Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7476
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:24 am

Just saw a picture of this aircraft in the great set of SAA photographs on this site


So what was it doing there?


Did South African have scheduled service into IAH for a while ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
User avatar
drerx7
Posts: 4371
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2000 12:19 am

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:26 am

Yes, SAA flew to IAH...it was forced to stop due to anti apartheid sanctions.
HOUSTON, TEXAS
 
User avatar
RWA380
Posts: 5442
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:51 am

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:47 am

Max Q wrote:
Just saw a picture of this aircraft in the great set of SAA photographs on this site


So what was it doing there?


Did South African have scheduled service into IAH for a while ?


Yes, IAH had once weekly 747sp service on their 74L's it was via SID in the Cape Verde Islands, a middle of the night crossroads for SAA. IAH lasted less than a year, IIRC. there had been discussions of JNB-SID-LAX on the 747sp, but nothing ever happened regarding LAX, again likely via SID, but GIG could have done the same thing, with less mileage & more O/D than SID ever saw on SAA pax.

Off departed flights 1983 - http://www.departedflights.com/IAHI83intro.html
http://www.departedflights.com/IAHI83p1.html
707, 717, 720, 727-1/2, 737-1/2/3/4/5/7/8/9, 747-1/2/3, 757, 767-2/3/4, 777-2/3, DC8, DC9, MD80/2/7/8, D10-1/3/4, M11, L10-2/5, A300/310/319/320
AA AC AQ BD BN CO CS DL EA EZ HA HG HP KL KN MP MW NK NW OZ PA PS QX RC RH RW SA TG TW UA US VS WA WN WP YS 8M
 
andz
Posts: 7633
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 7:49 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:37 pm

Back in the day SAA used to issue commemorative "first day covers" for their first flights on new routes, we have a stack of them including this one:



Image

Inside the envelope is this card:

Image
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
2travel2know2
Posts: 2774
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:01 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:40 pm

IMHO, SA JNB-GIG-IAH might be a cash-cow now because current GIG-IAH demand.
But SA Star Alliance pal UA wouldn't like it that much.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7476
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:14 am

This is the best of A.net

Thanks for the great,,interesting and informative replies

Have to wonder what market SAA was pursuing in IAH ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
User avatar
TWA772LR
Posts: 6691
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:12 am

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:40 am

2travel2know2 wrote:
IMHO, SA JNB-GIG-IAH might be a cash-cow now because current GIG-IAH demand.
But SA Star Alliance pal UA wouldn't like it that much.

Slightly OT, UA apparently holds traffic rights on GIG-JNB.

Seeing IAH-South Africa is a wet dream of mine; via LFW (tap in to Ethopian and ASKY) or LOS (restart the IAH-LOS trip with JNB as extra cash) would even do.
When wasn't America great?


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
aircountry
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:43 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:24 am

I remembered that time when SAA made anoucement to fly from JNB to IAH on one stop with 747-SP 4 times a week until the protesters want SAA out then went down to once a week then kicked out due aparthied. Now they are free and SAA can come back but still dont know will ever come back to IAH in the future.
 
planeguy
Posts: 346
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2001 4:42 am

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:18 am

Maybe SAA could make JNB-LAD-IAH work. They can fill the void left behind by Sonair.
 
KingOrGod
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:19 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:35 am

aircountry wrote:
Now they are free and SAA can come back but still dont know will ever come back to IAH in the future.


