Potential for SAA route to Canada (Toronto)?

Old Oct 29, 19, 9:11 pm
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Potential for SAA route to Canada (Toronto)?

I know SAA already flies to both IAD and JFK, but I have always wanted a flight to YYZ from either CPT (ideally) or JNB.

Would AC not consider this because of Star Alliance obligations? As in, this is ACs route if they want it, unless, of course, SAA got prior approval from AC.
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Old Oct 30, 19, 3:03 am
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Sorry to say, but I think SAA is more likely to fold (and that's highly unlikely) than start a new route to Canada. There is no motive in the organization to launch or expand capacity to North America, probably the only route in the medium turn will be a return to India, nor does SAA have the Capital, willpower or Expertise to deliver a Canadian route at this time.

SAA is perfectly content with it's small AC/UA feed to Canada at IAD and NYC. Don't think AC would be required to provide permission for SA to deliver such a service - but much more likely that we'll see AC offer a small or seasonal service to SA before SAA heads to Canada.
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Old Oct 30, 19, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by RedRooibos View Post
Sorry to say, but I think SAA is more likely to fold (and that's highly unlikely) than start a new route to Canada. There is no motive in the organization to launch or expand capacity to North America, probably the only route in the medium turn will be a return to India, nor does SAA have the Capital, willpower or Expertise to deliver a Canadian route at this time.

SAA is perfectly content with it's small AC/UA feed to Canada at IAD and NYC. Don't think AC would be required to provide permission for SA to deliver such a service - but much more likely that we'll see AC offer a small or seasonal service to SA before SAA heads to Canada.
With regards to SAA getting permission from AC, what I meant relates to a similar situation here in Canada that occurred last year.

AC wanted to begin flying to Vienna from Toronto, but Austrian Airlines (*A partner) already was flying this route. Austrian ended up shifting to Montreal for its flights to VIE and AC took over the YYZ flights.
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Old Oct 30, 19, 9:12 am
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Air Canada has mentioned a desire to enter the African market—or at least that they are exploring it. Currently they only fly to Morocco, I believe, as a holiday destination. Whether they'd go as far as South Africa, I can't say. I kind of doubt it, to be honest, but that's just opinion.
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Old Oct 30, 19, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by codfather View Post
With regards to SAA getting permission from AC, what I meant relates to a similar situation here in Canada that occurred last year.

AC wanted to begin flying to Vienna from Toronto, but Austrian Airlines (*A partner) already was flying this route. Austrian ended up shifting to Montreal for its flights to VIE and AC took over the YYZ flights.
That is because AC and OS are part of a Joint Venture (together with UA, LH, LX and SN) that covers coordination of all routes between US/Canada and the Europe. No such agreement exists between AC and SA so there would be no Star Alliance "obligations". I suspect that AC may be more likely to fly this route given that a disproportionate amount of traffic would be originating in Canada and they are in a better business position right now. Additionally, they have better suited aircraft to the route.
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Old Oct 30, 19, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by TheCanuckian View Post
Air Canada has mentioned a desire to enter the African market—or at least that they are exploring it. Currently they only fly to Morocco, I believe, as a holiday destination. Whether they'd go as far as South Africa, I can't say. I kind of doubt it, to be honest, but that's just opinion.
I see South Africa as a potentially popular seasonal destination for AC. Other parts of Africa that are already served from YYZ include Ethiopia, Egypt, and of course Morocco as noted above.

Both UA and DL already fly to SA (with UA commencing this winter).

Is SAAs financial position really that bad? I mean the website alone looks like it was made in the early 2000s, so evidently not much money is available for anything!
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Old Oct 30, 19, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by codfather View Post
I see South Africa as a potentially popular seasonal destination for AC.
Total Canadian arrivals in South Africa was 67,152 in 2017 and 67,779 in 2018. That's 186 per day on average, but as your say, quite seasonal, 18,624 and 20,782 in Q1 and Q4 2018, but 13,690 and 14,683 in Q2 and Q3, but even in the busiest quarter it's only about 227 per day. The viability of a 3x weekly seasonal flight might be there, but that would require an extraordinarily high yield. Obviously, these data exclude South African originating traffic and Canadians connecting to the Southern African region.
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Old Oct 31, 19, 3:15 am
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Don't believe AC would be able to embargo SAA offering any service to Canada. However, as mentioned there is no plan in the near term of service to any additional North American destinations. That said, sure SAA would welcome feed from any AC service to South Africa, where it can route the traffic to it's lucrative pan-africa services.
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Old Oct 31, 19, 6:37 am
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Could Air Canada fly direct from Toronto with their current aircraft, or would they have to do a fuel stop somewhere (as SAA does on their JFK-JNB route)?
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Old Oct 31, 19, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by TheCanuckian View Post
Could Air Canada fly direct from Toronto with their current aircraft, or would they have to do a fuel stop somewhere (as SAA does on their JFK-JNB route)?
It's doable with B77L and likely also B789. Payload would be limited a little, but certainly viable. The route is marginally shorter than DL's ATL-JNB-ATL.
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Old Nov 1, 19, 4:48 am
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Originally Posted by codfather View Post
I see South Africa as a potentially popular seasonal destination for AC. Other parts of Africa that are already served from YYZ include Ethiopia, Egypt, and of course Morocco as noted above.

Both UA and DL already fly to SA (with UA commencing this winter).

Is SAAs financial position really that bad? I mean the website alone looks like it was made in the early 2000s, so evidently not much money is available for anything!
SAA has been making large losses for some time.. I agree with RedRoo ultimately, it's doubtful any government will let it fold. However,given their strategy to date has been to reduce service, I wouldn't look to them flying to YYZ in the near future.

There has been talk off and on of AC picking up a YYZ-JNB route for several years--it's been mentioned in conference calls and in print. I could see that happening on a seasonal basis or on a non-daily service, particularly if they could siphon off some regional US traffic connecting through JFK/IAD (as they have to Europe).
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Last edited by YYZHRE; Nov 5, 19 at 7:50 am Reason: correcting grammar
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Old Nov 2, 19, 12:30 pm
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I for one would be very supportive of such a flight.

Even if it is 3x weekly. A stopover somewhere to grab some more passengers would also do very well.
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Old Nov 2, 19, 12:31 pm
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Perhaps they can do a joint venture?

There are a lot of South Africans and Canadians that fly between the two countries.
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Old Nov 2, 19, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by YYZHRE View Post
SAA has been making large losses for some time.. I agree with RedRoo ultimately, it's doubtful any government will let it fold. However,given their strategy to date has been to reduce service, I wouldn't look to them flying to YYZ in the near future.
The strategy isn't to reduce service. The strategy is to cut on unprofitable routes. The Canada-South Africa niche could be profitable.
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Old Nov 2, 19, 12:35 pm
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There is a sizeable Nigerian population in Canada. They can do a stop over in Nigeria plus service canada-nigeria traffic. This is if they can get their diplomatic relations right.
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