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JNB-LHR SAA Reduces London Frequency / Introduces A330-300 to Route

JNB-LHR SAA Reduces London Frequency / Introduces A330-300 to Route

Old Feb 1, 18, 12:41 pm
  #1  
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JNB-LHR SAA Reduces London Frequency / Introduces A330-300 to Route

Link to news at
Southern & East African Tourism Update
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Old Feb 1, 18, 1:34 pm
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Astonishing!

Have they decided once again to cash in a LHR slot for short-term gain? Cui bono?
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Old Feb 1, 18, 1:53 pm
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According to the article SAA has leased the slot out, there's no mention of to whom, nor for how long.

Johan
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Old Feb 2, 18, 12:24 am
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Oh right, I forgot... Myeni is no longer there.
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Old Feb 2, 18, 4:05 am
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Well at least leasing rather than selling makes sense. I suspect that they make more money leasing the slot than flying the route.
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Old Feb 2, 18, 4:58 am
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Well, BA and VS must be laughing all the way to the bank.
More chance to increase the fares on that route. I find it astonishing that SAA can't make a decent profit on that route. BA run a 380 plus a 747. And I understand from people flying the route that they are often overbooked.
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Old Feb 2, 18, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by thijsseh View Post
Well, BA and VS must be laughing all the way to the bank.
More chance to increase the fares on that route. I find it astonishing that SAA can't make a decent profit on that route. BA run a 380 plus a 747. And I understand from people flying the route that they are often overbooked.
And on what basis do you assume that BA and VS's non-JV traffic on JNB-LHR is profitable?
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Old Feb 6, 18, 4:15 am
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Originally Posted by evanb View Post
And on what basis do you assume that BA and VS's non-JV traffic on JNB-LHR is profitable?
Speculation, which is pretty much all we do here on FT

But seriously, probably on the basis that most normal airlines would close down a route which runs at a loss over a long period. BA were running 2x daily 747 into JNB for ages and even upgraded one flight to the 380. Canít see them doing that if they were already losing money, especially since they have the opportunity to downgauge to the 777 if needed. Anecdotally, a BA FA on a LHR-JNB told me about a year ago that the premium cabins are usually packed on this route, which although doesnít prove anything is a good indication that they probably do OK.

Iím happy to be corrected though, you seem to be quite knowledgeable in this area.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 5:06 am
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Originally Posted by purch View Post


Speculation, which is pretty much all we do here on FT

But seriously, probably on the basis that most normal airlines would close down a route which runs at a loss over a long period. BA were running 2x daily 747 into JNB for ages and even upgraded one flight to the 380. Canít see them doing that if they were already losing money, especially since they have the opportunity to downgauge to the 777 if needed. Anecdotally, a BA FA on a LHR-JNB told me about a year ago that the premium cabins are usually packed on this route, which although doesnít prove anything is a good indication that they probably do OK.

Iím happy to be corrected though, you seem to be quite knowledgeable in this area.
Considering that VS has reduced capacity on the route in recent years, and has cut LHR-CPT entirely suggests that not all airlines are making merry here. I've never suggested that BA are not making money on the route, quite the contrary. What I'm suggesting is that they're making money because of their JV traffic, which SA and VS don't have access to (I guess VS have some access, but very small).
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Old Feb 11, 18, 4:08 am
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Originally Posted by thijsseh View Post
Well, BA and VS must be laughing all the way to the bank.
More chance to increase the fares on that route. I find it astonishing that SAA can't make a decent profit on that route. BA run a 380 plus a 747. And I understand from people flying the route that they are often overbooked.
Agree and with SAA have full access to a wide network of destinations in Southern Africa and beyond for connecting pax's.
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Old Feb 11, 18, 6:09 am
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Originally Posted by Flame3601 View Post
Agree and with SAA have full access to a wide network of destinations in Southern Africa and beyond for connecting pax's.
It's an entirely different scope and scale. The Oneworld transatlantic joint venture (TAJV) allows BA to coordinate schedules and cartel capacity and prices with Iberia, American Airlines and Finnair on all routes from North America, and in this case to South Africa. This is far more powerful and profitable than anything SAA has access to. Furthermore, BA also have access to a myriad of destinations through their local subsidiary Comair, including Cape Town, Durban, Harare, Livingston, Mauritius, Victoria Falls and Windhoek in addition to Mauritius, Nairobi and Luanda directly. Much of this capacity gets sold through the TAJV and provides a much higher yield. Comparing SAA's yield potential without the TAJV and BA's is not like comparing Coke and Pepsi, but more like giblets and foie gras!
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Old Feb 11, 18, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by evanb View Post
It's an entirely different scope and scale. The Oneworld transatlantic joint venture (TAJV) allows BA to coordinate schedules and cartel capacity and prices with Iberia, American Airlines and Finnair on all routes from North America, and in this case to South Africa. This is far more powerful and profitable than anything SAA has access to. Furthermore, BA also have access to a myriad of destinations through their local subsidiary Comair, including Cape Town, Durban, Harare, Livingston, Mauritius, Victoria Falls and Windhoek in addition to Mauritius, Nairobi and Luanda directly. Much of this capacity gets sold through the TAJV and provides a much higher yield. Comparing SAA's yield potential without the TAJV and BA's is not like comparing Coke and Pepsi, but more like giblets and foie gras!
True, but you can not forget the folk who are purely selecting SAA purely on the grounds of travelling on a Star Alliance carrier along with selecting SAA due to the routings to other less accessible country with Oneworld/BA(Comair).
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Old Feb 11, 18, 9:54 am
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Very good. I usually fly Air Canada to connect to SAA via London. Being on a newer plane would be good .
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Old Feb 12, 18, 1:38 am
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Originally Posted by Flame3601 View Post
True, but you can not forget the folk who are purely selecting SAA purely on the grounds of travelling on a Star Alliance carrier along with selecting SAA due to the routings to other less accessible country with Oneworld/BA(Comair).
And all that traffic is getting funneled, mostly, through FRA and MUC due to lower costs, or from the US through IAD and JFK. For this reason we've seen SAA increase capacity to MUC during the same time as they have been cutting their LHR presence.
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Old Mar 5, 18, 5:33 pm
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My next trip to ZA (this week) is LH via FRA to CPT, the BA to JNB and home via FRA all in C. When I priced the trip SAA were more expensive. I have just checked again and, of course, one cannot get matching price times but I picked a couple of weeks in the middle of May and could see: LHR-JNB-CPT, then CPT-JNB and JNB-LHR in C. So one less sector and MORE than £1,000 higher price. I also checked the flights dates in Lufty (the trip has to start in CPT and end in JNB, all in C) and that is some £800 cheaper. I have not been on SAA long haul since 1988, for varying reasons but, now, 100% due to price.
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