BP1
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Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:14 pm

Dear Friends,

Back in the early 1990's there was a carrier flying (2) leased American Airlines MD-11's from IAD-JNB and CPT via Il De Sol on the Cape Verde Islands. The company was called USAfrica Airways and at the time was the only US flagged carrier flying to South Africa.

A brief history on USAfrica - they started flying (2) leased MD-11's from IAD to South Africa shortly after the days of Apartheid ended. The company was based in Reston, VA and competed directly with South African Airways. After only 11 months, the carrier ceased operations the day after American Airlines (note the owner of the aircraft) entered into a code share agreement with South African Airways and repossessed the (2) MD-11's.

Did anyone, besides myself, on this forum fly USAfrica Airways or work for them? If so, it would be great to hear about your experiences as I worked for them and thought the concept was unique back in the 1990's. Today, you have North American and Delta serving Africa as US flagged carriers.

Cheers,
BP1
"First To Fly The A-380" / 26 October 2007 SYD-SIN Inaugural
 
scxmechanic
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:23 pm

I used to work with a guy who helped start up the MX side of that outfit... You should have heard some of the stories he had... Simply amazing they lasted as long as they did with the restrictions put on them by AA and other outside influences. He is retired now and living In PHX. He worked for TWA for many many years and had stories of all kinds. Including doing Presidential missions with TWA.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:01 pm



Quoting BP1 (Thread starter):
via Il De Sol on the Cape Verde Islands

Ilha do Sal (SID)

I was working at SAA at the time, and we had a pool on how many months SAA would allow USAfrica to stay afloat (SAA had very little patience with competition back in them days - same now) - needless to say, the operation folded in less than a year, IIRC.

Their biggest problem was flying from IAD with no feed at either end of the line. Precious few people apart from diplomats need to fly to Washington. They'd have done better flying out of New York, Miami or Dallas.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
EXAAUADL
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:43 pm

It was Randall Robinson, Max Robinson's brother who started it....I think it was in 1994 or so. I know a guy who worked for them and had a USAfrica MD-11 model
 
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PA110
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:06 pm

I flew E8 (USAfrica's old code) roundtrip business class from IAD to CPT. I remember, the crew were fantastic, but the Business Class seats were horrible. They were AA seats, and AA would not allow E8 to reconfigure the cabins. The seat pitch was so tight that when the person in front reclined, it was nearly impossible to get in or out of your seat.

The crew were hysterical. They would switch to loud floral print shirts after take-off. They treated passengers as if they were guests at a fabulous cocktail party. I remember running into the crew during their layover in CPT. We went out for beers and partied at a couple of gay clubs. Lots of fun. Good times... good times!

It was a shame E8 didn't last longer, but long term - it was an unsustainable business model.
It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
 
SkyTeamTriStar
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:41 am

Still live :10 mins from Dulles and had been working at IAD when they started ops. Did manage to talk to a F/A who worked their flights. She loved the exotic adventure while doing the trips but some of the male pax were rude to a point where she'd have to "set the record straight" with some of them because its such a very long flight and she assured them to not take any crap from them.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:03 am

No doubts about who owned this plane before!


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Photo © George W. Hamlin



Soren  santahat 
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:13 am



Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 6):

There appears to a name painted beneath the cockpit window - what does it say ?
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
GARUDAROD
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:06 am



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 7):
There appears to a name painted beneath the cockpit window - what does it say

Property of American Airlines, Do not bend, scratch or Break!  Big grin
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ShyFlyer
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Sun Dec 16, 2007 4:24 pm



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 7):
what does it say ?

If you can read this, your TCAS isn't working.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
latinaviation
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:57 am

I did a lot of research on the airline during their start-up, USAfrica is an interesting case study.
At any rate, to the question:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 7):
There appears to a name painted beneath the cockpit window - what does it say ?

It's Edward R Bolton. He was on their Board and passed away from cancer before the airline launched flights.

Additional information on the airline can be found here:
http://www.sa-transport.co.za/aircraft/usafrica.html
 
BP1
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:25 pm

Thank you everyone. Nice picture too.

With Very Kind Regards,
Tim Spahr
"First To Fly The A-380" / 26 October 2007 SYD-SIN Inaugural
 
Avro7
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airwa

Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:15 pm

here's some stuff. I'd forgotten about them; had just lived in SA at the time & kind of dreamed of flying them.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...9D0DEFD7113DF935A15755C0A962958260

http://www.sa-transport.co.za/aircraft/usafrica.html
 
MEA-707
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RE: Who Flew, Worked For Or Rembers USAfrica Airways?

Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:17 am

Interesting forgotten airline. In the DB there are 6 pictures of N1758B of USAfrica, but it's a pity there are no pictures of the other aircraft in USAfrica livery on airliners.net yet, N1757A, hope someone can upload one.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?