LOL. SAA, however, isn't free from morons. Lots has changed since 1994. Especially for SPRINGBOK!
 
jfk777
Posts: 6953
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:56 am

Definitely one of the world's more interesting flights. Another 747SP flight involving South Africa was a once weekly Qantas flight to Harare, Zimbabwae to " avoid" flying South Africa. The Aussies just flw next door, strange strategy.
 
justplanesmart
Posts: 706
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 3:25 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:59 am

In the summer of 1983, shortly after I graduated high school, my family took a trip to Texas. We were in the Houston area for about a week, and then were heading back to the Metroplex on a Wednesday. The SAA flight came in on Thursday. I stayed overnight at IAH to see the 747SP arrive, then bought a $30 ticket for a Southwest flight to Love field to rejoin my family. I sat next to a pilot with Eastern on this short flight, and asked him if he had had a chance to fly the 757 yet. The only disappointment was that the aircraft was still in its original colors with the huge anti-dazzle paint between the cockpit and the nose, rather than the "cleaner" revised livery introduced a few years after the 747SP's were delivered.

"So many planes; so little time..."
 
leftcoast8
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:59 am

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:35 am

jfk777 wrote:
Definitely one of the world's more interesting flights. Another 747SP flight involving South Africa was a once weekly Qantas flight to Harare, Zimbabwae to " avoid" flying South Africa. The Aussies just flw next door, strange strategy.


This is off topic, but the history of Qantas in Africa is a rollercoaster. QF has to pull out of JNB due to the anti-apartheid groundswell, so they fly to HRE instead. Then things improve in SA but Zim begins to collapse when Mugabe restarts land seizures (after the contested 2000 Zimbabwe general election), so QF pulls out of Zim and returns to SA. Who would have seen that coming?

Now QF, BA, LH and other western airlines won't even touch Zim, it's just too unsafe there for flight crews to stay overnight. Also the former breadbasket of Africa is in economic despair, which makes the business case for nonstop flights from Europe or Aus difficult. By the way the new PM Emmerson Mnangagwa is a monster as bad or perhaps even as worse as Mugabe was. I don't expect Zim's prospects to brighten at all with him in power. Flying from Australia to Zim is now via SAA (SYD/PER-JNB-HRE) or Emirates (SYD/PER-DXB-LUN-HRE).

BA used to fly from Heathrow to Harare then onto Lusaka, Zambia using 777s (before that 744s), they stopped in the wake of ZANU-PF's violent repression of the opposition MDC party during the 2008 elections.
 
User avatar
CTHouston71
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:19 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:16 pm

SAA was in Houston from 1983 through end of 1985. I was fortunate enough as an early teen to take that flight on 4 separate occasions. Landing in Ilha de Sal was an hour of total boredom in the middle of the night. Depending on the direction, we were allowed to disembark and walk into the terminal for a "leg stretch". However I do remember a Cubana flight arriving at one point and permission was denied to leave plane due to the Angolan "conflict".

Happy to see UA deciding to fly to CPT - will see if they can make a success of it as DL couldn't a few years ago on their 767.
 
evanb
Posts: 761
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:26 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:05 pm

leftcoast8 wrote:
Now QF, BA, LH and other western airlines won't even touch Zim, it's just too unsafe there for flight crews to stay overnight.


I'm calling this out as bollocks. While Zimbabwe is in terrible shape and most airlines are not flying there because of the economic conditions and foreign currency shortages it's hardly unsafe to overnight in Harare. For all the problems that Zimbabwe has, safety is not really one of them. I say this as a South Africa who travels there often. Most South Africans would consider Harare vastly safer than Johannesburg or Cape Town!
 
leftcoast8
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:59 am

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:28 pm

evanb wrote:

I'm calling this out as bollocks. While Zimbabwe is in terrible shape and most airlines are not flying there because of the economic conditions and foreign currency shortages it's hardly unsafe to overnight in Harare. For all the problems that Zimbabwe has, safety is not really one of them. I say this as a South Africa who travels there often. Most South Africans would consider Harare vastly safer than Johannesburg or Cape Town!


Well you know more than me since you've actually been to the place. I do know that EK713/EK714 gets into Harare at 4:50 pm then spends just 90 minutes on the ground before going right back to Lusaka at 6:30 pm. That's a pretty quick turnaround, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's in place so that the EK crew doesn't have to overnight in Harare.

