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LAXintl
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Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:24 pm

News out via Chevron that the Sonair "Houston Express" 747 service from Angola will be ending March 28th.

Route discontinuation is blamed on "financial and commercial difficulties"

Some might remember the flight was opened to public sale last May. Obviously this did not help much.

https://jornalf8.net/2018/sonair-acaba- ... a-houston/

=

Wonder what will happen to the two VIP configured 744s? They are technically owned by Sonangol, but operated by Atlas Air.
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dcajet
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:30 pm

Does this spell the end of passenger service on N- registered 747s?
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MaverickM11
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:56 pm

Where did the revenue ultimately flow to? Sonangol? Companies have had a hard time getting money out of Angola so I wonder if someone stopped being paid.
Last edited by MaverickM11 on Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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drerx7
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:11 am

That's unfortunate. ..Houston will loose the claim to service to 6 continents
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janders
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:16 am

dcajet wrote:
Does this spell the end of passenger service on N- registered 747s?


Atlas Air has additional pax 744s used for things like military charters, sports teams etc.
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yellowtail
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:29 am

The euro carriers serving IAH will be happy.
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usflyer msp
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:41 am

I could see SAA launching a JNB-LAD-IAH flight if they could get 5th freedom rights (doubtful) and way to repatriate the funds from Angola (even more doubtful)...
 
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FA9295
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:54 am

usflyer msp wrote:
I could see SAA launching a JNB-LAD-IAH flight if they could get 5th freedom rights (doubtful) and way to repatriate the funds from Angola (even more doubtful)...

Well, at the very least, the fact that SAA is in the Star Alliance group helps...
 
evanb
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:42 am

usflyer msp wrote:
I could see SAA launching a JNB-LAD-IAH flight if they could get 5th freedom rights (doubtful) and way to repatriate the funds from Angola (even more doubtful)...


It would be a great route for SAA, however, they'll never get 5th freedom rights. They've recently cut JNB-LAD to twice weekly on A320 from daily A340-600 a year ago, almost entirely because of inability to repatriate funds.
 
planeguy
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:53 am

Any possibility of TAAG applying for the route?
 
dcajet
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:21 am

evanb wrote:
almost entirely because of inability to repatriate funds.


Another Venezuela in the making?
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DaufuskieGuy
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:41 am

Are there other viable African destinations from IAH for SAA to try? Accra? Lagos?
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:23 am

DaufuskieGuy wrote:
Are there other viable African destinations from IAH for SAA to try? Accra? Lagos?

LOS has worked for IAH. I can see ET, SA or even UA giving it another try. Did the Nigerians ever fix the money repatriation issue?
When wasn't America great?


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evanb
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:05 am

TWA772LR wrote:
DaufuskieGuy wrote:
Are there other viable African destinations from IAH for SAA to try? Accra? Lagos?

LOS has worked for IAH. I can see ET, SA or even UA giving it another try. Did the Nigerians ever fix the money repatriation issue?


Repatriation issues are nowhere nearly as bad, however, the 5th freedoms might be problematic for SAA.
 
thomasphoto60
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:43 am

Not too shocked to hear of this, rumors have been floating around for a few years now that this service was on the ropes. Still sad to see another int'l route dropped from IAH, especially one that put Houston into the rather elite "6 Continent" club.
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United_fan
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:52 pm

I remember when World flew this with MD-11's in the early 2000's.
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thomasphoto60
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:22 pm

United_fan wrote:
I remember when World flew this with MD-11's in the early 2000's.

Yeah, I believe that this route started around ‘96-97’ there abouts, so it did have a good run.
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africawings
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:44 pm

LOS is back! their economy is on the rebound; cue United?
 
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leleko747
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:01 pm

Now the last regular pax 747 route in the US (with an American registered 747) will finally end. It wasn't United, it wasn't Delta.
I wonder when people will understand:
Embraer 190 or simply E190, not ERJ-190. E-Jets are NOT ERJs!
Boeing 747-8, not Boeing 747-800. Same goes for 787.
Airbus A320, not Airbus 320.
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drdisque
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:01 pm

Repatriation isn't the issue with LOS service, it's fraud. I worked for an airline that did not serve Nigeria, we literally blocked all traffic from Nigeria to our website since tickets purchased by Nigerian IP's were quite literally 99% fraudulent. I imagine this may be lower for an airline that actually flies to Nigeria, but that's still an awful lot of credit card fraud to have to deal with.
 
