cv990Coronado
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:38 pm

SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:50 pm

SAA will cancel their Cape Town London service in August and route passengers via Johannesburg. The service started as once a week flight with a Boeing 747SP in the late seventies or early eighties.

SAA site drop in demand to London of 24% over the last 3 years.

http://www.fin24.com/Companies/Trave...-Cape-Town-London-flights-20120605

I think this has some of the same reasons for Qantas's reduction in service from Australia to London. EK operate twice daily CPT DXB and QR and TK also operate to CPT. They get a lot of the low end economy market that used to transit LHR and the business leisure market to LHR and Europe.

In addition the following points have also damaged the route.

South African's now need visae to enter or transit (in many cases) the UK. These are expensive and time consuming to obtain.

The APD taxes for entry and transit make LHR very expensive(this applies on separate ticket which are cheaper)

SAA now try and route connections via there star alliance partner LH through MUC and FRA.

They use two new 332's on the route and these can certainly be used more profitably on other routes.

It is sad that the CPTLHR flight was once one of the longest non stop flights in the world but times change.

BA operate daily in our summer and twice daily in the winter but they get a large feed from the USA and Europe. VS operate in our winter only.
SSC-707B727 737-741234SP757/762/3/772/WA300/10/319/2/1-342/3/6-880-DAM-VC10 TRD 111 Ju52-DC8/9/10/11-YS11-748-VCV DH4B L
 
jetsetter629
Posts: 397
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:07 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:09 pm

Quoting cv990coronado (Thread starter):
They use two new 332's on the route and these can certainly be used more profitably on other routes.

I thought the A332 was a perfect aircraft in terms of capasity for this route - not as large as the A343/A346. Competition must be hurting SAA on this route where it is economically viable to have all international ops go via JNB

Where else would the A332 be deployed? I know it's currently seen on JNB-LHR and JNB-GRU
 
HB-IWC
Posts: 4033
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2000 1:09 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:16 pm

Will the Heathrow slot be used for a third JNB flight or leased out? The early morning arrival time makes the slot very lucrative.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15455
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:49 pm

Quoting cv990coronado (Thread starter):
EK operate twice daily CPT DXB

EK is cutting the second flight.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8159
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:59 pm

What a shame, this route has been running for over 35 years,quite impressive!

I flew this route back in 2010, CPT-LHR on a SA A340-200, almost a100% load on that particular day.

It will be interesting to see of they sell or lease out the slots.
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
MD11junkie
Posts: 2499
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 4:59 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:00 pm

Quoting HB-IWC (Reply 2):
Will the Heathrow slot be used for a third JNB flight or leased out? The early morning arrival time makes the slot very lucrative.

It actually looks like it i'll be leased out - as there won't be any increase in capacity announced other than the use of a bigger aircraft in the JNB-LHR route.

Looks like SAA will be trying to push/enforce PER, BOM and ACC within its network by redeploying the aircraft used in the CPT-LHR route.
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
User avatar
yowza
Posts: 4282
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:01 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:07 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 3):
EK is cutting the second flight.

I thought this was only temporary and that once the A380 wing situation was resolved and further 77W's came online CPT would revert to double daily.

YOWza
 
joeljack
Posts: 505
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:38 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:08 pm

I flew FRA-JNB on an A380 about a year ago and it was full. I then flew back CPT-FRA on a 747 and it was half full at best in both coach and business. I had no problem scoring an upgrade so I was happy!

I wonder if several CPT flights are pretty weak? I don't know how many destinations in Europe they serve from CPT.
 
cv990Coronado
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:38 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:09 pm

Quoting jetsetter629
"I thought the A332 was a perfect aircraft in terms of capasity for this route - not as large as the A343/A346."

Yep that's just how bad it is these days. I guess if it doesn't work with a 332 it isn't going to. Looks like SAA is going to be JNB Airways as BA is London Airways and QF is becoming SYD Airways.

The 332's can be deployed just about anywhere that's the beauty of them. I see the are upping the BOM frequency now that 9W has pulled out. They are also replacing the 342 on ACC and they can be used anywhere to replace a 319/738 where most seats are needed.

Quoting HB-IWC

"Will the Heathrow slot be used for a third JNB flight or leased out? The early morning arrival time makes the slot very lucrative."

