Planes at JNB all dayBack to Forum
Anonymous21 Jun 2013
I am not sure if this has been answered before, but why do airlines opt to keep their planes in JNB all day?
From what I have seen, only LH have a day flight out of JNB during the day time.
Just to clarify I am talking about the Asian and European carriers, didn’t mean all flights from JNB.
Is it only for passengers convenience? I have travelled to JNB before and the flight timing is brilliant, I must say, but isn’t this a loss for the airline?
Even airlines that I think use their aircrafts efficiently (Turkish, as an example) prefer keeping their planes on the ground the entire day before returning in the evening\night.21 Jun 2013
I am sure other Forum posters may have a better reply for you than I have, but for starters, one might ask why SAA’s aircraft spend all day on the tarmac after they arrive in Europe ?
Also it’s the same scenario in Sydney where both BA and VS park their planes on the tarmac all day.
But as for JNB, there may be several reasons which include:
1. Late flights ex-JNB enable more connecting possibilities from domestic/regional points.
2. Less chance of running up against the European airport curfew.
3. Greater range of connecting possibilities after the flight reaches Europe (assuming it’s a morning arrival).21 Jun 2013
2 words…. HOT and HIGH, JNB is one of the worst airports in the world for restricted takeoffs. Afternoon departures would mean off loading pax, bags, and or cargo.
The hotter the temperature the worse the performance, and the higher you are the worse the performance, JNB has both, as well as fairly tight terrain just after takeoff on the northerly runway, which further restricts the max weight, and would mean even more off loading.21 Jun 2013
Perhaps I should have checked earlier …
But I can’t see a Lufthansa daytime flight ex-JNB. I checked dates in the near future. What time of year were you looking at ?21 Jun 2013
Generally the important premium pax do not like day flights to or from Africa but Economy passengers are grateful for anything! This is proved with BAs operating a day flight northbound from CPT to London for two seasons, but last season this changed to a second night flight with a full day on the ground in CPT. Immediately the revenue increased with many more premiums and less discounting. With daylight flights either way the connections are severely reduced. The long turnarounds are often used for planned maintenance checks. In BAs case these can be somewhat cheaper at out stations than at home base. The BA facilities at LHR are then sold to other carriers who have their planned maintenance checks by BA. Wheels within wheels!21 Jun 2013
In addition to all the above, it’s related to curfew and aircraft rostering limits. The average West Europe to JNB flight is 11h30, giving a round trip time of just over 24 hours allowing for turnaround. So morning arrivals into JNB would have to turn around in time to reach ‘home’ before 2300 in most cases.
There are a couple of southbound daylight flights (my favourite KLM into JNB and CPT notably) and I think BA have one into JNB on some days. These reach SA late evening and turn round heading north leaving just before the curfew, this avoiding the long time on the ground in SA. I am told that most people do not like day flights on this route, something I find hard to understand as I prefer them to the overnights.
I don’t recall a LH dayflight but I believe Condor did one at certain times of the year.21 Jun 2013
As others have said it’s a number of reasons airlines will leave aircraft on the ground all day. It could be to accommodate a take off or landing slot at a time within curfew, or to allow the planes to be timed to leave when passengers want to fly.
An example of the JNB situation is BA’s schedule. BA has traditionally operated two daily flights per day LHR-JNB both leaving in the evening. They arrive in JNB the following morning, remain on the ground all day and then depart again from JNB that night. BA then launched an additional thrice weekly flight LHR-JNB departing LHR early evening, arriving JNB the following morning, turning straight around and then flying a daylight flight back to London. While the outbound evening flight from London was very busy the return loads were dismal. Sometimes in double digits. This summer the thrice weekly flight has been rostered again although this third aircraft also sits on the ground all day to return home in the evening.
Some airlines will utilize this time on the ground to operate ‘shuttle flights’ to nearby cities or countries instead of sitting idle on the ground. BA used to do this in the case of SYD/BNE.21 Jun 2013
Intersting to note that the heat plays a major factor in day time flight over africa, never thought of that.
@rferguson – yes that’s what i was thinking – shuttle service, say between JNB-CPT maybe?
But then as openfly mentioned, if its cheaper for BA (in this example) then planes at JNB during the day seems a sensible option.
But then i see a lot of planes in JNB – including twin A380’s of Air France and LH.
But then reading another forum, i think its cheaper for the A380’s to be grounded during the day than doing short hops as i read that A380s not built for it (higher maintenance charges, landing gear not designed for continuous landings and take offs, etc).21 Jun 2013
Re: A380s not being built for short hops
If there are problems with excessive wear and tear one wonders why TG/MH/SQ use their A380s for short flights in between long-haul duties at their hubs.
And what about the time when AF showcased its A380 on CDG-LHR-CDG for several months (in between operating services to/from JNB) ?21 Jun 2013
In terms of technicality of the issue i cant vouch for it.
This is where i got the info from: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/5795886/
I think economically too it may not be a feasible option unless they are able to get the desired loads – like the DXB JED sector that EK use.21 Jun 2013
The useful life of an aircraft frame and components is impacted by flight hours and possibly more importantly by the number of cycles (a cycle being one take off and one landing) as these stress many components.
An aircraft designed for LH or ULH will not really be viable for SH/MH operations and might only be pressed into service on a temporary basis as needed.21 Jun 2013
I might be wrong about this, but didn’t BA used to fly JNB-DAR-JNB in between its flights from and to Heathrow? I seem to recall a friend taking BA to Dar el Salaam for a side-trip that she took to Zanzibar while visiting South Africa.21 Jun 2013