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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since SAX is not exactly SAA and is taking a different approach to growth, best to focus things specifically on it in one thread.
 

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SA Express Set To Play Key Role in African Development

Aviation International News » June 2012 by Peter Shaw-Smith

June 1, 2012, 12:45 AM

SA Express, the state-owned domestic and regional South African airline, has signed a deal with the Dube Trade Port economic zone at Durban’s King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) to help promote trade among the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a regional trade bloc.

Based at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International, the airline plans greater movement of passengers and cargo at KSIA after President Jacob Zuma said he wanted the site to become South Africa’s leading logistics hub.


Located close to the city center, Durban International served for 60 years as gateway to South Africa’s third biggest metropolitan area until 2010, when it was replaced by KSIA, situated around 20 miles north, on the eve of the FIFA World Cup.

Work on Dube Trade Port, Dube Cargo Terminal, Dube Trade Zone, Dube City, Dube Agrizone and Dube iConnect concluded at La Mercy’s KSIA site in two years. South Africa’s chronic economic problems have led government officials to seize on new opportunities for job creation.

“Durban has one of South Africa’s largest and busiest ports and is uniquely positioned as the pivotal point for intermodal transport of goods and services, further catalyzing trade growth in the SADC region,” said Lulu Bam, SA Express’s communications manager.

As part of its expansion strategy, the airline’s operational base, including maintenance services, flight operations and cargo services, moved to the Dube Trade Port development last month.

In March President Zuma opened Dube Trade Port, named after first ANC president John Langalibalele Dube, as part of a “seamless infrastructure development program over at least 20 to 30 years” to provide jobs and link local producers to global markets.

SA Express Routes

Fully state owned by the Department of Public Enterprise, which also wholly owns flag carrier South African Airways (SAA), SA Express launched operations in 1994 and now serves 11 domestic and five international destinations, including Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and two locations in Namibia.

In March the airline won rights to operate six frequencies between Durban and Lusaka, Zambia, and planned to open them this month, said Bam. Soon, the airline plans to serve Harare, Zimbabwe, and Lagos, Nigeria.

SA Express’s Bombardier fleet now consists of five CRJ700s, 10 CRJ200s and nine Q400 turboprops. SA Express recently sold nine Dash 8-300s, the last two of which it expected to deliver by the end of last month. When it finishes its fleet renewal, the airline will operate only Q400s and a new fleet of Embraer E175s it plans to add “over the next three or four years,” said Ramon Vahed, general manager of technical, aircraft maintenance and engineering and fleet services. Of the nine Q400s, SA Express acquired seven from Flybe, the UK-based regional airline, via long-term operating leases.

SA Express plans to restate its 2011 financial statements after the company’s board ordered a forensic audit in February after a tip came in from SA Express’s ethics hot-line in September.

“The board believes that there has been no attempt to defraud the company, as the issues which have been thoroughly investigated arose as a result of errors made in accounting entries over a period of time,” the company said in a written statement. “The company has embarked on a program of rigorous cost-saving measures aimed at returning the company to sustainable profitability from 2013.”

After 10 years in South African aviation as a consultant and with SAA, Inati Ntshanga took the position of chief executive of SA Express in September 2010. British citizen Lillian Boyle serves as board chair.

In April, local press reported that Dubai’s Emirates airline plans a 90-percent increase in cargo shipments into and out of Durban, perhaps reflecting a potential growth segment for other carriers as well.

“A number of companies from retail, FMCG [fast moving consumer goods] and automotive industries are gearing to export products from Durban port, providing opportunities for SA Express to take advantage of freight opportunities into the region,” said Bam.

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-n...express-set-play-key-role-african-development
 

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Going to answer this question in here:

Why if they offering Durbs to Lusaka direct wld they change it to harare stop over?
(Background information: I suggested in the KSIA thread the possibility of SAX doing DUR-HRE-LUN at some point.)

Simple answer: to gain a foothold in the HRE-LUN market. With Air Zimbabwe now out of the picture, the route is only being served by the 5x weekly Emirates DXB-LUN-HRE route -- assuming SAX gain the rights (and if Emirates could, SAX has a fair chance), then with smaller aircraft and higher frequencies, they could well be able to compete there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I see, so offering a service to comute from Harare to Lusaka?

However if you read the doc, they feel they could already offer 10 returns flights a week Dur-Harare... so surely a tag on type flight would dilute seats available if only allowed 3 a week on the bilateral?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is the short/medium term route plan for SAX from Durban

 

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I don't think they'll go for the HRE-LUN tag-on. Both destinations should be able to sustain decent loads anyway and both are easily within range of the aircraft.
Tag-ons will most likely only be if on routes where they can get 5th freedom rights easily, the 2nd destination is a stretch for the aircraft and they believe there is a market between the 2 other destinations as well.
Btw, it seems that Zambezi Air is starting up again, so they'll take HRE-LUN routes again, also with CR200.


