Iberia cancels SA flight route

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Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by Deanw » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:27 pm

5 April 2019: Traveller24
Iberia cancels SA flight route

Iberia has confirmed it will be cancelling its Madrid to Johannesburg route, due to non-profitability.

The airline says the last flight from Madrid to Johannesburg will be on August 31, 2019, while the last return flight from the South African city to Madrid will be operated on September 1, 2019.

"Customers holding an Iberia flight ticket on its Madrid-Johannesburg route after the dates mentioned above will be rerouted to their final destinations or offered a refund of their ticket."

Iberia will still offer flights to Johannesburg and other South African cities under its code-share agreement with British Airways via London Heathrow airport.
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by evanb » Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:10 pm

I got the sense that the route was always based on seeking AA JV traffic but since BA's upgauge by adding the B787 to JNB and DUR it probably siphoned off too much traffic. It's too bad since IB are a much improved airline and MAD is a great airport!
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by Burner » Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:15 pm

evanb wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 3:10 pm
I got the sense that the route was always based on seeking AA JV traffic but since BA's upgauge by adding the B787 to JNB and DUR it probably siphoned off too much traffic. It's too bad since IB are a much improved airline and MAD is a great airport!
I have to agree... I use IB and MAD airport at least once a month, and find both the airport and airline very decent. The Iberia cabin crew seem a lot more friendly than BA's for example.
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by Trent772B » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:46 pm

Perhaps a possible opportunity for SAA to re-enter Southern Europe? 3x per week A330-200 JNB-MAD-JNB?

Or Lisbon perhaps
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by evanb » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:55 pm

Trent772B wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:46 pm
Perhaps a possible opportunity for SAA to re-enter Southern Europe? 3x per week A330-200 JNB-MAD-JNB?

Or Lisbon perhaps
Is there a strong O&D market or sufficient connections with strong yields at either end?

IB has decent northern European connections and some decent north American connections with strong sales and distribution capacity in Europe, the US (through AA JV) and South Africa (through BA). I'm not sure how SAA could make it work if IB couldn't unless there is a particularly strong connecting traffic through JNB.
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by Burner » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:21 pm

If I had to guess between Iberia and Alitalia, whom was more likely to drop JNB, I definitely would have put my money on Alitalia. Iberia has a huge network out of Madrid... far greater than Alitalia out of Rome. Also both Alitalia and Rome airport are far inferior to Iberia and their hub. Wonder what the loads are like between Rome and JHB on Alitalia?
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by evanb » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:28 pm

Burner wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:21 pm
If I had to guess between Iberia and Alitalia, whom was more likely to drop JNB, I definitely would have put my money on Alitalia. Iberia has a huge network out of Madrid... far greater than Alitalia out of Rome. Also both Alitalia and Rome airport are far inferior to Iberia and their hub. Wonder what the loads are like between Rome and JHB on Alitalia?
I suspect Rome has some stronger O&D market and yields. But again, it's difficult to know anything with Alitalia since their cost structure is mangled and probably every route is unprofitable.
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by abezzi » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:15 pm

Burner wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:21 pm
If I had to guess between Iberia and Alitalia, whom was more likely to drop JNB, I definitely would have put my money on Alitalia. Iberia has a huge network out of Madrid... far greater than Alitalia out of Rome. Also both Alitalia and Rome airport are far inferior to Iberia and their hub. Wonder what the loads are like between Rome and JHB on Alitalia?
From JHB to Rome I believe is around 80/90% of seats taken, slightly less from Rome to JHB
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by Burner » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:48 pm

abezzi wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:15 pm
Burner wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:21 pm
If I had to guess between Iberia and Alitalia, whom was more likely to drop JNB, I definitely would have put my money on Alitalia. Iberia has a huge network out of Madrid... far greater than Alitalia out of Rome. Also both Alitalia and Rome airport are far inferior to Iberia and their hub. Wonder what the loads are like between Rome and JHB on Alitalia?
From JHB to Rome I believe is around 80/90% of seats taken, slightly less from Rome to JHB
Interesting. I travelled between Milan and JHB, four times last year. Not once was Alitalia's price close to being the cheapest. Same goes for my flights between Milan and North Africa. Iberia is almost always 2/3rd to 1/2 of what Alitalia offer. Additionally, the Alitalia flights are at really cr@p times.
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by abezzi » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:12 am

I have traveled to Rome and back and I found the time of departures and arrival fantastic! I agree with you that Iberia is/was cheaper but for me that I have to go to Rome nothing beats a direct flight!!!
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by jean » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am

Trent772B wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:46 pm
Perhaps a possible opportunity for SAA to re-enter Southern Europe? 3x per week A330-200 JNB-MAD-JNB?