It doesn't look like they are going to have a third JNB LHR flight. I think this is part of the story I think they are bleeding on JNBLHR as well. At present they have 2 X 332's I see they will have 1 X 332 and 1 343 in our summer when the demand is higher. By cancelling the CPTLHR and putting the traffic via JNB I think they hope to get the yield up with only two flights. Now the slot that is a good question. I would say that if they can lease it out it will be worth more in the future if they need to sell it. If they sell it now the money will soon be gone and getting those slots isn't easy.
SSC-707B727 737-741234SP757/762/3/772/WA300/10/319/2/1-342/3/6-880-DAM-VC10 TRD 111 Ju52-DC8/9/10/11-YS11-748-VCV DH4B L
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15455
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:16 pm

Quoting YOWza (Reply 6):
I thought this was only temporary and that once the A380 wing situation was resolved and further 77W's came online CPT would revert to double daily.

Certainly could be--but regardless EK is going to cut their worst performers first
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
anstar
Posts: 2882
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:19 pm

Just another nail in the coffin from Gulf Carriers....

There is obviously LHR-CPT demand but most of it is now going via the gulf, turkey or Europe.

Ridiculous increases in UK APD is only going to help more more passengers via those hubs.
 
cv990Coronado
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:38 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:43 pm

Quoting Maverick11
"Certainly could be--but regardless EK is going to cut their worst performers first"

Good Point . It is only from Sep thru Nov and the EK are back 2 x daily. But the damage has been done to a route between to centres with centuries of business and cultural links. There will be more and more examples through the world as the Middle Eastern carriers become more powerful. Their combination of quality service, equipment, price and frequency will claim more and more routes and airlines. Having flown on them I can understand why .
SSC-707B727 737-741234SP757/762/3/772/WA300/10/319/2/1-342/3/6-880-DAM-VC10 TRD 111 Ju52-DC8/9/10/11-YS11-748-VCV DH4B L
 
AF022
Posts: 1652
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 10:41 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:21 pm

I'm sure CPT is much lower yield, and even if A330 is more efficient than A340, a 12 hour flight is expensive to operate. If everyone in the back is low yield, it can't work.

Better to deploy on a route that doesn't require a long ground time. I don't think there are a lot of options for new service for SAA. Perhaps they could use the capacity to increase ACC and EZE to daily. I've heard ACC is doing well.

What is the range of the A330 from JNB? Could the aircraft make it all the way to SYD?
 
User avatar
yellowtail
Posts: 3749
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:46 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:35 pm

Quoting cv990coronado (Reply 8):
It doesn't look like they are going to have a third JNB LHR flight. I think this is part of the story I think they are bleeding on JNBLHR as well. At present they have 2 X 332's I see they will have 1 X 332 and 1 343 in our summer when the demand is higher. By cancelling the CPTLHR and putting the traffic via JNB I think they hope to get the yield up with only two flights. Now the slot that is a good question. I would say that if they can lease it out it will be worth more in the future if they need to sell it. If they sell it now the money will soon be gone and getting those slots isn't easy.

I am sure that there are a few star alliance folks that could lease the slot from them....UA for example. Also several of the South American carriers have also expressed interest in LHR....perhaps LATAM would snap it up.
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
shankly
Posts: 1203
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 10:42 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:45 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 10):
Just another nail in the coffin from Gulf Carriers....


I'm not proud to note that I predicted the demise on this route on this very forum for the very reason noted by anstar

EK had become my preferred route down to the Cape (stonking BA and SAA fares and grim LH alternate) and I found it absolutely bizarre that the EK flights to and from DXB were SAA code share, with full points earned on my SAA Voyager account...which I happily use on SAA internals. This seemed to me like SAA giving the keys away to the castle without any fight at all.

Actually this year EK have really hiked up their fares LHR-DXB-CPT so i've decided to go back on the direct route...but with BA who have some quite good WT+ options

I used to love the SAA 747's on this route, wonderful service in the Business Class cabins, which lost a little personality when the A346's were brought in, albeit the plane itself was a better ride

The recent grim period (for economy pax) of the A342's on this run was the real indication that SAA had lost the plot on what was once one of the worlds Blue Riband air routes

Will be keen to see the response from LH and KL to UK starting pax, although BA must be very pleased with themselves
L1011 - P F M
 
vv701
Posts: 5805
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:48 pm

Here are the numbers published by the UK CAA for passengers flying betrween LHR and CPT over the last three years:

2009: 544, 237
2010: 492,075
2011: 492,521

The decline in the market has been 9.0 per cent compared to the 24 per cent drop reported by SA. So it looks as if SA are loosing market share and quickly.