727200
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:30 am

Sounds like a 'cash-only' airline would be the next offering.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:55 am

drdisque wrote:
Repatriation isn't the issue with LOS service, it's fraud. I worked for an airline that did not serve Nigeria, we literally blocked all traffic from Nigeria to our website since tickets purchased by Nigerian IP's were quite literally 99% fraudulent. I imagine this may be lower for an airline that actually flies to Nigeria, but that's still an awful lot of credit card fraud to have to deal with.


No, the issue with UA was foreign exchange controls and collapsing energy prices. Virtually all major carriers don't accept credit cards in West Africa - you either have to pay cash or deal with a travel agent...
 
klm617
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:29 pm

It amazes me that people think there is a market from Houston to Africa. Sonair was basically a charter flight and they couldn't make it work why would anyone think Houston to Africa is viable for a for profit driven airline. There is no market there. The only other service from Houston to Africa was years ago from JNB to IAH and that was moved to ATL which also was axed. So the short answer is don't expect any IAH to Africa in the near term.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
910A
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:30 pm

janders wrote:
dcajet wrote:
Does this spell the end of passenger service on N- registered 747s?


Atlas Air has additional pax 744s used for things like military charters, sports teams etc.


The Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jags used the Sonair-Atlas 747's last season due to the comfortable seating etc. Should be interesting to see what will happen with those two teams now, back to an Atlas 767?
 
GamingPolaris
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:47 pm

klm617 wrote:
It amazes me that people think there is a market from Houston to Africa. Sonair was basically a charter flight and they couldn't make it work why would anyone think Houston to Africa is viable for a for profit driven airline. There is no market there. The only other service from Houston to Africa was years ago from JNB to IAH and that was moved to ATL which also was axed. So the short answer is don't expect any IAH to Africa in the near term.


It amazes me to see people that believe there’s no market from IAH to Africa, when we’re the energy capital of the world and the most diverse city in the US. They should do their research before posting irrelevant posts here, since the only reason IAH-LOS ended because of Nigeria’s restriction of currency movements. IAH-LAD is ending because they’re premium charters with very high end pricing and no online booking. There was no way the flight was going to survive, it was a matter of time. ET is very interested in IAH and I believe they will be the African carrier to launch flights here around Q4 2018 or 2019.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:01 pm

klm617 wrote:
It amazes me that people think there is a market from Houston to Africa. Sonair was basically a charter flight and they couldn't make it work why would anyone think Houston to Africa is viable for a for profit driven airline. There is no market there. The only other service from Houston to Africa was years ago from JNB to IAH and that was moved to ATL which also was axed. So the short answer is don't expect any IAH to Africa in the near term.

I know I do this a lot but please don't speak of what you don't know.

The Houston-Africa traffic is very lucrative and a great amount of o&d. I've worked for TK and LH in IAH and have had many friends work for AF/KL, EK, BA et al and we can all attest to how wrong your statement is.

Now if it was DTW to Africa, you'd find some way to say that DLs JNB flight should be moved from ATL and be hourly.
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wjcandee
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:32 pm

Whomever said "it was only a matter of time" before this allegedly-obviously-ridiculous route failed doesn't fully-understand the market. The "time" involved was SEVENTEEN years.

There is a significant amount of traffic from the Houston area (and the Texas/Louisiana area generally) to Nigeria and Angola (and many other oil-producing destinations), because American oil workers frequently rotate to those two areas. IAH is the oil company capital of the US. Those oil workers are well-treated by their employers, and they fly First Class from the US to their destination. I remember being on an Eastbound flight out of Texas a few years ago, and the big strong guy who sat next to me in First was on his way to Nigeria. A conversation starter: he put his oil company hardhat in the overhead. His schedule was X weeks in the oilfields and X weeks home, and he flew First through Europe to Africa. He did a good job of educating me about the practicalities of US oil operations in Africa.

The Houston Express nonstop cut many, many hours off of the trip from CONUS to Luanda, and was intended to carry fast cargo as well. The Angolans were very proud of the service.

I suspect that geopolitical issues, oil market and price issues, domestic Angloa developments, and other matters affected the volume of traffic and the price companies were willing to pay for the service over the last 17 years. It may be that fewer Americans were rotating in and out of Angola in recent years on oil business, so the flight couldn't be sustained.

As to what happens to the aircraft, presumably the Angolans will sell them to somebody. SonAngol owns them, no ifs ands or buts. Until recently, they had no desire whatsoever for them to be used on any charters: the backup plane was a backup and they had no interest in monetizing it. Same with the World bird -- they were uber-picky about ever letting it be chartered. I understand that Atlas finally convinced Sonair to let them be used for some very-specific high-dollar or high-prestige charters, but the Sonair folks were beyond-protective about the possibility that their precious VIP interiors might be damaged. Probably their increased willingness had something to do with defraying some of the expenses as traffic declined.

