SAA201
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Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:58 am

Hi all

What will probably the last ever flight operated by an SAA B747 will touch down this afternoon.
SA055, operated by ZS-SAK, from Luanda is scheduled to land at 18h25, bringing to an end 36 years of continuous B747 service with SAA (well, 35years, 360 days to be exact!).
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:15 am

Sad, but memorable, day for South African aviation. I flew only once on their 747s and, as airline experiences go, the service was great and crew were terrific, if a little inconvenient, having to fly around "the bulge".

And I loved the swanlike paintwork around the flight deck:


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Richie72
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:22 am

I didnt realise that they would be gone so soon!

So last nights SA235 from LHR -JNB was the last ever B744 flight from Heathrow in SAA colours ?
I will miss seeing them at Terminal 1 during my many upcoming trips through Heathrow T1 ....
 
ebbuk
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:25 am

so from now on, it is A340s for longhaul? Wow who would have thought 36 yrs ago.
 
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EGTESkyGod
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:31 am

An SAA 747-400 did a marvellous display at Yeovilton Air Day in 2005... what a shame they are going. Who is taking them? Or are they being scrapped?
I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
 
QF744ER
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:33 am

If anyone knows the future homes of these SAA B744's can they please post.

I know ZS-SAX which is now N787MD is heading to Transaero but that still leaves -SAY, SAZ, SBK and SBS.

SBK and SBS both GE powered and were built for PR in 00/98 before being taken up by SAA in 12/98 l/n's 1158 and 1167 so they aren't that old.

Personally I think it's a very odd decision of SAA management to withdraw the B747's from the fleet.

rgds

Tom/PER
 
QF744ER
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:41 am

Forgot ZS-SAK l/n 1162 and delivered 06/98 so also another newish bird as far a B744 pax birds go.

So that's SAK, SAY, SAZ, SBK and SBS that are looking for new homes.
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:00 pm

Quoting QF744ER (Reply 6):
Forgot ZS-SAK l/n 1162 and delivered 06/98 so also another newish bird as far a B744 pax birds go.

So that's SAK, SAY, SAZ, SBK and SBS that are looking for new homes.

I dont think they'll be sat around for too long. They have been as well looked after as any 747 on the planet - they are in lovely condition mechanically - kudos to SA Tech who are some of the best in the business.

I would think VS would look at one or more to bolster the LGW/MAN leisure stuff. Oasis Hong Kong are desperate for 744s and I would think LY and PK would be interested as well. Perhaps SV as well? TG may look at the two newest birds as they are more than ten years newer than TG's oldest 744s which are looking rather tired and long in the tooth now.

They may also go for conversion - a lot of that happening now.
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
davidkunzVIE
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:00 pm

A sad day and it kind of surprised me to see them gone so soon.

Perhaps there's hope for the A380 if communality is an issue. I suppose that LHR, FRA, JFK could need it.
DH3 DH4 CR1 CR2 CR7 CR9 F70 732 733 734 73G 738 752 762 763 772 742 743 319 320 321 333 343
 
avek00
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:14 pm

Quoting DavidkunzVIE (Reply 8):
Perhaps there's hope for the A380 if communality is an issue. I suppose that LHR, FRA, JFK could need it.

Doubtful - SAA has already indicated that the LHR routes lose money, and the increased competition on the route means that additional capacity would likely prove futile.
Live life to the fullest.
 
sandrozrh
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:37 pm

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 9):
Doubtful - SAA has already indicated that the LHR routes lose money, and the increased competition on the route means that additional capacity would likely prove futile.

Well, A350 then  box   praise 
 
Richie72
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:46 pm

Anybody going to be in JNB at 18h25 to get a photo touching down from LAD?

If so please post a picture......
 
cricket
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:50 pm

More 747's on the market, why do I suspect AI might want some, even though AI operates only PW powered 744's, but you never know, AI is certified to overhaul the CF6 (they have them on their 743's)!
A300B2/B4/6R, A313, A319/320/321, A333, A343, A388, 737-2/3/4/7/8/9, 747-3/4, 772/2E/2L/3, E170/190, F70, CR2/7, 146-3,
 
flymad
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:56 pm

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 9):
Doubtful - SAA has already indicated that the LHR routes lose money, and the increased competition on the route means that additional capacity would likely prove futile.

