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Old September 23rd, 2011, 11:17 AM   #1
dysan1
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SAA News and Developments

Lets use this to talk about SAA specific developments
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 11:18 AM   #2
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SAA have been struggling on the continement of late. This is their strategy going forward, as presented at the African Renaissance conference in Durban in August.

http://www.ebandla.co.za/uploads/Aar...August2011.pdf
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 02:49 PM   #3
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They also have a strategy lately of announcing new routes, especially into Africa, which doesn't materialise and it just goes quiet.
A few months ago flights to Kigali via Bujumbura, as well as to Cotonou via Libreville was announced to start end-October, still nothing available to book. Similiarly Antananarivo, Abuja, Bamako and others have been named to start within the year. Only Ndola launching 1 October seems to be going ahead.
Also Beijing mentioned over and over again, but nothing's happening.

Btw, could we please make sure to keep this thread on SAA itself, and not SA Express and Airlink.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 04:53 PM   #4
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With their R782m profit they seem to be on the right track. I think overall management and service is improving with necessary cost cutting. There seems to be more commitment to expansion than there has been for a number of years.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 04:55 PM   #5
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Looking through that presentation it shows me what I have been thinking for years. SAA is trying to made JHB the hub for Africa and trying to be the best airline in Africa.

I think SAA should focus of South Africa and make JHB hub for Europe, Africa, Middle East. CPT hub for Americas, and DUR hub for Asia's and Australasia. I think their thinking is to dominate and control instead of offer good value and win. They should get Charlie Sheen to come do some training. WINNING!!!!
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Old September 24th, 2011, 01:28 AM   #6
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Agree. SAA only think of joburg. And let's be honest, as that preso shows, joburg is not ideally placed for Africa growth. The fact they lose sight of Durban and CT is probably their downfall
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Old October 28th, 2011, 08:41 PM   #7
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SAA have finally released the flights for the new Johannesburg-Kigali-Bujumbura route, to start now 17 Jan 2012.
Will operate 3x weekly with A319 aircraft, departing Tue, Fri and Sun (alternate days departing from JNB than what Rwandair departs).
Departing JNB at 13:00pm going to Kigali and then Bujumbura, overnight in BJM, returning next morning again via KGL
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Old February 7th, 2012, 03:26 PM   #8
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Now, regarding these new A320's....

My first flight ever was on a Flitestar A320, that was supposedly leased from SAA. Later that month I flew on a SAA A320. And they were superb aircraft! I was eight at the time, but this aircraft started off my love for commercial aviation. So my issues are...
1 - Why did SAA get rid of those A320s so fast?
2 - They purchase B737-800s, which are fairly efficient aircraft, then purchase A319s and create a mixed small aircraft fleet!
3 - Now they say they want an all Airbus fleet, and want to get rid of perfectly good B737s. I dont buy the excuse that Mango might receive them, because we know already that the 2 that have left, went to Firefly in Malaysia!

So, whilst I'm all for SAA getting pretty new planes, something seems amiss regarding the financial implications of these purchases (TAX PAYER'S MONEY). I dont see the justification.... remember as well that these are "old-spec" A320s, not even the sharklet variant that flies soon or the "A320neo" which is supposed to offer 20% savings on fuel.

One final issue... why are SAA so hell-bent on leasing planes, and then still paying for them to be painted and refitted for them (A340s and A330s too!!!) SAA claims to be Africa's best, but take a look Egypt Air and Ethiopian's fleets.... makes SAA look very budget!
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Old February 7th, 2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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One final issue... why are SAA so hell-bent on leasing planes, and then still paying for them to be painted and refitted for them (A340s and A330s too!!!) SAA claims to be Africa's best, but take a look Egypt Air and Ethiopian's fleets.... makes SAA look very budget!
Not making sense really, SAA owns several of their planes, as well as then leasing some, similiarly as to what many major airlines do. It does get painted and refitted so that it doesn't look so budget, but rather uniform and professional. Yes look at Ethiopian's and EgyptAir fleets, just like SAA they are receiving new planes, but also still having many older ones in the fleet while the replacement happens. Now, with the old A340-200s basically gone and these brand-new A320s arriving, SAA has a much younger fleet than any of the others. Ethiopian still having many of their older 757 and 767s in the fleet, EgyptAir alot of older A320s, 737-500, older 777-200 and their older A330-200s (which go to JNB) isn't all that great with no PTV.

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I dont see the justification.... remember as well that these are "old-spec" A320s, not even the sharklet variant that flies soon or the "A320neo" which is supposed to offer 20% savings on fuel.
The shark-let A320s is still in the process of being certified, while the A320neo is still a long way down the road. No one is sitting around waiting for them, you can see even with recent large orders of other airlines, many order the A320NEO or 737MAX for delivery about 4 or 5 years down the line, untill then ordering the current variants, which will then be replaced. These are not as 'old-spec' as the older SAA ones or the Flitestar ones or even many of those flying for airlines like BA, Lufthansa, United etc.

With technology and develpmont of aircraft advancing faster all the time, the time-frames for fleets is also becoming smaller, mostly due to the fact that airlines weigh the financial implications up of keeping older birds longer, or opting for more cost-effective newer aircraft. SAA might just be doing that.
Ofcourse in South Africa there will always be complaints, why spend the money on new aircraft, and if not, why spend the money on these old aircraft using the money much faster...but hey, there was the 'good old days'...
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Old February 7th, 2012, 04:37 PM   #10
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Thanks for the insight.... and dont get me wrong, i"m not complaining... its just always better to have a broader understanding of what's actually going on, by discussing it here.
I was more interested in guaging the thought-process that went into all of those "issues" that i mentioned above - A320 to B737-800, then adding A319, now buying new A320 which will replace both B737-800 and apparently some A319s, when they could wait a year for the sharklets variant.... since NEO is too far ahead.