Oil company folks had discretion in their choice of carrier, so they had the opportunity to take the Houston Express or instead travel commercial. That's why the flight provided United miles to travelers as well; there were folks who would have traded speed for miles, so Sonangol provided United miles. There will still be a lot of US-Angola oil-business traffic, but now more of it will be on AF, BA and LH.

The route worked for its intended purpose for 17 years. Nothing is forever.
 
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neomax
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:01 pm

The million dollar question is will UA pounce? I say yes.
 
klm617
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:44 pm

wjcandee wrote:
Whomever said "it was only a matter of time" before this allegedly-obviously-ridiculous route failed doesn't fully-understand the market. The "time" involved was SEVENTEEN years.

There is a significant amount of traffic from the Houston area (and the Texas/Louisiana area generally) to Nigeria and Angola (and many other oil-producing destinations), because American oil workers frequently rotate to those two areas. IAH is the oil company capital of the US. Those oil workers are well-treated by their employers, and they fly First Class from the US to their destination. I remember being on an Eastbound flight out of Texas a few years ago, and the big strong guy who sat next to me in First was on his way to Nigeria. A conversation starter: he put his oil company hardhat in the overhead. His schedule was X weeks in the oilfields and X weeks home, and he flew First through Europe to Africa. He did a good job of educating me about the practicalities of US oil operations in Africa.

The Houston Express nonstop cut many, many hours off of the trip from CONUS to Luanda, and was intended to carry fast cargo as well. The Angolans were very proud of the service.

I suspect that geopolitical issues, oil market and price issues, domestic Angloa developments, and other matters affected the volume of traffic and the price companies were willing to pay for the service over the last 17 years. It may be that fewer Americans were rotating in and out of Angola in recent years on oil business, so the flight couldn't be sustained.

As to what happens to the aircraft, presumably the Angolans will sell them to somebody. SonAngol owns them, no ifs ands or buts. Until recently, they had no desire whatsoever for them to be used on any charters: the backup plane was a backup and they had no interest in monetizing it. Same with the World bird -- they were uber-picky about ever letting it be chartered. I understand that Atlas finally convinced Sonair to let them be used for some very-specific high-dollar or high-prestige charters, but the Sonair folks were beyond-protective about the possibility that their precious VIP interiors might be damaged. Probably their increased willingness had something to do with defraying some of the expenses as traffic declined.

Oil company folks had discretion in their choice of carrier, so they had the opportunity to take the Houston Express or instead travel commercial. That's why the flight provided United miles to travelers as well; there were folks who would have traded speed for miles, so Sonangol provided United miles. There will still be a lot of US-Angola oil-business traffic, but now more of it will be on AF, BA and LH.

The route worked for its intended purpose for 17 years. Nothing is forever.



If what you say is true wouldn't the flight be still operating. I mean if it was a prestige route for Angola and oil companies are willing to pay through the nose this flight should have no problem to continue to operate under those conditions.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
wjcandee
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:04 pm

neomax wrote:
The million dollar question is will UA pounce? I say yes.


I think not. If it can't be sustained when the target is a break-even operation, at the expense level of an Atlas track charter using paid-for capital equipment, ain't no way that it's gonna: (1) break even at a UAL expense level; and (2) return a sufficient profit to UAL to make it worth doing, particularly given the variety of extra risks involved in operating into Angola as a US carrier. (The Houston Express was perceived as an Angolan operation even though it was operated for them by a US charter carrier.)

I don't think that having it be a UAL flight rather than the Houston Express changes all that much in terms of potential additional traffic. One might get a few more connections, but there are not significant network benefits that SonAir hadn't already attempted to compensate for (connections, miles, etc.). And there isn't that much Angola to the US Southwest traffic that isn't oil-business-related that would be captured. And the CapEx needed in terms of a premium high-range airliner would not be insignificant. Finally, the UAL product probably isn't: (1) going to have as many premium options as did this aircraft, so less potential $$ revenue; and (2) the service isn't going to be as good as the alternative European carriers, which folks currently choosing to not use the Houston Express would be likely to continue to prefer. You got a little more bang for the buck on the Houston Express in terms of VIP treatment.

