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Old Dec 13, 17, 2:42 pm
  #5  
evanb
 
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
Very interesting. I had no idea there was enough traffic on that routing to warrant this kind of accommodation!
I'm not convinced there is much there for them but worth the attempt. For a time SAA dominated GRU-HKG and GRU-BOM mainly because JNB had a geographical advantage over European connections. Once Emirates, Ethiopian, Qatar and Turkish entered GRU it cut away at them. When they reduced JNB-GRU from 11x weekly to daily I was very surprised that they cut SA224/225 entirely (late night GRU departure, JNB afternoon arrival) since this was the natural connection to HKG. I thought they might have cut some of the SA222/223 and had a split operation to keep the HKG an option. However, by moving the HKG option earlier they now have the connection available daily. So this works out decently and they likely also have more connecting options in HKG as well given the earlier arrival.

Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
Even with aircraft “for free”, so to speak, better use of craft will feed the bottom line - critical for a business making the kind of losses that SA is, surely?
Given the reduction in widebody domestic flying it's now an equation of having the aircraft sit in HKG rather than JNB. The aircraft wouldn't be utilized in JNB during that time. Also, given that they'll return most of the leased A340s and keep mainly owned ones there isn't much pressure at all on A340 utilization going forward. Low utilization may also be useful since they might avoid some heavy checks my keeping hours down. However, the A330s will need to be pushed for high utilization since they're all leased.
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