IIRC the LHR route was only losing money because of the B744 and this was only because the lease costs on the aircraft were so high. I do not think it had much to do with operating costs as much as the actual cost of leasing the aircraft. IIRC there was a huge annual increase built into the lease agreement that could not or would not be re-negotiated so the only solution was to ground the aircraft. I stand to be corrected, but i think this was the jist of the reasoning behind it.
 
na
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:15 pm

Quoting QF744ER (Reply 6):
So that's SAK, SAY, SAZ, SBK and SBS that are looking for new homes.

I guess the RR-powered aircraft will go to Transaero as well, I doubt they´ll stay with a single 744. As for the others, they´ll be picked up soon. 744s are still in hot demand, mainly as conversion objects nowadays. Currently there is not a single 744 in longer-term storage anymore.
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:18 pm

The 744 is still a very efficient and versatile plane with excellent CASM. I'm sure the SA birds won't be homeless for long.
 
na
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:32 pm

I´ve very good memories with SAAs 747, flying First Class on ZS-SAV (now a CX freighter) a few years ago.
Does it mean, no First Class on SAA aircraft anymore? The A346s have an excellent Businessclass though, which, for nighflights, even make a better bed than the First Class.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:45 pm

Wow, sad thought - SAA without jumbos. O tempora, o mores  Smile Many fond memories of flying all over the world on SAA 747, 743, 744 and SP's

LHR, AMS, LIS, MAD, FRA, ORY, BCN, ZRH, FCO, SID, JFK, MIA, HKG, MRU, TPE, JNB, CPT, DUR, GIG, LPA, MXP, ABJ
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
legoguy
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:36 pm

Excuse my ignorance but what will happen to the SAA 747 pilots? Will they be trained to fly the A340's or will they move airline, or perhaps even retire? Sad to see the 747's leave their fleet however SAA is left in good hands with the A340's.

Anything on future possible SAA orders? Such as the A330, 787 and A350?
Can you say 'Beer Can' without sounding like a Jamaican saying 'Bacon'?
 
acelanzarote
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:40 pm

Where is SAA getting the A340's from to cover all the LHR flights? Have they rehashed some
schedules to get better use of them?
Last time I was at LHR (April 07) think there where 3 SAA 747-400's in...

cheers
from the Island with sun and great photo's.. Why not visit Lanzarote
 
haan
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:41 pm

Very Sad day in SAA's history again. Will miss seeing those SAA B744's at Joburg
 
YULWinterSkies
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:38 pm

So, what is the replacement? More 346s?
When I doubt... go running!
 
Rj111
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:43 pm

Wow, i didn't not realise they would go so soon, and i would have probably taken a trip down to LHR to see them leave.

Are these final planes RR powered?

That may have a strong influence on where they end up.


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 Sad
 
nema
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:55 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 1):
Sad, but memorable, day for South African aviation

Sad day for aviation world wide, not just SA

Quoting Richie72 (Reply 2):
I didnt realise that they would be gone so soon

Me neither, quite surprised to hear this.

Quoting QF744ER (Reply 5):
Personally I think it's a very odd decision of SAA management to withdraw the B747's from the fleet.

Yep, not so much an odd decision as there are alternatives on the market as we know, but i would say perhaps more unusual because they have already enjoyed having them on their fleet. So they become a world passenger carrier not having a 747 when so many competitors have, seems surprising that they have ultimately called it a day.
There isnt really a dark side to the moon, as a matter of fact its all dark!
 
braby
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:27 pm

It's going to seem strange looking over to the BMI hangar where they park up during the day at LHR and seeing 340's parked up instead of the 744's. The 744's were always easy to work on.