Anyway, that's my guess. Doesn't mean they won't for some reason try it.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:07 pm

klm617 wrote:

If what you say is true wouldn't the flight be still operating. I mean if it was a prestige route for Angola and oil companies are willing to pay through the nose this flight should have no problem to continue to operate under those conditions.


Well, that's just absolutely-incorrect. The probability is that there is less traffic rotating from the US Southwest to Angola on oil business these days, for the reasons I mentioned. At some point, if there isn't enough traffic, the flight becomes unsustainable. There's undoubtedly a good deal of traffic traveling as I describe, just not enough anymore.
 
GamingPolaris
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:11 pm

wjcandee wrote:
Whomever said "it was only a matter of time" before this allegedly-obviously-ridiculous route failed doesn't fully-understand the market. The "time" involved was SEVENTEEN years.

There is a significant amount of traffic from the Houston area (and the Texas/Louisiana area generally) to Nigeria and Angola (and many other oil-producing destinations), because American oil workers frequently rotate to those two areas. IAH is the oil company capital of the US. Those oil workers are well-treated by their employers, and they fly First Class from the US to their destination. I remember being on an Eastbound flight out of Texas a few years ago, and the big strong guy who sat next to me in First was on his way to Nigeria. A conversation starter: he put his oil company hardhat in the overhead. His schedule was X weeks in the oilfields and X weeks home, and he flew First through Europe to Africa. He did a good job of educating me about the practicalities of US oil operations in Africa.

The Houston Express nonstop cut many, many hours off of the trip from CONUS to Luanda, and was intended to carry fast cargo as well. The Angolans were very proud of the service.

I suspect that geopolitical issues, oil market and price issues, domestic Angloa developments, and other matters affected the volume of traffic and the price companies were willing to pay for the service over the last 17 years. It may be that fewer Americans were rotating in and out of Angola in recent years on oil business, so the flight couldn't be sustained.

As to what happens to the aircraft, presumably the Angolans will sell them to somebody. SonAngol owns them, no ifs ands or buts. Until recently, they had no desire whatsoever for them to be used on any charters: the backup plane was a backup and they had no interest in monetizing it. Same with the World bird -- they were uber-picky about ever letting it be chartered. I understand that Atlas finally convinced Sonair to let them be used for some very-specific high-dollar or high-prestige charters, but the Sonair folks were beyond-protective about the possibility that their precious VIP interiors might be damaged. Probably their increased willingness had something to do with defraying some of the expenses as traffic declined.

Oil company folks had discretion in their choice of carrier, so they had the opportunity to take the Houston Express or instead travel commercial. That's why the flight provided United miles to travelers as well; there were folks who would have traded speed for miles, so Sonangol provided United miles. There will still be a lot of US-Angola oil-business traffic, but now more of it will be on AF, BA and LH.

The route worked for its intended purpose for 17 years. Nothing is forever.


It was only a matter of time for the Houston Express to be cut. Oil prices are nowhere near what they used to be, meaning there’s a lot less premium traffic. SonAir’s IAH-LAD was an all premium flight with the cheapest one way ticket starting at around $3,000. The flight just isn’t viable, even when it went public, since there’s a lot of VFR. I believe you’re the one that doesn’t know what you’re talking about.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:39 pm

GamingPolaris wrote:
I believe you’re the one that doesn’t know what you’re talking about.


Ah...the rudeness that is a.net! Such a pleasure! Happily, I had been involved recently in threads where people acted in a dignified manner and when they disagreed, they did so without being disagreeable. Thanks for bringing me back to reality.

Now to your point about my lack of knowledge about a service that I have followed for over 17 years.

And to your apparent misinterpretation of my posts, which I thought were pretty clear.

My point was that where it was alleged above that "it was only a matter of time" from the commencement of service for this thing to fail because it was a flawed concept, the poster was incorrect because the flight ran for 17 years.

I also pointed out that it had recently become non-viable for a variety of reasons. Indeed, I mentioned every one of the reasons you just gave in your aggressive post, among others.

In short, I believe -- and I think this is profoundly accurate -- that there is still significant premium oil industry traffic between the US to Angola, but not enough to sustain a premium nonstop flight by SonAir, nor a profitable traditionally-configured US Airline flight on equipment able to do the route nonstop.
 
continental004
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:57 am

So TP to IAH then?
 
klm617
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:09 am

Plain and simple in this age of huge returns on investment if there was a Houston-Africa market airlines would be flocking there but sadly there is none.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:13 am

klm617 wrote:
It amazes me that people think there is a market from Houston to Africa. Sonair was basically a charter flight and they couldn't make it work why would anyone think Houston to Africa is viable for a for profit driven airline. There is no market there. The only other service from Houston to Africa was years ago from JNB to IAH and that was moved to ATL which also was axed. So the short answer is don't expect any IAH to Africa in the near term.