More on SA Express:
Great to see the plan of the E175s, but that's been mentioned and rumoured many times in the last years, no official word yet that an order have been placed, so remains to be seen. Would be great!

SAX also started using the Q400 into Richards Bay yesterday, after alterations to the runway to accomodate the aircraft.
This now means the for the Dash 8-300, as they were only kept for RCB.

SAX have already introduced additional flights on JNB-GRJ for the summer holiday season, increasing from 3 to 5 daily flights between 8 Dec and 8 Jan...usually they only load extra flights by October, so this is probably a new approach to it, which I believe would benefit them more...1Time also did the same by already adding extra flights for that time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do SAX have fewer planes in the fleet now with the reduced flights to destinations in SA? seem to also be focussing more on regional endevours now than local?
 

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The E175s looked to be a done deal early in 2011 but then the 'accounting irregularities' that blighted SAX for much of last year seem to put that plan on hold. Incidentally I read a comment from the Sukhoi Superjet (SSJ) spokesman for Africa who said SAX were very interested in the SSJ, but chose the E175 based on availability (the prodcution time for the SSJ is a lot longer compared to the E-Jets).
 

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Do SAX have fewer planes in the fleet now with the reduced flights to destinations in SA? seem to also be focussing more on regional endevours now than local?
I think it is more a question of bigger planes so the number of seats offered to every destination may have increased. The Q400 carries 74 passengers at speeds of 675km/h compared to the model 300 it replaced that could only carry 500 passengers at a maximum speed of 500km/h. The same is true about the 75 seater Embraer jets that will replace the Canadair Jets that carried only 50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
^^ yes but they have cut down the number of daily flights on almost every route, therefore less seats on a route even with bigger plane
 

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Ive just had a look at the Embraer 175. Its actually a nice looking plane. It seems as though SA Express are wanting to increase the size of there planes. I see in that article that they want to fly to Lagos. Its a bit far isnt it, even for the Embraer 175. Yes they can go via another city but I personally feel they need to get 1 or 2 larger longer range planes to handle destinations like Lagos, Luanda, Nairobi, Mauritius and maybe even Cairo. Any idea when SA Express is going to receive its first Embraer 175?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All of those destinations can be done by a 737-800 even depending on payload.

I agree that Lagos on a E175 seems like a stretch and would most definately need to be done with a stop somewhere...making it possibly less desirable... Also at under 90 passengers, seems way too small a plane for a route to Nigeria. These planes are ideal for thin routes that dont need 737 or A320 coverage, or higher frequencies... not a route from Durban to Lagos.

If SAX start getting bigger planes...then they start directly competing with SAA and with them having the same owner, i cant see that happening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Was doing some flight searches on the new Lusaka route out of Durban and sax have been very smart about it. Firstly they have launched it about R800 cheaper than it used to cost from Durban via jhb. Secondly they have timed it perfectly for their connecting flights from east London, pe and cape town... So perfect that it is quicker to go via Durban than joburg for all these cities. And finally they have landed it at a price which is currently also cheaper going via Durban than via jhb. This must be a shrewd tactic to ensure that people fly sa express for their whole journey so they can reap all the profits and not service them domestically only for them to fly from jhb on saa. Good move and will see for the first time Durban really playing a role as a transfer hub and if things continue in the expansion plans of sax, expect to see more of this aggressive behavior to saa's detriment
 

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Great news! With there being such emphasis on hubs/transfers recently, i hope this pans out for SAX. I certainly think SA is large enough to support 2 hubs into Africa, especially if one of them is the busiest port in Africa!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
some other destination names now popping up... lets wait and see what SAX officially say, but good to see up to 4 times a week instead of 3.

SA express airways Durban to get more African routes
June 28 2012 at 05:00am

State-owned SA Express Airways plans to launch a route network to Southern African Development Community countries from Durban’s King Shaka Airport, starting with flights to Lusaka in Zambia on July 12. Chief executive Inati Ntshanga said yesterday that the airline had become an active participant in regional economic co-operation and integration in recent years. He said regional market integration was a way to help solve the structural problems that African economies were confronted with.

It will initially fly to Lusaka four times a week, aiming to increase flights to six times a week. Bookings for the first flights have already opened. The next phase would be to apply for route rights to connect Durban with Harare, Gaborone, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Maputo and Vilankoulos, Ntshanga said. – Audrey D’Angelo
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
SA Express Air Link Announced
DUBE TIMES - June 2012 - Edition 2

Following a recent decision by SA Express to adopt Dube TradePort as its Southern Africa route-base, the airline has introduced the first of a series of direct routes into Southern Africa.

