Tuesday, June 5, 2012

► SOUTH AFRICA: SAA axes Cape Town - Heathrow; boosts Accra & Mumbai.

South African Airways logoSouth African Airways (SA) will drop its iconic daily Cape Town - London Heathrow service with effect from 15 August 2012. The airline cited low yields on the route as its main cause for dropping the route. In the last 3 years, the annual number of tourists using London as a final destination or as a transitory airport has declined.

The route is currently operated with an Airbus A330-200.
"A thorough analysis of the route made it clear that we could use our aircraft more profitably elsewhere while continuing to ensure excellent business and tourism links... via Johannesburg," said Theunis Potgieter, SAA commercial general manager                              ...
"It is also clear that we would lose money on the direct route in the future, whereas it is possible for us to operate more optimally between Cape Town and London via our Johannesburg hub," he said in a statement.

South African Airways A330
An SAA Airbus A330-200.
In the meantime, SAA has moved ahead with the consolidation of its African network by increasing its frequencies from Johannesburg, South Africa to Accra, Ghana from 5x weekly, to 6x weekly using an Airbus A330-200. The change will come into effect on 16 August 2012. 

Johannesburg – Accra (New flight operates on Sundays)
  • SA052 JNB1650 – 2115ACC 332 x3
  • SA053 ACC2230 – 0625+1JNB 332 x3

Also on 16 August, SAA will increase its Johannesburg - Mumbai, India service from 5x weekly, to 6x weekly, also using an Airbus A330-200. The airline already announced its additional 5th frequency (to be started on 16 June) in mid May following the suspension of Jet Airways India's service citing internal viability problems.

Johannesburg – Mumbai New flight operates on Tuesdays from Johannesburg, Wednesdays from Mumbai
  • SA284 JNB1100 – 0005+1BOM 332 x3
  • SA285 BOM0205 – 0725JNB 332 x4