I was lucky enough to fly on them regularly to JNB and always enjoyed the flight, I always tried to get upstairs with the extra leg room! Going to miss that on the 340's.
 
haan
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:44 pm

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 21):

Nothing, SAA was returned 3 A340-300E's they leased to Jet earlier and they cancelled Paris and Zurich, so in SAA's eys, they dont need the B744's anymore. The lease on the aircraft have gone up so much that SAA just cant afford them anymore. When the B744's was sighned long time ago it was sighned at a cheaper deal and with time the price will go up, so curently the lease is si high, its not worth it anymore and the B744's use more fuel than the A340's
 
CV990
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:57 pm

Hi!

It is indeed a "strange" chapter, seeing SAA WFU their 747's! I remember seeing SAA 747's and 747SP's passing by LIS years and years, fantastic times, those. In those times it was possible to catch SAA flights with traffic rights to places in Europe, so in August 1983 I flew ATH to LIS in an SAA 747, ZS-SAO!
Here is the picture o "my plane" taken also in Portugal!


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Regards
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
 
GDB
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:00 pm

Like Barby, I've noticed fewer SAA 747's at LHR latterly, (3 here each day was not unknown), more A340-600's with the odd A340-200.
 
PHKLM
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:03 pm

Quoting CV990 (Reply 26):
Here is the picture o "my plane" taken also in Portugal!

Nice shot of the KL A310 as well!
 
Stickers
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:33 pm

Having grown up in JHB, and having always enjoyed seeing 747's at O R Tambo inetrnational, it is indeed a sad day. I will miss them, (even though i do enjoy seeing all the other planes and especially the airbus'es,) i will still miss the SAA 747's.
Unfortunately not many carriers fly 747's to JHB anymore. Virgin use their 340-600's, Air France use their 777's as do Emirates, SIA and many others. TAAG still use theirs if i am not mistaken, but i can't really think of any others. Does anyone else know?
I gues we will have to be content with 747's in the cargo area, and perhaps if you are lucky enough, a short glimpse of Ndizani as she awaits her fate far on the opposite side of the Airport.


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The last of the SAA 747 fleet.
 
Ryanair737
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:35 pm

Such a shame they are going, hopefully they will be snapped up quickly with another airline.

Quoting GDB (Reply 27):
Like Barby, I've noticed fewer SAA 747's at LHR latterly, (3 here each day was not unknown), more A340-600's with the odd A340-200.

CPT has been running on a A346 for a few months now.
LAST FLIGHTS= Ryanair LPL-BGY-LPL - EI-DPS/DWV - MAY 08 // NEXT FLIGHTS= TBC
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:23 pm

Quoting Stickers (Reply 29):
JHB

Ahem. JNB. Get it right... Yeah sure
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
Springbok295
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:35 pm

What a shame to see them go, living the UK now I regularly flew on these 747's between JNB and LHR, always tried sitting upstais for the extra legroom.

My last flight was in June, a flight which will I hold close to heart as I was rushing back to see my very ill father, sadly he died 2 hours before the flight landed at JNB.

Thankfully an spotter captured my flight landing in Johannesburg that cold snowy morning (yes snow in JNB!).

Sad to see the big Boeing's go!

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[Edited 2007-11-01 15:36:55]
Springbok 295, the flight that never made it home, 28 November 1987, may they rest in peace.
 
A5XX
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:37 pm

I hope Ndizani will be saved.. She had the most beautiful livery of all the 747's that i've seen.

A5XX
we are the boeing... resistance is futile...You will be assimilated
 
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American 767
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:08 pm

I am also surprised that SAA has withdrawn completely the 747 from its fleet. I understand that they have withdrawn the Classics (200/300/SP) but the 400's were still young and required one fewer cockpit crew member so those could have stayed in the fleet a few more years.
Does that mean the only Boeing aircraft left at SAA is the 737-800?

Quoting Braby (Reply 24):
Going to miss that on the 340's.



Quoting Stickers (Reply 29):
Unfortunately not many carriers fly 747's to JHB anymore.



Quoting Springbok295 (Reply 32):
Sad to see the big Boeing's go!

British Airways still flies 747's to JNB and CPT, and will do so for at least five more years to come.