If you go back further these are the CAA numbers:

2007 (5 years ago): 598,602

2002 (10 years ago): 460,016

So over the last five years (since before the start of the credit crunch) there has been a decline of 17.7 per cent in passenger numbers. However last year there were 7.1 per cent more passengers travelling directly between LHR and CPT than there were ten years ago.

Here is a link to the CAA data for 2011:

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/80/airport...tl_Air_Pax_Route_Analysis_2011.pdf

The relevant data is on page 62.

And here is a link to the 2002 data:

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/80/airport...tl_Air_Pax_Route_Analysis_2002.pdf

Here the South African data is on page 33.
 
peanuts
Posts: 846
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:17 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:52 pm

Quoting shankly (Reply 14):
this year EK have really hiked up their fares LHR-DXB-CPT


Hmmm...sounds about right. Move in a market, drive down fares, chase competition away, raise fares. Rinse, repeat.
Welcome to the future with EK, and a few others.

Is it good and/or bad? Not necessarily.
 
Dallas
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:37 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:24 pm

Does anyone know the exact day in August this will happen?
 
User avatar
PW100
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 9:17 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:27 pm

Quoting jetsetter629 (Reply 1):
I thought the A332 was a perfect aircraft in terms of capasity for this route - not as large as the A343/A346. Competition must be hurting SAA on this route where it is economically viable to have all international ops go via JNB


Off course a major problem is incredibly low utilization with two airframes doing a single daily round-trip. Schedule:
CPT-LHR 18:50 - 06:20 -->14:40 hr downtime at LHR
LHR-CPT 21:00 - 10:05

They do appear to utilize some of the CPT downtime with some JNB rotations, but two two-hour flights do not really help utilization for a 12 hr capable airframe; increases cycle count dramatically (and thus maintenance cost) with relative low yields.

PW100
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
LondonCity
Posts: 1005
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:57 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:56 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 10):
There is obviously LHR-CPT demand but most of it is now going via the gulf, turkey or Europe.

Ridiculous increases in UK APD is only going to help more more passengers via those hubs.
Quoting cv990coronado (Thread starter):
The APD taxes for entry and transit make LHR very expensive(this applies on separate ticket which are cheaper)

Note that APD does not apply to passengers in transit or those who arrive in the UK. It is payable only on departure so has no effect on which routing a passenger takes when leaving the UK using a through ticket to CPT.
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:59 pm

Quoting cv990coronado (Thread starter):
SAA will cancel their Cape Town London service in August and route passengers via Johannesburg. The service started as once a week flight with a Boeing 747SP in the late seventies or early eighties

Flying via JNB is about 3 hours longer. Flying via DXB is about 6 hours longer. What happened to P2P taking over the world  
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15455
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:10 pm

Quoting peanuts (Reply 16):
Hmmm...sounds about right. Move in a market, drive down fares, chase competition away, raise fares. Rinse, repeat.
Welcome to the future with EK, and a few others.
Quoting cmf (Reply 20):
Flying via JNB is about 3 hours longer. Flying via DXB is about 6 hours longer. What happened to P2P taking over the world
Quoting shankly (Reply 14):
EK had become my preferred route down to the Cape

Well over 80% of the traffic still goes nonstop, so the Gulf carriers may be driving the fare down, but they're not driving a lot of traffic.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
anstar
Posts: 2882
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:27 pm

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 19):

Note that APD does not apply to passengers in transit or those who arrive in the UK. It is payable only on departure so has no effect on which routing a passenger takes when leaving the UK using a through ticket to CPT.

Yes but there are alot of pax flying LHR-CPT... these pax are disadvantaged by the APD as it is distance based so a pax flying LHR-DXB-CPT will pay less tax than one flying LHR-CPT direct..... and this may just be enough to encourage that pax to fky with EK over SAA.
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:32 pm

Quoting cv990coronado (Reply 8):
Yep that's just how bad it is these days. I guess if it doesn't work with a 332 it isn't going to. Looks like SAA is going to be JNB Airways as BA is London Airways and QF is becoming SYD Airways.