Also haven't there been massacres by government forces in Harare? There was that massacre back in August, and then the crackdown against fuel protests only a couple of months ago.
 
evanb
Posts: 761
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:26 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:50 pm

leftcoast8 wrote:
Well you know more than me since you've actually been to the place. I do know that EK713/EK714 gets into Harare at 4:50 pm then spends just 90 minutes on the ground before going right back to Lusaka at 6:30 pm. That's a pretty quick turnaround, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's in place so that the EK crew doesn't have to overnight in Harare.


What does the length of the turnaround have to do with where the crew stay? I'm not sure what the current arrangement is but last I knew the EK crew overnights in Harare, not Lusaka. SAA and Airlink crews also layover in Harare every-night.

leftcoast8 wrote:
Also haven't there been massacres by government forces in Harare? There was that massacre back in August, and then the crackdown against fuel protests only a couple of months ago.


Yes, there are well known risks of political violence in Zimbabwe, but away from the political violence, Zimbabwe is a remarkably safe place.
 
leftcoast8
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:59 am

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:10 pm

evanb wrote:
leftcoast8 wrote:
Well you know more than me since you've actually been to the place. I do know that EK713/EK714 gets into Harare at 4:50 pm then spends just 90 minutes on the ground before going right back to Lusaka at 6:30 pm. That's a pretty quick turnaround, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's in place so that the EK crew doesn't have to overnight in Harare.


What does the length of the turnaround have to do with where the crew stay? I'm not sure what the current arrangement is but last I knew the EK crew overnights in Harare, not Lusaka. SAA and Airlink crews also layover in Harare every-night.

leftcoast8 wrote:
Also haven't there been massacres by government forces in Harare? There was that massacre back in August, and then the crackdown against fuel protests only a couple of months ago.


Yes, there are well known risks of political violence in Zimbabwe, but away from the political violence, Zimbabwe is a remarkably safe place.


I'm definitely wrong then. I owe you an apology for acting like I knew anything about the subject :/
 
IAHWorldflyer
Posts: 767
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:22 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:46 pm

Back on topic, didn't SAA around the same time serve MIA-GIG-JNB? So they would have had 3 US gateways, JFK, IAH, and MIA?
I have no idea what exactly prompted SAA to fly to Houston, though my guess would have been that in the '82-'85 time frame Houston was booming from the oil business, and would have been seen as the "next new thing". Also there was, and still is,a South African Consulate here, and they might have been connecting mining interests in North America and South Africa.
Also interesting is that before SonAir contracted with Atlas for the Chevron Express IAH-LAD service, it included a tech stop at SAL.
 
evanb
Posts: 761
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:26 pm

Re: SAA 747SP in Houston 1983

Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:57 pm

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
Back on topic, didn't SAA around the same time serve MIA-GIG-JNB? So they would have had 3 US gateways, JFK, IAH, and MIA?
I have no idea what exactly prompted SAA to fly to Houston, though my guess would have been that in the '82-'85 time frame Houston was booming from the oil business, and would have been seen as the "next new thing". Also there was, and still is,a South African Consulate here, and they might have been connecting mining interests in North America and South Africa.
Also interesting is that before SonAir contracted with Atlas for the Chevron Express IAH-LAD service, it included a tech stop at SAL.


SAA's original US route (circa 1960s/70s) was JNB-GIG-JFK on the B707. By the time the B747s came around they flew JNB-SID-JFK. They added JNB-SID-IAH later. IAH was likely due to the large South African immigrant community in Houston. Both routes ended due to sanctions.

When sanctions were lifted they first restarted JFK and then added MIA (with AA codeshare) which switched to ATL (when the codeshare changed to UA) and then IAD (when the codeshare switched to UA). Some have operated via FLL, CPT (MIA), SID (MIA and JFK), DKR/DDS (IAD and JFK), ACC (IAD) and LOS (JFK) at times and some non-stop.

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