SAA to cancel CPT-LHRBack to Forum
Anonymous5 Jun 2012
I wonder what reason was given ? Is the economic situation ? Or maybe the high cost of fuel is making such long routes uneconomic unless the yield/load factor balance is right ?5 Jun 2012
There is some more information about the route being axed here (see link below). One reason was that demand had fallen by 24 per cent in the past three years for all the three carriers plying the route.
But I also wonder if some of the traffic has shifted to the Gulf carriers ?
I know it’s a longer flight to SA via the Gulf but carriers like EK/EY/QR offer departures from more European airports.5 Jun 2012
SA stopped flying to CDG despite daily fully booked planes( and fine flat seats), then moved to Munich (as a member of StarAlliance). AF launched a double daily route, now replaced with the A380.
AF which stopped flying to CPT years ago is back on the route for already some months. Ending CPT LHR sounds unclear..5 Jun 2012
“I know it’s a longer flight to SA via the Gulf but carriers like EK/EY/QR offer departures from more European airports.”
More than who? No Gulf carrier offers departures from more European airports than BA does to LHR.5 Jun 2012
Perhaps a combination of factors prompted SAA to abandon this route:
1. Maybe the yield is poor. Even though a flight may be fully booked, unless passengers are paying the right price then that flight will be unprofitable. This especially applies to SAA where CPT is more of a leisure route than a business route.
2. Cost of fuel. Long distance flights are not fuel efficient.
3. The economic situation in Europe.
4. SAA has little feeder traffic. Being at the end of the line, SAA cannot offer the variety of connections like the European carriers. Also LHR is a Oneworld stronghold so few connecting possibilities here.
5. Poor aircraft utilisation. SAA’s flight from CPT arrives into LHR early in the morning. It then spends almost 15 hours on the ground at LHR before returning in the late evening. Imagine how much the parking fees are at LHR for this length of time.
6. Competition from the Gulf airlines.5 Jun 2012
I agree, Bucksnet.
But BD has quit Star (so no more Star links for UK domestic routes) while passengers flying ex-CPT into mainland Europe or Scandinavia are just as likely to change planes at Star hubs in FRA or JNB. For example: CPT-FRA-CPH, CPT-FRA-MUC or CPT-JNB-ZRH.5 Jun 2012
SAA’s loads were generally lower than BA’s for the same days. Load is not of course directly related to yield, but for political reasons and jobs for the boys SAA carry a lot of frees/upgrades/favours. Also their a/c may not be as fuel efficient as BA but the underlying problem is PPM. The M stands for Managemunt.5 Jun 2012
And to add fuel to the fire, just look at those desirable slots. arrive at 0620 and depart 2100. Perfect for any number of long haul routes east or south or even west arrivals. Surely SAA are selling them for a lot of £M unless they were ;leased from bmi – seems unlikely given the length of their tenure on the route. So who will buy them?6 Jun 2012
As I have predicted in other threads,could this be the start of the consequence of the LHR hub perfect storm.
1) The onerous APD making it more price savvy to fly through or start from non UK airports!
2) The demise of Star alliance interline traffic because of the demise of BMI
3) Increased competition from regional hubs, look at Etihad and Turkish commencing from EDI
Unfortunately, the primary loser in all this will be us..the consumer as BA hoovers up the remants of my perfect storm6 Jun 2012
SAA have said that they do not anticipate losing traffic as people will go via JNB. They are increasing capacity on the JNB LHR route to accommodate the CPT pax.
What planet do they inhabit?
(I used to work for them!)
“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 between the Western Cape and the UK with our significant capacity via Johannesburg,” said Theunis Potgieter, SAA”s general manager commercial.
“Anyone who has booked a flight between Cape Town and London after August 15th will be rerouted via Johannesburg at no additional charge,” said Potgieter. “Passengers choosing not to be rerouted will be refunded.”
SAA currently has two daily services between London Heathrow and Johannesburg and will be increasing its capacity on these flights by 13% through use of larger aircraft to accommodate passengers on this route.
The airline says aircraft will be redeployed to better serve its growing Accra, Mumbai and Perth routes and to add Abidjan to the network.6 Jun 2012