Does SA have any 787's on order? Sounds look a good application here   A long, thin route specialist...
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
cv990Coronado
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:38 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:35 pm

Quoting LondonCity
"Note that APD does not apply to passengers in transit or those who arrive in the UK. It is payable only on departure so has no effect on which routing a passenger takes when leaving the UK using a through ticket to CPT."

Unfortunately you are wrong in connection with the type of fares many budget travellers take. Yes are correct that if you take a through ticket i.e CPTLONFRA and don't stop in LON you don't pay the tax. But many low cost travellers used to buy tickets CPT LON CPT and then Lon Europe Lon on cheaper special fares because the combination was cheaper even though they paid two UK departure taxes. As the taxes increased and offers via the Middle East because more plentiful it became less and less attractive to travel via LHR. This plus the cost of a visa for the UK can add $300 to the cost of travelling via LON . This means that many Cape Town travellers go CPT DXB - FRA or ROM or ZRH when 5 -10 years ago their first choice was via LHR.
SSC-707B727 737-741234SP757/762/3/772/WA300/10/319/2/1-342/3/6-880-DAM-VC10 TRD 111 Ju52-DC8/9/10/11-YS11-748-VCV DH4B L
 
LondonCity
Posts: 1005
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:57 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:40 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 22):
Yes but there are alot of pax flying LHR-CPT... these pax are disadvantaged by the APD as it is distance based so a pax flying LHR-DXB-CPT will pay less tax than one flying LHR-CPT direct..... and this may just be enough to encourage that pax to fky with EK over SAA.

There is some confusion here.
APD is based on the final destination. So if you fly LHR-DXB-CPT you pay £81 in APD. You only pay the lower rate of APD if you break your journey in DXB (for perhaps 24 hours or longer) and even then, the saving is only £16. (The APD rate for LHR-DXB is £65).
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:41 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 22):
Yes but there are alot of pax flying LHR-CPT... these pax are disadvantaged by the APD as it is distance based so a pax flying LHR-DXB-CPT will pay less tax than one flying LHR-CPT direct..... and this may just be enough to encourage that pax to fky with EK over SAA.

16 GBP at the cost of 6 hours.

How much is the fuel for the 36% longer flight via DXB? More or less than APD?

Edit:
Did a very rough fuel calculation and got that flying via DXB will use additional about 83 USD worth of fuel each way. Spending 166 USD to save 25 USD is pretty bad in my book.

Assumptions
Per great circle mapper LHR-DXB-CPT is 3,478 km longer than direct.
3.1 l fuel per passenger and 100 km (A380 figure mentioned by EK http://www.emirates.com/english/about/emvironment/emirates_a380.aspx)
Fuel cost 122.6 USD per barrel (http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/economics/fuel_monitor/Pages/index.aspx)

[Edited 2012-06-05 13:57:18]
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
cv990Coronado
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:38 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:45 pm

Quoting Kelpkid
"Does SA have any 787's on order? Sounds look a good application here A long, thin route specialist..."

No SAA doesn't but even if they did I don't think it would help. The 332 is very efficient aircraft. The 787 would still have all the problems of utilization, yield, APD and Middle East competition. It would probably use less fuel but it's other costs might be higher such a purchase price and crew/MX issues as it would be a completely new type. Overall I don't think it would fix the problem. But it would be great to have one flying into CPT.
SSC-707B727 737-741234SP757/762/3/772/WA300/10/319/2/1-342/3/6-880-DAM-VC10 TRD 111 Ju52-DC8/9/10/11-YS11-748-VCV DH4B L
 
LondonCity
Posts: 1005
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:57 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:01 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 26):
16 GBP at the cost of 6 hours.
How much is the fuel for the 36% longer flight via DXB? More or less than APD?

You are correct in that £16 is hardly worth it when breaking your journey en route for CPT. Yes, it does take longer to fly via the Gulf but the point is that the Gulf carriers serve a growing number of secondary cities in the UK/mainland Europe/Scandinavia.

For a traveller based in places like BHX, GLA, DUS, ARN, CPH, MUC, VIE, VCE and many other cities, the overall journey time is reduced because there are no direct flights to CPT from these cities.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15455
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:02 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 22):
Yes but there are alot of pax flying LHR-CPT... these pax are disadvantaged by the APD as it is distance based so a pax flying LHR-DXB-CPT will pay less tax than one flying LHR-CPT direct.....

