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BA 777 Between LHR And CPT

Fri Nov 24, 2000 8:50 pm

As of 2001, British Airways will replace the 747-400, with the 777 on its flights between LHR and Cape Town
BTW-BA now offer 14 flights a week between LHR and Johannesburg (one is a day-light flight) same goes for SAA
In term of revenue vs. target, Johannesburg and Cape Town are now the most profitable routes in the BA system.
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RE: BA 777 Between LHR And CPT

Fri Nov 24, 2000 9:49 pm

Is that bit at the end true? I thought the JFK route and SYD were the most profitable BA routes. Why are they downgrading to 777 if the Capetown route is so successful then?
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RE: BA 777 Between LHR And CPT

Fri Nov 24, 2000 9:54 pm

Information comes from a BA press release to local travel agents. As to why they are switching to the 777-I don't know.

RE: BA 777 Between LHR And CPT

Fri Nov 24, 2000 10:22 pm

This is probably an attempt by BA to capitalise on the premium pax market again. As certain 777's in BA's fleet (especially those flying to destinations in the Gulf) have significantly larger FIRST and Club World cabins, management will attempt to duplicate this configuration on the ER a/c.

I expect the total number of premium seats on the 777's currently used on flights to Kuwait, Bahrain etc. are higher than a standard 744, and thus getting these to fly to CPT will mean the airline will be able to reap a greater profit.

I am not certain about the proportion of profit generated by World Traveller seats, but it can't be a lot, or the 744's would not have been withdrawn so soon.

Incidentally, I am flying a BA 744 to CPT on the 15th Dec. I'll ask the Captain exactly why they've decided to stop flying the 744 down there, but it will most probably be because of the larger number of premium seats on the 777's.

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RE: BA 777 Between LHR And CPT

Sat Nov 25, 2000 12:05 am

Two important remarks:

1) It is ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE that BA's JNB and CPT flights would be the airline's top revenue routes, as it is widely known that the South African market is a very low yield market, which is the basic reason why airlines like OS and SN will stop flying there. I think what the press release says is that BA is getting its revenue target on the JNB/CPT routes...

2) CPT is as widely known to be a primely leisure market, with quite a light load of business traffic. I therefore don't agree with Capt. Picard's statements. I don't think BA will put 777s in the 'Gulf flight' configuration on the route. (They'd better put the 'Flying Colors' charter version on the flight...)
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RE: BA 777 Between LHR And CPT

Sat Nov 25, 2000 6:31 am


I agree for Cape Town, although poor people usually don't take a long-haul flight to the other end of earth to spend their holidays.
Also, Johannesburg is a high-yield market with mostly premium traffic. As a matter of fact, Virgin Atlantic, seeking services only on most profitable routes serve JNB and CPT (they have been fighting hard for CPT).

But with 747-400s being withdrawn from the route: where will they go? Will they be part of those due to be sold/leased out?

Thank you,

Best regards,
Alain Mengus
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RE: BA 777 Between LHR And CPT

Sat Nov 25, 2000 6:34 am

Not related, but how is SAA doing on their JFK and ATL routes? I heard the JFK route is always packed. Don't know about ATL. But are they both profitable?

RE: BA 777 Between LHR And CPT

Sat Nov 25, 2000 7:09 am


I have no doubt from your profile you'll know more than I do about these things, but is the entire South African market low yield?-I'd be surprised really.

OS and SN may be pulling out, but that doesn't mean BA aren't filling their premium classes well. The Austria and Belguim-South Africa market may be low yield, but I don't think that really applies to the UK-South Africa market, and neither do I think that the LHR-CPT market does particularly badly either.

Firstly, you'll be aware of the colonial ties-which are very strong. Secondly, many affluent British people fly down to South Africa to see their family, or to simply spend their winter holidays there.

Thirdly, many UK businessmen use BA to JNB/CPT as the gateway to other countries in South Africa (Angola/Namibia).

The UK basically has a very strong "personal" connection to South Africa, unlike the other European countries, and thus I would be surprised if the South African market was low yield for UK carriers. On the contrary, I think it is very lucrative.

The BA58 flight is daily remember.

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RE: Capt.Picard

Sat Nov 25, 2000 12:42 pm

Some remarks, though:

1) Premium fares ex LHR are indeed higher than out of any other european city. This is a general fact that goes for all intercontinental destinations.

2) Regarding traffic originating in Europe, however, BA's and SA's planes out of LHR are not filled only by local boardings. Actually, most of the traffic is connecting European traffic. Fares of BA and SA ex AMS, BRU, VIE or whatever european city will of, course be, similar or even more competitive than fares charged by the local airline for a direct flight...

3) Fares originating in South Africa are another story. A lot of frequent travellers will be able to talk to you about how interesting it is to go shopping for airline tickets in South Africa, as the local fares -on all carriers- are extremely cheap. Typical coach seats to europe start from R.1.500,- roundtrip, whereas business class tickets will sell for as cheap as R.12.000,-.
Premium fares on combined longhaul flights are actually even cheaper. The local fare for, say CPT-LHR-NRT roundtrip is cheaper than LHR-NRT roundtrip for premium fares. It is therefore widely known that businessmen go shopping for open tickets in SA, and sometimes simply throw awa the South Africa-Europe portions of the ticket, although this is illegal.
Note that those fare are local fares that can only be obtained in South Africa.

4) Finally, I didn't say that those flights are actually loosing money. I just said that their yields are for sure not the highest in BA's network. I think, for instance, that BA's 2 daily NRT flight are bringing much more money to the company.
VS was not fighting so hard to get some flights to CPT because of the yield, but because it just didn't want BA to get these flight...


Sat Nov 25, 2000 1:47 pm

I used to work at Atlanta Hartsfield, and let me tell you, that SAA bird seemed to come in with alot of cargo, but it would go back out with alot of people. I read that SAA switched from MIA to ATL because ATL offered the ability for more people to get on the flight from DAL. Not saying a code-share, but with more flights coming into ATL than MIA, more people can possibly get ont the flight. I heard from a cargo standpoint, that 747 had alot of stuff in it.

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