Coming from the guy that thinks there should be a DTW-WAW flight, this is rich.

IAH-Africa is actually a very big market. Big enough to overcome the poor geography of IAH's geographic position? Maybe not. But you're talking about hundreds of PDEW a day and much of it being J passengers.

I don't expect there to be a IAH-Africa flight but there certainly is no shortage of demand.
"I dance and laugh among the rotten"
 
mapletux
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:07 am

TWA772LR wrote:
DaufuskieGuy wrote:
Are there other viable African destinations from IAH for SAA to try? Accra? Lagos?

LOS has worked for IAH. I can see ET, SA or even UA giving it another try. Did the Nigerians ever fix the money repatriation issue?


It's almost fixed with ~USD 30m outstanding.

http://www.woleshadare.net/airlines-tra ... falls-30m/
 
IAHWorldflyer
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:05 pm

klm617 wrote:
Plain and simple in this age of huge returns on investment if there was a Houston-Africa market airlines would be flocking there but sadly there is none.


Others here with knowledge of the local market have posted here, and their statements are true. I'm sorry you can't believe them, or do more of your own research on the Houston-Africa market.
Were you to stand in a boarding line at Terminal D in the afternoon for the BA flight to LHR, the AF flight to Paris, the KL flight to AMS or the LH flight to FRA, you would see how many people are using those carriers to make connections to Africa. I do not have the numbers, but I'd venture to guess that spread among the 4, it would easily be over 100 PDEW. Now the difficulty in providing a nonstop flight to the Continent is where do you serve that carries the most amount of people? That's probably LOS. But ET could possibly make it work through ADD with connections. And were SAA able to provide a 5th Freedom flight that touched somewhere in West Africa before JNB, they could easily achieve 70%+ load factors.
 
horsepowerchef
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:12 pm

perhaps they're pulling out until the can get an aircraft that is more economical? Im sure it was carrying a lot of of cargo, but seats wise was the 744 flying out full? perhaps a 77e or 77w might be a better fit with less seats and still high cargo capacity...?
 
jetero
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:15 pm

horsepowerchef wrote:
perhaps they're pulling out until the can get an aircraft that is more economical? Im sure it was carrying a lot of of cargo, but seats wise was the 744 flying out full? perhaps a 77e or 77w might be a better fit with less seats and still high cargo capacity...?


I think Sonair or the Angolan government specifically required it to be flown by a 744, which is why World got thrown out.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:25 am

jetero wrote:
horsepowerchef wrote:
perhaps they're pulling out until the can get an aircraft that is more economical? Im sure it was carrying a lot of of cargo, but seats wise was the 744 flying out full? perhaps a 77e or 77w might be a better fit with less seats and still high cargo capacity...?


I think Sonair or the Angolan government specifically required it to be flown by a 744, which is why World got thrown out.


Sonair came up with the dual-747 plan on its own so it would have a VIP backup when one was down for maintenance. World initially was expected to continue as the contractor; it was looking at 747s for the military charter stuff at the time anyway, and so the additional type was in its plans and no big deal to do.

IIRC, Sonair had a bunch of demands about crewing the aircraft in part with Angolans, which World was uncomfortable with, from both a union-contract and FARs/DOT-Rules perspective. World pushed back and so Sonair started talking to Atlas. I don't recall whether Atlas came up with some kind of creative solution, or whether Sonair had to back down, but in any event, Sonair gave World the finger and Atlas the contract. I recall that World actually filed a proceeding to stop the transition on the basis that the proposed operation was illegal, but the DOT let the thing proceed. The testimony in that proceeding was very interesting, because it was apparent that someone at Sonair made it very clear verbally that Angolan flight DECK crews were expected to be used in whole or part, and World wasn't going to do that (and I doubt Atlas would either). I think they walked that back, and I don't recall what they did about the cabin.
 
jetero
Posts: 4457
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:45 am

Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:31 am

wjcandee wrote:
jetero wrote:
horsepowerchef wrote:
perhaps they're pulling out until the can get an aircraft that is more economical? Im sure it was carrying a lot of of cargo, but seats wise was the 744 flying out full? perhaps a 77e or 77w might be a better fit with less seats and still high cargo capacity...?