I think the bigger problem is that LONCPT is mostly leisure, VFR, and highly elastic travel that simply doesn't travel with higher fares and/or the APD

Quoting anstar (Reply 22):
and this may just be enough to encourage that pax to fky with EK over SAA.

Also, the Gulf carriers get at least 25% lower yield than the nonstop carriers if they're all charging the same fare--that puts some limitations on how much traffic they want to take, never mind how much they want to go after.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
richardw
Posts: 3142
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:19 pm

Many have been travelling to CPT from UK regional airports on KL via AMS before the emergence of EK, avoiding LHR is nothing new.
 
yeogeo
Posts: 625
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:47 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:08 pm

Quoting joeljack (Reply 7):
...how many destinations in Europe [do] they serve from CPT[?]
Regularly Scheduled CPT nonstops to/from Europe:

Showing in and out of season:
Early March schedules / Late June '12 Schedules

AMS KL 777x7/ 777x5
FRA LH 744x7/-
LHR BA 744x13/744X7
LHR SA 332x5/332x7
LHR VS 346x7/-
CDG AF 777x3/-
ZRH WK (Edelweiss) 332x2/-

(frequency per week)

yeo

[Edited 2012-06-05 16:02:57]
One great use of words is to hide our thoughts. Voltaire
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:41 pm

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 28):
For a traveller based in places like BHX, GLA, DUS, ARN, CPH, MUC, VIE, VCE and many other cities, the overall journey time is reduced because there are no direct flights to CPT from these cities.

Completely agree. I was objecting to the illogical importance assigned to ADP .
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
AddictedMAN
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:02 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:49 am

I'm not sure how much feed SA will get from BD for this flight, but what they did get will soon be lost.
 
lukeyboy95
Posts: 1058
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:51 am

Can someone clarify... did the SAA brand loose some of it's value/ prestige over the last 5 years or so? It seemed to pall into the background on their LON-RSA routes. Good deals were difficult to source, and it appeared to become a little faded.

A recent Trip Report recently showed that they were operating a good product on the whole.

However, as others are mentioning, this is likely just the settling of the dust created by the GC's and is likely to be seen on many other routes in the future.

Quoting peanuts (Reply 16):
Quoting shankly (Reply 14):
this year EK have really hiked up their fares LHR-DXB-CPT


Hmmm...sounds about right. Move in a market, drive down fares, chase competition away, raise fares. Rinse, repeat.
Welcome to the future with EK, and a few others.

A pretty bullish tactic, but highly admirable. I took QR IST-DOH-JNB-CPT and have to say the service was excellent.
Interestingly, DOH-JNB was almost full, whilst our JNB-CPT sector had about a 5%Load .

Anyway, I wrote a Trip Report on it My African Safari (i) ; The Beginning (EZY/ QR) (by lukeyboy95 Feb 27 2012 in Trip Reports)

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 28):
For a traveller based in places like BHX, GLA, DUS, ARN, CPH, MUC, VIE, VCE and many other cities

A much more attractive solution for many. The best thing is there is rarely a premium for this convenience.
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
ZK-NBT
Posts: 4999
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 5:42 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:06 am

I've always heard they struggle with LHR fullstop or have atleast recently due to the long ground times at LHR. Even JNB services have gone from 2 daily 744s to 2 346s to 1 332 and 1 343. They retired the 744s altogether.
 
cv990Coronado
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:38 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:32 am

The following is from a media briefing in Cape Town after my original post. As you can see it confirms many of the points I raised and those raised by others since.

Speaking at a Cape Town media briefing, SAA’s commercial gm, Theunis Potgieter, said this was in line with SAA’s route optimization strategy, which meant redeploying aircraft on routes with the strongest growing demand, these being to Africa, Asia, Australasia and South America. The A330’s currently used on the Cape Town/London leg would in future be used to grow SAA’s services from Johannesburg to Accra, Mumbai and Perth; and to add Abidjan and Brazzaville to its network. The carrier was also negotiating to increase its weekly connections between Johannesburg and Lagos.