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 28):

Nice shot of the KL A310 as well!

Yes indeed! At that time the A310 was brand new. And if you look at that picture closely you can also spot a TAP 727.

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium
Ben Soriano
 
Springbok295
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:41 pm

Quoting American 767 (Reply 34):
Does that mean the only Boeing aircraft left at SAA is the 737-800?

I believe SAA have just acquired a 737-300 freigher, they also still operate a couple of 200 series.
Springbok 295, the flight that never made it home, 28 November 1987, may they rest in peace.
 
shankly
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:43 pm

Flew SA220 CPT-LHR on 29th Oct in A346 'ND and taxied into the stand behind the "THE GREAT NORTH" which had landed just before us from JNB. Very sad that this was the last time I was to see an SAA 747. Can remember the days in the 70's and 80's when LHR bustled with SAA 707's, 747's and 747SP and have had some happy flights in the 744's on the CPT runs before the introduction of the A346.

Whilst there is no doubt the A346 is a very fine aeroplane (fabulously quiet and a super rider of rough air), the Business Class cabins of the A346 don't really allow the level of service that one used to get on the 744's with their extraordinarily massive seat spacing and abundance of galleys.

One suspects it will not be that long before the 380 graces the south african skies, albeit if the first ones are in MAS or BA colours
L1011 - P F M
 
Leezyjet
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:52 pm

Quoting Stickers (Reply 29):
Virgin use their 340-600's

The B744 will be back in December, I'll be coming down on one  Wink

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 31):
Quoting Stickers (Reply 29):
JHB

Ahem. JNB. Get it right...

I have noticed with-in South Africa, the code JHB is used by some domestic airlines, whilst internationally JNB is used. Always wondered what the deal is with that.

Quoting American 767 (Reply 34):
but the 400's were still young and required one fewer cockpit crew member

On flights over 11 hours they normally have 3 crew for crew rest purposes.

Sad to see the B744's go . I used to like seeing them on an evening all parked up at T1, LHR. It was funny seeing them "peeking" over the top of the building like they were all looking at each other. From the f/deck windows, all the crews could see each other too from up there over the top of the terminal.

My first ever l/haul Business class flight was on a SAA B747-200SUD from LHR-JNB-DUR when the flight used to route through back in 1998. Always remember that flight as the replacement crew for the JNB-DUR sector forgot to lock all the galley boxes in place in the galley under the stairs and as we were belting down the runway all you could hear was "CRASH, BANG, SMASH" and there was nothing anyone could do about it !!.

 Smile
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
 
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OA260
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:57 pm

Shame to see them go . I only ever flew once on SAA and that was on ''Kapstadt'' from FRA-JNB in Business class. Have to say it was a really nice flight.
 
Stokes
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:00 am

I had the pleasure of flying Atlanta-Capetown-JHB just over four years ago. As we taxied out in Atlanta, the pilot came on (in a great SA accent) to warn us "new fliers" of the extremely long takeoff roll. I thought this was amusing, until I experienced a REALLY LONG TAKEOFF ROLL. Great flight, salut SAA B747-400!
 
jetblue32
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:05 am

I heard the A340's burn about 40% less fuel per passenger than the 747's. Can anyone as an insider confirm if this is true? While I will miss the 744's (never got to fly one of SAA's, but will probably fly a 346 IAD-JNB next month), I can certainly understand the need for this with oil prices skyrocketing.
 
DTWAGENT
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:06 am

Question? Is the A340's better on fuel then the B744's??

Chuck
 
jetblue32
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:32 am

Oh, one more question: do the flights to JNB from JFK and IAD go nonstop? Or do they stopover in Accra or Dakar?
 
jfk777
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:00 am

Very sad to see SAA's long history end with the 747. SAA now sems to be run by " Blame the Coleman Andrews era" for every bad thing that happens.
 
skyhigh777
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:26 am

Glad I got to ride the 747 when they first starte the IAD-JNB route! Very comfortable!
Prepare for take-off.
 