I think Sonair or the Angolan government specifically required it to be flown by a 744, which is why World got thrown out.


Sonair came up with the dual-747 plan on its own so it would have a VIP backup when one was down for maintenance. World initially was expected to continue as the contractor; it was looking at 747s for the military charter stuff at the time anyway, and so the additional type was in its plans and no big deal to do.

IIRC, Sonair had a bunch of demands about crewing the aircraft in part with Angolans, which World was uncomfortable with, from both a union-contract and FARs/DOT-Rules perspective. World pushed back and so Sonair started talking to Atlas. I don't recall whether Atlas came up with some kind of creative solution, or whether Sonair had to back down, but in any event, Sonair gave World the finger and Atlas the contract. I recall that World actually filed a proceeding to stop the transition on the basis that the proposed operation was illegal, but the DOT let the thing proceed. The testimony in that proceeding was very interesting, because it was apparent that someone at Sonair made it very clear verbally that Angolan flight DECK crews were expected to be used in whole or part, and World wasn't going to do that (and I doubt Atlas would either). I think they walked that back, and I don't recall what they did about the cabin.


Much appreciated.
 
Jetter330
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:04 pm

Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:06 am

Maybe an opperunity for SN to start IAH? Lufthansa stated some weeks ago that the group is expanding in Africa. Let SN start LOS, a destination that should have been started years ago. If that works out, start IAH, an unserved route from BRU which is also a star hub.
 
Antarius
Posts: 1780
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:13 pm

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
klm617 wrote:
Plain and simple in this age of huge returns on investment if there was a Houston-Africa market airlines would be flocking there but sadly there is none.


Others here with knowledge of the local market have posted here, and their statements are true. I'm sorry you can't believe them, or do more of your own research on the Houston-Africa market.
Were you to stand in a boarding line at Terminal D in the afternoon for the BA flight to LHR, the AF flight to Paris, the KL flight to AMS or the LH flight to FRA, you would see how many people are using those carriers to make connections to Africa. I do not have the numbers, but I'd venture to guess that spread among the 4, it would easily be over 100 PDEW. Now the difficulty in providing a nonstop flight to the Continent is where do you serve that carries the most amount of people? That's probably LOS. But ET could possibly make it work through ADD with connections. And were SAA able to provide a 5th Freedom flight that touched somewhere in West Africa before JNB, they could easily achieve 70%+ load factors.


You are both basically saying the same thing, yet disagreeing.

Sure there is a IAH - Africa market in terms of Pax. There isn't enough of a market for UA or someone else to launch standard commercial service though, otherwise they would have already.
19:SIN HKG NRT DFW IAH HOU CLT LGA JFK SFO SJC EWR SNA EYW MIA BOG LAX ORD DTW OAK PVG BOS DCA IAD ATL LAS BIS CUN PHX SYD CVG PHL MAD ORY CDG SLC SJU BQN MHT YYZ STS DOH BLR KTM MFM MEX MSY BWI BNA
 
klm617
Posts: 4675
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:57 pm

Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:32 pm

Jetter330 wrote:
Maybe an opperunity for SN to start IAH? Lufthansa stated some weeks ago that the group is expanding in Africa. Let SN start LOS, a destination that should have been started years ago. If that works out, start IAH, an unserved route from BRU which is also a star hub.



Why would another airline jump into the fray there is already enough coverage to Africa from Houston with BA,KL,LH and KL
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
jetero
Posts: 4457
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:45 am

Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:44 pm

klm617 wrote:
Jetter330 wrote:
Maybe an opperunity for SN to start IAH? Lufthansa stated some weeks ago that the group is expanding in Africa. Let SN start LOS, a destination that should have been started years ago. If that works out, start IAH, an unserved route from BRU which is also a star hub.



Why would another airline jump into the fray there is already enough coverage to Africa from Houston with BA,KL,LH and KL


Ha! I see the synapses are selectively firing again.
 
Jetter330
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:04 pm

Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:18 am

Time will tell but I think this is an opportunity.
 
777Mech
Posts: 821
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:54 pm

Re: Sonair ending Houston-Luanda service

Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:07 am

klm617 wrote:
Jetter330 wrote:
Maybe an opperunity for SN to start IAH? Lufthansa stated some weeks ago that the group is expanding in Africa. Let SN start LOS, a destination that should have been started years ago. If that works out, start IAH, an unserved route from BRU which is also a star hub.



Why would another airline jump into the fray there is already enough coverage to Africa from Houston with BA,KL,LH and KL


Don't forget DL's LOS and JNB flights out of ATL.

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