SAA have shot themselves in the foot before (the A340-300s sub-leased to Jet Airways for less than SAA were leasing them in the first place). We wouldn't want to see the same happen with redundant 737s or A319s in the future.

I only mention Egypt Air, for their B777-300ERs, which is just a sublime aircraft... which SAA really could use (RIP B747-400s) .... and Ethiopian for their B777-200LRs and B787s (also which would have made more sense for SAA - as assets)
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Old February 7th, 2012, 04:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durbs777 View Post
2 - They purchase B737-800s, which are fairly efficient aircraft, then purchase A319s and create a mixed small aircraft fleet 3 - Now they say they want an all Airbus fleet, and want to get rid of perfectly good B737s.
SA had already started growing their Airbus short-/medium-haul fleet, and then the whole Coleman Andrews episode happened. He came in, and all of a sudden Boeing was the answer again... thus the massive order for the B738's happened. He left (with a very nice Golden Handshake!), and things switched back to Airbus. There goes our entire B747 fleet, with a bunch of -400's in perfect shape... All now flying somewhere else.
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Old February 7th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltjie View Post
There goes our entire B747 fleet, with a bunch of -400's in perfect shape... All now flying somewhere else.
Good point! Fair enough, some may say that most airlines with 747s are phasing them out (Singapore, Thai, Japan, Air India etc) but those airlines all have B777s to fill the role. SAA retired 744s and added 2nd hand reject A340s and the new A330s..... really downsizing their ambitions i think!

The A330s - yes, beautiful planes and certainly needed, but giving up on the Jumbos i think is going to cost SAA big market share. They've already missed the boat on the A380.

And back to those 747s - would have made sense to keep a few, convert them to freighters, and become Africa's dominant Cargo carrier too....
Easier said than done, i should stick to my flight simulator
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Old February 7th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltjie View Post
SA had already started growing their Airbus short-/medium-haul fleet, and then the whole Coleman Andrews episode happened. He came in, and all of a sudden Boeing was the answer again... thus the massive order for the B738's happened. He left (with a very nice Golden Handshake!), and things switched back to Airbus. There goes our entire B747 fleet, with a bunch of -400's in perfect shape... All now flying somewhere else.
The B738s weren't entirely a Coleman Andrews 'whim purchase'. In the mid 90s when Mike Myburgh was at the helm SA ordered 4 B777-200ERs and 2 B747-400s as part of a fleet expansion/renewal (see press release from Boeing: http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/...se.951103.html). The 2 B744s arrived were originally meant for Philipines Airlines (they had different engines to the rest of the SAA B744) but SAA were offered them at short notice after Philipines Airlines didn't take them (much like the new A320s that are arriving currently). The 777 ordered was cancelled but in order for SAA to not lose their deposit they changed the order to a portion of the order for 21 B738s (allegedly).
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Old February 8th, 2012, 08:53 AM   #14
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what is the main reason for SAA going"all airbus"......we could do with few 777's and get rid of those 340's....
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Old February 8th, 2012, 08:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
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what is the main reason for SAA going"all airbus"......we could do with few 777's and get rid of those 340's....
easier more efficient maintenance/spares/pilot or cabin crew training?
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Old February 8th, 2012, 09:00 AM   #16
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The new A320
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Old February 8th, 2012, 09:18 AM   #17
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Airbus is also much cheaper than Boeing! I think SAA should choose and aircraft in one range and stick with it. Eg: Short Haul: either B737 or A320, Long Haul small routes: B737 or A320/A330 or bigger routes: B767 or A340/A350 or major routes: A380 (I think the 747 is outdates and don't think the 747-8 is going to get much traction)
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Old February 8th, 2012, 09:47 AM   #18
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SAA retired 744s and added 2nd hand reject A340s and the new A330s..... really downsizing their ambitions i think!
Of the A340s SAA now has in the fleet all 9 A340-600 arrived brand-new, the original 6 A340-300s arrived brand new, only the last 2 A340-300s that arrived last year was second-hand.

Keep in mind that at the time (9/10years ago) SAA had to decide on something that was falling in the range for the routes operated out of hot and high JNB and the ETOPS on many routes, to Sao Paulo, Perth, New York and Washington and ofcourse now the new Beijing route. Back then the 777-200LR wasn't available yet, the 787 was still just a dream and the 777-300ERs wasn't as well developed as they're now and didn't have the ETOPS clearance (which even still now could be a challenge for the long long routes). A340s were a good option, the 747s was getting older (and as fleet planning goes, they knew at least they will still get a few years out of them, but couldn't wait untill it's too late). The 747s will be much thirstier than the A340s, and in the current economics and fuel prices SAA would just not have been able to compete with the other airlines on their main routes.
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Old February 8th, 2012, 03:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durbs777 View Post
giving up on the Jumbos i think is going to cost SAA big market share
It already cost them the First Class product to Europe. The SA-London route was the last to use B744 in order to at least compete with British Airways with the First product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Durbs777 View Post
i should stick to my flight simulator
Me too!
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Old February 8th, 2012, 03:28 PM   #20
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Of the A340s SAA now has in the fleet all 9 A340-600 arrived brand-new
Yeah, Virgin Atlantic was the lauch-customer for this, and actually I think SAA was the 2nd carrier to take delivery...
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