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Old Dec 6, 17, 4:39 pm
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: N/A
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, LH/SN/LX Senator
Posts: 447
Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
Checkmytrip just notified me that the departure time of my flight to HKG in March has changed from 17:20 to 13:20. Which seems really odd: instead of sitting for over 11 hours in HKG the aircraft will now be there for over 15 hours! Seems a strangely inefficient change - can anyone offer insight into the reasoning?
The retiming has been done for better connections to JNB-GRU-JNB and a few other JNB morning arrival routes. Since they reduced JNB-GRU-JNB from 11x weekly to daily (and dropping the later arrival into JNB from GRU) the layover from GRU-JNB-HKG became huge, up to 10 hours as opposed to 4 hours. The 15 hour downtime in HKG is not that problematic since they getting rid of the leased A340-300 and keeping only the owned ones which have been fully depreciated, so besides for the extra parking costs there are few cost increases for SAA to do this. The utilizations on the owned A340-300s becomes relative moot since fixed costs are now close to zero.

Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
Of course this causes me all sorts of problems with my flight up to JNB which has to be changed. And my layover in HKG becomes almost 7 hours unless I can find an earlier flight at a reasonable price. ]
I'm guessing you've booked others on a separate ticket? That's unlucky. Unfortunately for all airlines at HKG slot issues are a challenge so I don't think they could control the timing of when these changes got made/announced. They'd been trying to make these changes for a while.
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