield nonstop to the US with no payload restrictions?
Wonder why they never ordered the A345?
From what I remember, the inability of the A346 to operate the route from South Africa to the US was quite a marketing disaster for SAA - and the problem was NOTHING to do with the airplane. Airbus never promised or guaranteed that the A346 would be capable of operating the routes, SAA announced that its flights to the US would soon operate nonstop, and when the A346s were delivered, they simply could not do it on a regular basis with full loads. Certain people at SAA simply over-estimated the capability of the A346. Airbus is not to blame here - they did nothing wrong (wow, me, a loyal Boeing fan, defending Airbus!).
SAA did not want the A345 - not enough capacity - remember the A346s were purchased primarily to replace 747 classics - that being said, its odd that SAA is using an A343 on the NYC route, that service was flown with a 747 for years.