Aging fleet on capetown routes

Old Mar 26, 18, 2:50 am
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Aging fleet on capetown routes

Hi, first post so apologies if already covered earlier..

i frequently use BA LHR / CT route, usually in economy - the 747's used all seem to be pretty old and tired compared to other airlines I've used when heading to CT from other points - anyone heard of any updated planes coming on stream ?

thanks..
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Old Mar 26, 18, 3:00 am
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Hi Stuarto and welcome to the forum. I can't comment specifically on the CPT route but yes, BA does have a very ancient fleet of aircraft. In particular it must be one of the last airlines in the world still using 747s. However BA Engineering does keep their old aircraft in fine shape, as I found on a couple of recent flights on a 28 year old 767. BA has a fleet replacement programme and details are available somewhere on this forum, though I admit there is so much stuff here that's it can be difficult to find your way around. The question is what aircraft will BA use to replace the 747 as nothing "modern" has quite the same capacity? I'm guessing one of the larger 777s as I can't see a 787 or A350 having the required capacity.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 3:25 am
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Welcome to FT

Have a look through the following which is pretty much same thread - different destination !

Have BA upgraded their 747 interior on LAS flights?
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Old Mar 26, 18, 3:39 am
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This route is interesting because BA now has a monopoly on it after SAA pulled out (now have to go via JNB) and VS also have withdrawn. So they can fill it pretty much for the asking and so the impetus to put new planes on is low. Additionally there is a strong demand in all classes and the 747 does actually meet the requirements for the route. CPT cannot take the A380 though it has been mooted so everything else is a downgrade in size, even the 777-300 which has 30-40 less Y seats (someone will know the exact number). So I guess its likely that the 747-400 will probably stay on this route for a few years to come!
FD.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 4:06 am
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Originally Posted by IanAsiaTraveller View Post
Hi Stuarto and welcome to the forum. I can't comment specifically on the CPT route but yes, BA does have a very ancient fleet of aircraft. In particular it must be one of the last airlines in the world still using 747s. However BA Engineering does keep their old aircraft in fine shape, as I found on a couple of recent flights on a 28 year old 767. y.
Whilst BA still operate quite a large number of 747-400s, they are not alone. Virgin, KLM, Air China, Korean, Thai and Qantas all operate 747s. True, they are a dwindling breed, but nevertheless still whizzing around the globe.

As mentioned in thread, with competition pulling off the CPT route, BA can happily send these older birds on the route. That said, they have been having rotten luck in JNB with the A380s as well. What I wish BA would do is have the 747s deep cleaned whilst they sit all day in CPT awaiting their return. My recent BA flights have been in rather filthy aircraft, yuck!
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Old Mar 26, 18, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by stuarto View Post

i frequently use BA LHR / CT route, usually in economy - the 747's used all seem to be pretty old and tired compared to other airlines I've used when heading to CT from other points
The reference in a subsequent post to ‘older birds’ notwithstanding, hopefully the same cannot be said of the cabin crew.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 4:25 am
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Originally Posted by IanAsiaTraveller View Post
Hi Stuarto and welcome to the forum. I can't comment specifically on the CPT route but yes, BA does have a very ancient fleet of aircraft. In particular it must be one of the last airlines in the world still using 747s. However BA Engineering does keep their old aircraft in fine shape, as I found on a couple of recent flights on a 28 year old 767. BA has a fleet replacement programme and details are available somewhere on this forum, though I admit there is so much stuff here that's it can be difficult to find your way around. The question is what aircraft will BA use to replace the 747 as nothing "modern" has quite the same capacity? I'm guessing one of the larger 777s as I can't see a 787 or A350 having the required capacity.
Unlikely as Boeing are still producing new build B747's
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Old Mar 26, 18, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by stuarto View Post
Hi, first post so apologies if already covered earlier..
I'll add my welcome to you stuarto, and welcome to the BA forum as well as Flyertalk. This is a good forum to keep your eye on, since a lot of FTer seem to also be CPT or JNB regulars.

There are two types of 747s, and CPT so far is almost always the version with 52 seats in Club World, rather than the one with 86J seats. The latter has the good IFE and improved seating but has insufficient World Traveller seating for CPT's demand. However BA is committed to more 86J and fewer 52J over time. The other option in the medium term is the LGW service, which is getting refurbished 777s. Now these have 10 seats across in WT, but they do have the Panasonic X3 IFE system. Once LGW gets more of these aircraft I suspect they may well be heading to CPT. So it's a bit "jam tomorrow".
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Old Mar 26, 18, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
However BA is committed to more 86J and fewer 52J over time.
I know that we will proportionally have fewer 52J 744s by year end due to withdrawals. We've also got the seven 52J that will go through cabin and IFE upgrade starting during the summer. Are they staying as 52J or going 86J as well?