Norcal773
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:54 am

Quoting EGTESkyGod (Reply 4):
Or are they being scrapped?

Huuh?  confused 

See below.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 15):
The 744 is still a very efficient and versatile plane with excellent CASM. I'm sure the SA birds won't be homeless for long.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
COA735
Posts: 111
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:32 am

WOW. I didn't hear about this. I think they had 6 active 747's left. Were they replaced with new aircraft yet?

Quoting Jetblue32 (Reply 42):
Oh, one more question: do the flights to JNB from JFK and IAD go nonstop? Or do they stopover in Accra or Dakar?

I believe the JFK(340-200) and IAD(340-600) flight makes a stopover in Dakar. I also think there is a non stop IAD-JNB on a 340-600
 
Leskova
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:37 am

After 3 flights on SAA's B747-200s, 6 on B747-300s and 1 on a B747SP, I guess that even I will miss seeing the B747 in SAA's colors, regardless of the fact that I vastly prefer the A340.

My first flight to South Africa, in 1994, was on ZS-SAU (Kaapstad/Cape Town) from FRA to JNB, and I was welcomed at the airport with those eternal favorite words of air travellers: "You've been upgraded to Business Class".  Smile

The flight back that year was one of the last SAA flights to fly JNB-MUC-HAM, the service was ended something between 2 and 4 weeks later.

Quoting NEMA (Reply 23):
So they become a world passenger carrier not having a 747 when so many competitors have, seems surprising that they have ultimately called it a day.

Well - being a "world passenger carrier", you're not required to have B747s - others have managed, and continue to do so, without them as well.

Quoting Braby (Reply 24):
It's going to seem strange looking over to the BMI hangar where they park up during the day at LHR and seeing 340's parked up instead of the 744's. The 744's were always easy to work on.

Seeing A340s parked over there isn't bad either...  Wink

Quoting American 767 (Reply 34):
British Airways still flies 747's to JNB and CPT, and will do so for at least five more years to come.

So will LH, at least to JNB.

Quoting Shankly (Reply 36):
One suspects it will not be that long before the 380 graces the south african skies, albeit if the first ones are in MAS or BA colours

... or EK...  Wink

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 37):
I have noticed with-in South Africa, the code JHB is used by some domestic airlines, whilst internationally JNB is used. Always wondered what the deal is with that.

Same as DBN for Durban or CTN for Cape Town - it's just the abbreviation that's used within the country, though it's actually not specifically used for the airports but for the towns themselves.
Smile - it confuses people!
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:05 am

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 37):
the code JHB is used by some domestic airlines,

Shouldn't be - everyone uses the same codes usually. JHB is Johore Bharu, Malaysia.

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 37):
B747-200SUD

B747-300SUD  Smile (These kids today)
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
speedbird128
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RE: Last Ever SAA B747 Flight Today

Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:14 am

Quoting COA735 (Reply 46):
I also think there is a non stop IAD-JNB on a 340-600

Both the A340-600 and A340-300E fly the KIAD-FAJS leg non-stop. Around 15.15 to 15.40 flying time.

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 43):
Very sad to see SAA's long history end with the 747. SAA now sems to be run by " Blame the Coleman Andrews era" for every bad thing that happens.

Well - no denying, it was definitely the start. (The second was the massive losses made in a hedging snafu by the financial bloke). If I'm not mistaken, it was his idea to sell aircraft SAA owned in favour of a lease-back scheme - then saying the money acquired from the sales was profit, which is what led to the exorbitant leases. And the A320... lets not go down that road...

Quoting Springbok295 (Reply 35):
a 737-300 freigher

They actually have two, ZS-SBA and ZS-SBB. -SBB joined the fleet a week or two ago. They are both ex- Shandong Airlines aicraft, initially delivered to China Southwest in Oct/Nov 1992.

[Edited 2007-11-02 01:15:22]

[Edited 2007-11-02 01:16:50]
A306, A313, A319, A320, A321, A332, A343, A345, A346 A388, AC90, B06, B722, B732, B733, B735, B738, B744, B762, B772, B7