A direct flight route between Durban’s King Shaka International Airport and Lusaka, Zambia begins operating from July. The inaugural flight departs on 12 July and had been fully booked since shortly after the route announcement in early June.

With SA Express aircraft and aircraft parts based at King Shaka International Airport, together with a full complement of staff, engineers and flight crews, the people of KwaZulu-Natal can, for the first time, enjoy direct air access to Zambia and countries of the SADC region for the purposes of trade, business and tourism.

African connectivity directly with Durban has become a reality, with SA Express ready to roll-out additional routes between Durban and Mozambique, Botswana, Angola, Malawi, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe during the next 24 months. This will pave the way for new trade, investment and leisure opportunities in markets to the north of South Africa.

KwaZulu-Natal’s business and tourism community has an opportunity to plan effective route utilisation, using a co-ordinated approach to unlock the potential of these African markets. It is envisaged, too, that the fully operational SA Express routes will prove attractive to international carriers, including Emirates, seeking connectivity beyond Durban.

In line with this, a Dube TradePort Corporation and SA Express-led delegation, including representatives from the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal, visited Zambia recently for meetings with the Zambian Council of Tourism, the Zambian Board of Tourism and the Zambian Association of Manufacturers, trade and tourism companies and the media. The purpose behind the meetings was to announce and discuss the imminent introduction of the direct air service in and out of Durban. Talks focused on encouraging the Zambian business community to utilise the service, instead of flying to the coast via Johannesburg, while travel companies were approached with a view to introducing special tourist packages.

The new route introduction also provides for national and regional connectivity, allowing passengers from East London, Port Elizabeth and George to fly from their cities into Durban and then through to Lusaka.

http://www.dubetradeport.co.za/Uploads/dube_times_2012_06/sa-express .html
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So we now know exactly which cities form part of the Dube Tradeport/SA Express agreement... how will they hold SAX to them though? Dar es Salaam, Luanda and Blantyre were not mentioned before. surely SAX would need longer range planes to serve these cities? Dar es Salaam a direct reaction to Kenya Airways planned 2013/2014 financial year roll out of flights to Durban 4 times weekly?


Message from the Chief Executive - Rohan Persad
DUBE TIMES - June 2012 - Edition 2





In this second edition of Dube Times, I would like to share with you some of our news and initiatives. 2012 is certainly proving to be a year of continued financial volatility, with the Euro Crisis deepening and its impacts being felt in our own country. We certainly have to brace ourselves for the second half of the year for slower growth and tight economic conditions.

Changes in the Dube Cargo Terminal Operations

Regarding a recent challenge faced between Dube TradePort and its Cargo Terminal Operator, Worldwide Flight Services South Africa, I am happy to inform you that we have reached a mutual confidential commercial settlement. In terms of this settlement, Dube TradePort has taken over the operations of the Cargo Terminal from 01 June 2012. I am extremely proud of the Dube team, led by Mr Petko Atanasov, who worked hard under tight time-frames to ensure a seamless transition. Dube TradePort will continue to utilise the Worldwide Flight Services logo under a franchise agreement.

In terms of this settlement, Dube TradePort will also control the operations of AiRoad - our trucking business. We will now focus our efforts towards utilising our trucks to build our volume throughput through the cargo terminal, while providing a cost-competitive offering to our tenants and partners throughout the trade port.

I want to assure all of our tenants, users and clients that they can expect an increasingly efficient and personalised service.

Our partnership with SA Express will now begin to bear fruit, with the first destination scheduled to begin on 12 July 2012, from Durban to Lusaka. In terms of our agreement with SA Express, the following destinations in the SADC region will become routes over the next 24 months: Harare, Windhoek, Gaborone, Maputo, Lilongwe, Dar es Salaam, Luanda, Blantyre and Lubumbashi.

While we work in conjunction with tourism authorities to promote passenger and business travel on these new routes, we are even more committed to working more closely with our freight forwarders to ensure that we take maximum advantage of the loose cargo opportunities that are now available.

01 June 2012 also marked a historic day that saw the first wide-body Emirates Boeing 777-300 ER begin its daily service between King Shaka International Airport and Dubai. Cargo-carrying capacity has almost doubled to 30 tons per flight. We would like to appeal to our freight forwarders to take maximum advantage of this increased capacity and to talk to Dube TradePort about assisting you increase your loads onward to Dubai.

In May, we hosted world-renowned academic, Dr John Kasarda, who is considered to be the leading global authority on the “aerotropolis concept”. In summary, his theory is, “…the airport leaves the city, the city follows the airport, the airport becomes the city”. As a Greenfields airport and trade port, we have an unparalleled opportunity in the global context, to develop a purpose-built aerotropolis on the African continent, provided we put into place appropriate planning systems, institutional co-ordinating structures for rapid decision-making and of course, ensure increasing air connectivity.

Dube TradePort also participated in the recent SAPOA Conference and won the most innovative stand at the exhibition. I have no doubt that we also generated much interest in the property development market. This has led to increased interest in the Dube TradeZone and opportunities at Dube City. In the next issue, I am confident that we will be able to report on closing a few more investment deals in both these zones.

Rohan Persad
Chief Executive Officer
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Durban launchpad for SA Express
July 4 2012 at 03:08pm
By Suren Naidoo

Next Thursday the inaugural South African Express Airways flight between Durban’s King Shaka International Airport and Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka, Zambia, will take to the skies.

The new service marks the start of SA Express and Dube TradePort’s plan to establish Durban as the feeder airline’s Southern Africa route base, with a series of new regional African routes set to be opened up over the next few years.

SA Express is launching the route with four scheduled return flights a week to Lusaka on a 50-seater CRJ200 aircraft on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. It aims to increase this to six frequencies a week soon thereafter.

“We are very excited to be launching this new route. SA Express has become an active participant in regional economic co-operation and integration in recent years. The objective is to enable Zambia, South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to grow tourism and trade opportunities,” said SA Express chief executive Inati Ntshanga.

“SA Express will be using its Durban base, which began operations on May 1, as a platform for expansion into the SADC countries and to connect to the established and growing economies. Booking for the inaugural flight between Durban and Lusaka on July 12 has been open since June. Bookings are looking strong for the first few flights and we urge business from both cities to support the route.”

Ntshanga said SA Express had also worked with key stakeholders in the province and city, including the KZN Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Trade and Investment KZN, Tourism KZN and the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to help ensure that it provided an effective service.

“We are championing regional integration, which enhances political unity and fosters economic growth and development. Regionalism, especially regional market integration, is a way to help solve the structural problems that the African economies are confronted with,” he said.

“For Zambia and South Africa to make full use of its growth potential, it will be essential to work in a co-operative manner by promoting further regional economic integration and developing broad regional infrastructure.”

Ntshanga said the next phase of expansion would be to apply for route rights from Durban to Harare (Zimbabwe), Gaborone (Botswana), the Malawian cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe and the Mozambican cities of Maputo and Vilankolous.

Meanwhile, ahead of the launch of the new Durban-Lusaka route next week, Tourism KZN is hosting a group of inbound tour operators, airline representatives, media and travel agents from Zambia in the city this week. They are on a four-day familiarisation trip to KZN which has also been timed to coincide with this weekend’s Vodacom Durban July horseracing and fashion spectacle.

“Medical tourism, shopping, golf and events such as the Vodacom Durban July are key attractions for KZN within the Zambian market. The horseracing event is one of the must-visit annual events in KZN and therefore Tourism KZN has identified the event as an opportunity to showcase the province the delegation from Zambia,” Tourism KZN said.

“Africa has been identified as a key source market with great potential for growing arrivals into KwaZulu-Natal. Arrivals from the continent currently contribute 65 percent of tourism arrivals into South Africa annually. The forthcoming operation of the new SA Express route that will directly connect Lusaka and Durban has further validated that Africa is a key source market for KZN.”
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The first flights took off today!!!

SA Express starts flights between Durban, Lusaka

12th July 2012

Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Bulelani Magwanishe on Thursday launched national carrier SA Express’ inaugural flight between Durban and Zambia’s capital Lusaka.

The flight, which left Durban in the morning, was welcomed by the Zambian Ministers of Transport, Communication, Works and Supply; and Foreign Affairs and Tourism; as well as various Southern African Development Community ambassadors in Zambia.

The department stated that the new direct connection was part of SA Express' regional expansion plans out of its Durban base.

The flights will operate twice daily on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, with additional flights to be launched soon.

The route would enable leisure and trade opportunities, as well as benefit KwaZulu-Natal-based manufacturing and retail businesses that were operating successfully in Lusaka.

Further, the department pointed out that Durban was also a natural expansion hub for Zambian businesses that were looking to export globally.
 

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The flights will operate twice daily on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, with additional flights to be launched soon.
Hate it when high-profile people in the industry or the journalists then make such small mistakes. Can't say 'operate twice daily' , gives the impression there is two flights both ways on those days...while in fact it's one flight both ways, thus a daily return flight. The 4th added flight is also on Fridays, not Saturdays.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays the flight departs 10:10am, exact same time as Maputo flights (so not spreading the international side's operating times much). On Fridays and Sundays the flight departs at 09:20am. At least a start, hopefully more routes to follow soon!
On Sundays (for now until Air Mauritius withdraws or new routes start) will technically be the 'busiest' day at DUR international side with all 4 routes by all 4 airlines being operated (Dubai, Mauritius, Lusaka, Maputo).
 
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