Theunis said stopping the service from Cape Town would have an immediate positive impact on SAA’s bottom line. He said Cape Town proved unprofitable for the following reasons:

• A shrinking market: High Air Passenger Departure taxes in London and expensive transit visas for South Africans resulted in a 24% decline in demand on the SA/UK route since 2009, with VisitBritain rating South Africa amongst the top five fastest declining visitor markets to the UK. Demand for flights between Cape Town and London and the USA via London shrank from 650,000 to 560,000 passengers between 2007 and 2011.
• Poor onward connectivity: The sale of Star Alliance member British Midlands to a non-alliance airline meant SAA lost connectivity at Heathrow as a result.
• Increased connectivity to Cape Town by SAA’s competitors British Airways and Virgin Airways, which were able to offer cost effective onward connections from Heathrow.
• Twice daily services by Emirates had a substantial impact on SAA.
• Significantly fewer regional or international connections from Cape Town than Johannesburg, forcing SAA to compete on the London/Cape Town route on price alone.
SSC-707B727 737-741234SP757/762/3/772/WA300/10/319/2/1-342/3/6-880-DAM-VC10 TRD 111 Ju52-DC8/9/10/11-YS11-748-VCV DH4B L
 
jfk777
Posts: 5955
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:56 am

SAA has 3 LHR slots, they are not just going to give one back for nothing. SAA has some kind of plan, sell it, lease it or operate another flight to LHR.
 
richardw
Posts: 3142
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:59 am

They could sell slots to BA, so they can operate flights to China that are desperately needed, apparently.
 
User avatar
RWA380
Posts: 4529
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:51 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:18 am

Quoting PW100 (Reply 18):
LHR-CPT 21:00 - 10:05

I understand why planes mostly leave at night from JNB, altitude, heat etc... but what keeps carriers from flying in the morning from Europe, right after the first banks of N American arrivals, and landing in the evening time into JNB, and making a 2 hour turn back to Europe instead of sitting all day on both ends? Doesn't or didn't KLM do this before? I remember booking passengers to DAR and JRO and the departure from AMS was like 10am, arriving back into AMS early the next morning.
707, 717, 720, 727-1/2, 737-1/2/3/4/5/7/8/9, 747-1/2/3/4, 757, 767-2/3/4, 777, DC-8-5/6/7, DC-9-1/3/5, MD-80/2/3/7/8, DC-10-10/30/40, MD-11, F-27, F-28, SWM, J31, D38, DH7, DH8, DH4 SD-330, B-146, L-1011-2/500, ATR-42/72, VCV, A-300/310/318/319/320, CR2/7
 
col
Posts: 1695
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:11 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:42 am

Quoting richardw (Reply 38):
They could sell slots to BA, so they can operate flights to China that are desperately needed, apparently.

Fuel costs and APD obviously make Leeds more important 
 
boeing773W
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:03 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:25 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 39):
I understand why planes mostly leave at night from JNB, altitude, heat etc... but what keeps carriers from flying in the morning from Europe, right after the first banks of N American arrivals, and landing in the evening time into JNB, and making a 2 hour turn back to Europe instead of sitting all day on both ends? Doesn't or didn't KLM do this before? I remember booking passengers to DAR and JRO and the departure from AMS was like 10am, arriving back into AMS early the next morning.


KLM still does this and if you ask me, it can be a very convenient experience for N American traffic bound for South Africa. I flew KLM from Chicago to Johannesburg in January this year and found the schedule an absolute pleasure. Departed ORD at 16:30, arrived in AMS at about 07:00, then took off for JNB at about 09:30 again, and arrived in JNB at 21:20. The KLM schedule saved me an entire day (i.e. departed on Monday afternoon US time, arrived in JNB on Tuesday evening), whereas with other European carriers I would have had to spend the entire Tuesday in Europe, leave in the evening and only arrive in JNB on Wednesday morning.

By the way BA operates a third daily flight to JNB during the northern summer, which leaves LHR in the evening, arrives at JNB at about 05:30 the following morning, does a quick turnaround and leaves back for LHR at about 08:00am again. Like KLM it is a day flight but heading north. It is operating at the moment using a B772.

There's definitely a market for those flights. I wish more carriers operated them.