To be honest, even the older aircraft would not be that bad if they weren't allowed to accumulate as many cabin defects as they do, and they were given more thorough cleaning. It's the feeling of neglect and dirt which is the worst on these.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by mjh0 View Post
I know that we will proportionally have fewer 52J 744s by year end due to withdrawals. We've also got the seven 52J that will go through cabin and IFE upgrade starting during the summer. Are they staying as 52J or going 86J as well?

To be honest, even the older aircraft would not be that bad if they weren't allowed to accumulate as many cabin defects as they do, and they were given more thorough cleaning. It's the feeling of neglect and dirt which is the worst on these.
Who says there will be any withdrawals this year? There has not been a B747 retirement for over 1 year. The 2 that were due to go at the end of 2017 are still soldiering on, so I think the retirement plan has been enhanced away.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by mjh0 View Post
I know that we will proportionally have fewer 52J 744s by year end due to withdrawals. We've also got the seven 52J that will go through cabin and IFE upgrade starting during the summer. Are they staying as 52J or going 86J as well?

To be honest, even the older aircraft would not be that bad if they weren't allowed to accumulate as many cabin defects as they do, and they were given more thorough cleaning. It's the feeling of neglect and dirt which is the worst on these.
I totally agree with you mjh0. I fly LHR-CPT twice a year usually to visit my in-laws. I love the 747, but the state of some of the interiors is now very poor. It doesn't need to be like that. Back in November, our outbound flight had no working IFE, a broken toilet on the upper deck, the side panel next to me 62K had been kicked in and the whole cabin was frankly filthy. BA can and should do better!
Flexible preferences and mjh0 like this.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
There are two types of 747s, and CPT so far is almost always the version with 52 seats in Club World, rather than the one with 86J seats. The latter has the good IFE and improved seating but has insufficient World Traveller seating for CPT's demand. However BA is committed to more 86J and fewer 52J over time. The other option in the medium term is the LGW service, which is getting refurbished 777s. Now these have 10 seats across in WT, but they do have the Panasonic X3 IFE system. Once LGW gets more of these aircraft I suspect they may well be heading to CPT. So it's a bit "jam tomorrow".
As and when CPT can accept the A380, no doubt BA will deploy it there. In the meantime, whilst a switch from 744 to 77W would be a loss in Y capacity, BA could use revenue management to push some of the demand onto the densified 77Es at LGW.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by IanAsiaTraveller View Post
Hi Stuarto and welcome to the forum. I can't comment specifically on the CPT route but yes, BA does have a very ancient fleet of aircraft. In particular it must be one of the last airlines in the world still using 747s. However BA Engineering does keep their old aircraft in fine shape, as I found on a couple of recent flights on a 28 year old 767. BA has a fleet replacement programme and details are available somewhere on this forum, though I admit there is so much stuff here that's it can be difficult to find your way around. The question is what aircraft will BA use to replace the 747 as nothing "modern" has quite the same capacity? I'm guessing one of the larger 777s as I can't see a 787 or A350 having the required capacity.
I am not sure I agree that "BA does have a very ancient fleet of aircraft" - the average age of 270 or so hulls is around 13 years. Airlines such as BA amortise fleets over 25 years thus it is at around or just over "half life". There is a large (and growing) fleet of 788 and 789, the 773 fleet is pretty new and there has been a semi constant stream of new narrow bodied aircraft. New 787s, A350s, and Airbus NEOs are on order. Some of the 747s are approaching end of life as are the 7 x 763s. I don't think this looks very ancient.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 11:22 am
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It looks like it will be a a few more years before CPT gets an A380, which is a shame really given the growth that is happening


https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/news...roved-13064762

i believe, Austrian Airlines and Swiss are starting flights from October/November. Thomas Cook is toying with flights from Manchester, they had a couple of flights in Jan/Feb this year, plus flights from LGW. I wouldn’t be surprised if Norwegian decided to go there as well
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Old Mar 26, 18, 12:48 pm
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Hello from a 26 year old Airbus A321 of Lufthansa that frankly looks very new due to its refreshed interior and new seat! The only annoying thing about this plane is they have the old school ‘blinding’ non led lights .

To be honest, the age of a plane is almost irrelevant for a passenger so long as the interior is refurbished! (Ok they are more likely to go tech, my flight was the same with a 40 minute delay due to ‘technical issues’.) This is where BA let’s its passengers down with the 52J 747, with the same economy class on the 747 as when i was a teenager flying to JFK in 2001.
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