Or Lisbon perhaps
If SAA should re-open a route it is either CDG or even get ORY (terminals have been revamped, airlines added, ORY traditionally serviced Africa, ex ample UTA of yore, which I flew regularly to Nice and then Paris ORY): the CDG flight was always full, both ways, in all classes incl first when the service was on a Jumbo. Lufthansa compelled SAA to get rid of that route, and that was a huge strategic mistake as CDG could have then be used to serve as a hub for SAA/Star alliance/partnerships with RAM services into Africa, which of course AF does. Terrible lack of vision (or conniving) from the part of whoever was is charge of SAA then.
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by evanb » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:42 pm

jean wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:28 am
If SAA should re-open a route it is either CDG or even get ORY (terminals have been revamped, airlines added, ORY traditionally serviced Africa, ex ample UTA of yore, which I flew regularly to Nice and then Paris ORY): the CDG flight was always full, both ways, in all classes incl first when the service was on a Jumbo. Lufthansa compelled SAA to get rid of that route, and that was a huge strategic mistake as CDG could have then be used to serve as a hub for SAA/Star alliance/partnerships with RAM services into Africa, which of course AF does. Terrible lack of vision (or conniving) from the part of whoever was is charge of SAA then.
I'm not quite sure about the point you're making. RAM isn't Star Alliance and they only serve one destination from CDG. There is not a single Star Alliance carrier that serves anything from CDG that isn't covered from FRA, MUC and LHR.

I do agree that SAA would do well to reenter CDG, but I'm not sure it would be based on any better connecting options at CDG.
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by Johan.botha » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:56 pm

SAA has a tarnished image and performs poorly on routes where there are other options. Consider BA's vast dominance on LHR where a large portion of the traffic is point to point. To claw passengers from AF's fairly elegant CDG offering is simply not realistic.
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by evanb » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:39 pm

Johan.botha wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:56 pm
SAA has a tarnished image and performs poorly on routes where there are other options. Consider BA's vast dominance on LHR where a large portion of the traffic is point to point. To claw passengers from AF's fairly elegant CDG offering is simply not realistic.
Not specific about SAA, BA or AF, but why is there this implicit assumption that because one airline does well on a route, others should be able to as well? Even in the case where a large portion of traffic is point to point (which is overstated on BA's LHR-South Africa routes) this entirely ignores a plethora of factors including cost structures, yields, airport capacity, distribution capacity in different markets, etc.

In the same way BA eats SA between the UK and South Africa, just look at how CX eat BA between the UK and Hong Hong ... CX operate 7 daily flights, compared to BA's two. They're different businesses that face difference challenges on the same routes.
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Re: Iberia cancels SA flight route

Unread post by jean » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:58 pm

Indeed, evanb. In fact I pointed out toward Orly (ORY) that has now merged its S and W terminals into a single concourse, with added airlines many of which offers services to Africa. This is where SAA could get a slot and enter partnership code sharing with non Star Alliance members such as Royal Air Maroc. If Lufthansa does not strong arm SAA once again.
Paris is the top tourism destination in the world, and Orly is a quick ride into Paris (20 min by city bus, not to mention fast rail, Orly Bus etc). Why SAns who want to go to France have to transit via Frankfurt, with its interminable walkways, lengthy queues, throngs of people (unless you are dual national and hold a EU passport), or Munich (which adds considerable time to travel although the terminal itself is relatively pleasant ... but who travels to enjoy terminals?) or London with horrendous airport taxes and bad connections into, yet again CDG mainly; or have to boil in Summer in the glass house of general lounge at CDG, or be parked away in the subterranean and substandard Lufthansa business or senator lounges at CDG1 before flying back home, is beyond comprehension. Guy Leitch, I think, did run a story a while back on what bad idea it was not to have joined another alliance than Star, or not negotiated harder with Lufthansa. Com to think: "SAA beings Africa to the World", but not to Paris, danke sehr! . LOL.

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