[Edited 2012-06-06 05:26:42]

[Edited 2012-06-06 05:41:48]
 
B747-4U3
Posts: 617
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2002 8:08 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:54 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 37):
SAA has 3 LHR slots, they are not just going to give one back for nothing. SAA has some kind of plan, sell it, lease it or operate another flight to LHR.

The arrival slot - early in the morning - is at a highly desirable time. The departure slot - in the evening - may be a limiting factor on who could buy or lease the slot as it may a) require the buyer to sit the plane on the tarmac all day as SAA did and b) an evening departure slot is perfect for some routes but not so good for others.

I would imagine therefore that whoever purchases or buys the slots will probably already have quite a large operation at LHR so they can juggle around the flights they currently have to maximise the use of that slot.
 
User avatar
PW100
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 9:17 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:57 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 39):
. . .

The premium pax typically prefer a night flight to arrive early in the morning, allowing for a full usefull business day at destination. If you don't offer one either way, chances are pretty high this premium pax will choose the competition that does offer night flights both ways.

KLM however is much less focussed on the premium pax (do note that they don't have first class), so it is less of a problem for them, and thus take advantage of much better, if not perfect airframe utilization:
AMS - CPT: 10:05 - 21:35
CPT - AMS: 23:35 - 11:00

The high summer temps, and 6000 ft altitude do present some additional problems at JNB. KLM solves this by having the dayflight towards JNB, and the return flight at night (just like CPT, which sometimes leads to back-to back South Africa bound take-offs from AMS!):
AMS - JNB: 10:20 - 21:20
JNB - AMS: 23:20 - 10:30

Rgds,
PW100
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
jfk777
Posts: 5955
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:12 pm

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 42):
The arrival slot - early in the morning - is at a highly desirable time. The departure slot - in the evening - may be a limiting factor on who could buy or lease the slot as it may a) require the buyer to sit the plane on the tarmac all day as SAA did and b) an evening departure slot is perfect for some routes but not so good for others.

I would imagine therefore that whoever purchases or buys the slots will probably already have quite a large operation at LHR so they can juggle around the flights they currently have to maximise the use of that slot.

South Africa should never sell the is the slot as it is difficult and costly to acquire another slot. Other small countries have sold their LHR slots and have come to regret the decision. London is an important destination for many reason for South Africa, if there is one city in Europe it should always serve its London.

I am wondering if the SAA A332 with 36 J seats is too many for Capetown to London, would it have been better with 18 J seats and 48 more Y seats ?
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15455
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:59 pm

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 34):
did the SAA brand loose some of it's value/ prestige over the last 5 years or so?

I think it's been mostly a goat rodeo for years--did the SA brand ever have some prestige? Certainly not in the last decade.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
AIR MALTA
Posts: 1737
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 6:45 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:14 pm

Why do the UK, SA and AUS (or any other infact) sign an agreement where their airlines could operated freely between the 3 countries. In that way SAA could operate the following route CPT-LHR-JFK-DKR-CPT and the other way round where the aircraft would sit the minimum time on the ground?
Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:24 pm

Quoting PW100 (Reply 43):
The premium pax typically prefer a night flight to arrive early in the morning, allowing for a full usefull business day at destination. If you don't offer one either way, chances are pretty high this premium pax will choose the competition that does offer night flights both ways.

The danger of generalizations. Almost none, if any, of the Europe to US flights are night flights. Certainly much larger than EU to SA.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
jfk777
Posts: 5955
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 47):
The danger of generalizations. Almost none, if any, of the Europe to US flights are night flights. Certainly much larger than EU to SA.

The reason most EU to USA are NOT night flights is the time doesn't work out. Arriving nother reason is the distances are too short. Even a flight from FRA to LAX is 9 time zones and if it left FRA at 0100 it woulkd get to LAX at 0345, still doesn;t work.
 
vv701
Posts: 5805
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: SAA Cancel Cape Town London After 20 Years

Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:55 pm

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 46):
In that way SAA could operate the following route CPT-LHR-JFK-DKR-CPT and the other way round where the aircraft would sit the minimum time on the ground?

To what end? How many passengers would book a return flight from CPT to LHR knowing they had to fly the Atlantic twice on the return leg? And how much money would SA loose charging a competitive return fare and then flying that passenger across the Atlantic twice over a distance of 11,364 miles, almost twice as far as the 5,994 miles of the direct route ? At least while its parked up it is not burning expensive fuel.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos