Tag Archives: Johannesburg

United Airlines preparing new nonstop seasonal service between Newark and Cape Town, South Africa

United Airlines today applied with the U.S. Department of Transportation for authority to begin new service between Newark Liberty International Airport and Cape Town International Airport. United plans to operate nonstop three-times weekly flights to Cape Town starting in December 2019.

United’s nonstop service between Newark and Cape Town will decrease the current travel time from New York area to Cape Town by more than four hours and provide customers from more than 80 U.S. cities with easy one-stop access to Cape Town. If approved, United’s service between New York/Newark and Cape Town will be operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft featuring 48 seats in United Polaris business class, 88 seats in United Economy Plus and 116 seats in United Economy.

Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa and the country’s center of trade and commerce. Located at the shore of Table Bay, the city is home to some of the most popular attractions in South Africa including Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Travelers to South Africa often begin their African journey in Cape Town before touring the Cape Winelands, viewing the African penguins at Boulder Beach or traveling beyond Cape Town to explore South Africa’s natural beauty including its many national parks, game reserves and beautiful coastlines and beaches of the KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces.

Star Alliance to expand its network with lower-cost “Connecting Partners”, Mango to be the first

Mango (South African Airways) Boeing 737-8BG WL ZS-SJP (msn 32358) JNB (Christian Volpati). Image: 911556.

The Star Alliance has issued this statement:

Star Alliance logo

To expand network reach via low-cost and hybrid airlines, Star Alliance launches a new model. South African airline Mango to be first airline to implement.

Star Alliance is set to expand its network reach with the launch of its Connecting Partner Model. Under this new concept, routes operated by “low-cost” and “hybrid” airlines will be able to connect to the Alliance network. This will allow customers of Star Alliance member carriers to select from an even wider choice of destinations and flights.

“With this innovative concept, we are breaking new ground. We see a definite trend of convergence between the ‘traditional full service’ and ‘low-cost’ business models in the airline industry,” said Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance. “At the same time, our customers are telling us that they need access to markets where we do not yet provide ideal coverage. In many cases network carriers are not in a position to fill this gap and hence working with future Connecting Partners will allow us to provide an extended network to our travellers.”

Connecting Partners will be carefully assessed for their fit into the existing Star Alliance network. While these selected airlines need to comply and adhere to the high operating standard required by the Alliance, they will not become a member of the Alliance itself.

Customers travelling on an itinerary which includes a transfer between a Star Alliance member airline and a Connecting Partner will be offered Alliance benefits such as passenger and baggage through check-in. Moreover, Star Alliance Gold Card holders will enjoy a tailored set of privileges in line with the different product offerings of the individual Connecting Partner.

Connecting Partners will enter into bilateral commercial agreements with selected Star Alliance member airlines, which may include additional Frequent Flyer Programme based privileges.

Innovative and multi-award winning South African low-cost airline Mango has been selected as the first airline with which Star Alliance will be implementing the new concept.

“We are delighted to be working with Mango as we marry traditional and low-cost or hybrid airlines for the first time in our Alliance’s history. The airline’s innovative and progressive style makes it an ideal candidate for launching our new Connecting Partner concept. We aim to have first customers using this new offer as of the third quarter of 2016,” adds Schwab.

Mango’s first flight took to the skies on November 15, 2006. Since then, the airline has grown its fleet from four to 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, operating between South Africa’s key domestic points as well as between Johannesburg and Zanzibar. The carrier remains the only African airline to offer on-board Wi-Fi. In addition, Mango has been recognised for its Customer Service Excellence by various awards, including the World Travel Awards and Skytrax.

“Innovation and a relentless pursuit of excellence are the cornerstones of Mango and fundamental to our culture as a business,” says Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout. Mango celebrates a decade in aviation next year and the carrier has recently become the largest low-cost airline in South Africa by passenger volume. “Participation in the development of, and ultimately becoming the launch Star Alliance Connecting Partner airline, wedges-in with our medium to long term business objectives,” he added.

Bezuidenhout said that while the Connecting Partner product flies in the face of convention, the common ground for the concept relates directly to the bottom line. “Becoming a Connecting Partner will give any low-cost or hybrid airline a competitive advantage that immediately grows market share while creating greater choice for travellers,” he said.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Mango will be first carrier admitted under this new program. Boeing 737-8BG WL ZS-SJP (msn 32358) arrives at the Johannesburg base.

Mango aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Comair to retire its last Boeing 737-300 by December

Comair Limited (British Airways franchise) (Johannesburg) has issued this update on its financial situation and fleet plans. The company has added additional Boeing 737-400s and last month it added the first first of four new Boeing 737-800s. This will allow Comair to phase out the last Boeing 737-300 by December 2015.

Read the full report:

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In the absence of revenue growth in the domestic passenger market and despite a challenging financial year, JSE-listed Comair Limited has announced continued profitability for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2015. Revenue remained consistent at R5.89 billion (2014: R5.90 billion), with a 1% saving in operating costs. Profit for the year amounted to R219 million (a net reduction of 17%, mainly as a result of two non-cash flow items). Cash from operations remained healthy at R646 million.

Comair reported a very strong profit in the first half of the financial year, supported by an unprecedented collapse in the oil price. The second half saw two new competitors enter the market with very aggressive, but more than likely unsustainable pricing. As a result, any savings achieved on the price of fuel were returned to customers by way of significantly reduced ticket prices, which led to a reversal of the revenue growth experienced in the first six months.

Comair CEO Erik Venter said despite the new capacity in the market, Comair maintained its passenger volumes, largely due to the strength of the kulula and British Airways brands and the company’s ongoing attention to service. “We continued to focus on our customers through the application of service metrics, feedback surveys, customer journey mapping, and extensive investment in training programmes for front-line staff. Operating performance therefore remained good, with on-time performance exceeding our threshold target of 85% across both the British Airways and kulula.com brands.”

The two non-cash flow items which resulted in decreased profits were the additional depreciation of R79 million provided on the retiring Boeing 737-300 fleet, and the year-end revaluation of R51 million to the dollar-based funding applicable to one Boeing 737-800.

Cash of R147 million was invested in three previously leased Boeing 737-400 aircraft and two pre-owned Boeing 737-400s, all for operation in the British Airways fleet. These aircraft have replaced the 737-300 fleet which will be fully retired by December. The newer aircraft afford improved fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance demands, while at the same time improving passenger comfort. Cash on hand at year-end was R849 million, much in line with the prior year balance of R868 million.

Venter said the black economic empowerment transaction concluded by Comair and the Thelo Consortium in 2007 matured in September 2014, and created realised value of R152 million for the participants. The “A” shares arising from the transaction were converted to ordinary shares, and the weighted effect of the additional shares amounted to a reduction in the 2015 earnings per share of 3 cents. Comair continued to invest in transformation initiatives, and thereby maintained its level 4 B-BBEE score.

Commenting on the year ahead, Venter said Comair remained concerned about weak economic growth and the consequent impact of overcapacity in the domestic aviation market. “Fundamentals dictate that a correction in market capacity is very likely. The new visa regulations applicable to South Africans traveling with children, as well as to foreign tourists, have impacted negatively on our cross-border tourist destinations, and we are actively participating in achieving a more favourable dispensation in this regard.”

“We are nevertheless confident that there is scope for further growth in our profits. Comair is focused on implementing technology solutions to enhance customer satisfaction, operating performance and drive revenue generating opportunities. We are also developing new applications to enhance both the ground and air experience that will facilitate more efficient operating procedures. Furthermore, the ongoing upgrades to the fleet will continue to improve efficiency while at the same time-enhancing the revenue potential per flight.”

In August 2015 we took delivery of the first of the next four new 737-800’s from Boeing, the remaining three of which will be delivered in late 2015 and 2016. The delivery of the eight Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft remains scheduled for 2019 to 2021.

Top Copyright Photo: Felix Gottwald/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-33A ZS-OAI (msn 24030) departs from the Johannesburg hub.

British Airways-Comair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Airline Aircraft Type “Endangered Species List” (airline aircraft types to be retired in the near future)

Click on the mosaic photo below for the full list, individual photos and the expected retirement target dates – the list will be constantly updated. All additional information or corrections are always welcome.

Endangered Species List Mosaic 9.22.15

 

 

Air China announces a new code share agreement with South African Airways

Air China (Beijing) has announced a code share agreement with South African Airways (Johannesburg) that will enable SA to put its code on CA’s newly inaugurated nonstop service between Beijing and Johannesburg as well as points beyond Beijing to Chengdu, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Chongqing.

Air China logo-1

Air China will in turn put its code on SA’s services between Johannesburg to Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth. The code share arrangement will open for sale from August 25, for travel effective October 29, 2015.

South African logo-1

Both airlines are Star Alliance members, an alliance offering a network unlike any other; with 28 member airlines providing over 18,500 flights a day to over 1,330 destinations in more than 192 countries around the world.

The flights, CA867/8 Beijing – Johannesburg are to be operated on Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday (outbound) and on Monday/Wednesday/Friday (inbound). The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 23:15 Beijing time, and arrives in Johannesburg at 7:35 local time on the following day. The inbound flight departs from Johannesburg at 11:50 local time and arrives in Beijing at 7:30 Beijing time. The flights are to be operated with Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Air China’s Boeing 777-39L ER B-2006 (msn 44931) in the special “Love China” livery taxies at London (Heathrow).

Air China aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

South African aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Air China to start nonstop Beijing – Johannesburg service

Air China (Beijing) has announced it will start Beijing – Johannesburg nonstop service on October 29, 2015 , which will be the first air link offered by a Chinese carrier between Mainland China and South Africa and also Air China’s first route to Africa.

The flights, CA867/8, Beijing – Johannesburg are to be operated on Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday (outbound) and on Monday/Wednesday/Friday (inbound). The outbound flight departs from Beijing at 23:15 Beijing time, and arrives in Johannesburg at 7:35 local time on the following day. The inbound flight departs from Johannesburg at 11:50 local time and arrives in Beijing at 7:30 Beijing time. The flights are to be operated with Boeing 777-300 ER, an aircraft type quite popular with the world’s business travelers.

This year, Air China will also start Beijing – Addis Ababa service.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-39L ER B-2035 (msn 38674) in the special “Smiling China” color scheme taxies at London (Heathrow).

Air China slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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FlySafair to expand to Durban and East London

FlySafair (Johannesburg) has announced it will add four new routes starting on October 25: Cape Town – Durban, Cape Town – East London, Johannesburg – Durban and Johannesburg – East London.

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FlySafair We are growing our routes

Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-4Y0 ZS-JRD (msn 24917) arrives at Johannesburg.

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A stowaway falls from a British Airways Boeing 747-400 on approach to London Heathrow, another survives

British Airways (London) and other authorities are investigating how two suspected stowaways were able to get on a British Airways Boeing 747-400 flight from Johannesburg to London (Heathrow) yesterday (June 18). One man fell to his death while the Jumbo was on approach to LHR, landing on the roof of a business on Kew Road in Richmond.

 

A second man, who was found hiding in the wheel well of the aircraft, has been hospitalized with injuries, the airline stated.

According to CNN, British Airways also stated it is working with authorities from both countries to get more details.

Johannesburg and London are about 6,000 miles apart. The flight, under freezing conditions in the wheel well, is nearly 12 hours in duration.

Read the full report from The Telegraph: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. British Airways Boeing 747-436 G-BNLP (msn 24058) approaches the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

British Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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South African resumes nonstop Johannesburg-New York JFK flights

South African Airways (SAA) (Johannesburg) has resumed nonstop service on its daily flight from Johannesburg to New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, effective March 7, 2015. While SAA’s daily flight from New York-JFK to Johannesburg has operated on a nonstop basis for several years, the return flight was making a 1-hour enroute stop in Dakar, Senegal, during the low season winter months. Due to the popularity of this route, SAA’s service between New York and Johannesburg will, once again, operate nonstop in both directions on a year-round basis. The resumption of the nonstop service on the northbound flight from Johannesburg to New York-JFK reduces the overall travel time on the route by nearly 90 minutes, making it the fastest way to travel from South Africa to New York.

SAA’s flights between New York-JFK and Johannesburg are operated on wide-body Airbus A340-600 aircraft, featuring 42 full-flat 180° beds in Premium Business Class and 275 seats in Economy Class.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A340-642 ZS-SNI (msn 630) arrives at JFK International Airport in New York.

South African Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Qatar Airways is coming to Durban, South Africa

Qatar Airways (Doha) has announced a major expansion in South Africa with the launch of a new destination Durban while simultaneously increasing its weekly frequencies to Johannesburg. The airline will also increase its weekly frequency to Cape Town going up from five flights a week to a daily service.

Effective from December 17, 2015, the airline will launch four new weekly flights to Durban via Johannesburg bringing the total frequency to Johannesburg up from 10 weekly flights to a double-daily service.

From October 1, 2015, Qatar Airways will be operating daily flights to Cape Town ahead of the busy 2015/16 winter travel season, an increase from five weekly flights this winter.

Durban will be Qatar Airways’ third route to South Africa following Johannesburg and Cape Town, both of which started in January 2005. All three routes will be operated with its 254-seat Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner A7-BCK (msn 38329) arrives in Brussels.

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Skywise Airline to launch scheduled flights on March 5

SkyWise 737 (15)(Flt)(SkyWise)(LR)

Skywise Airline (Johannesburg) is a new airline in South Africa. The new airline will launch scheduled low-fare passenger flights on March 5 between Johannesburg and Durban and Durban and Cape Town with Boeing 737s.

Skywise is independently owned. The company launched operations on February 11 with a charter flight.

All Images by Skywise.

Skywise logo (large)(LR)