Growth of passengers at George airport.

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GL
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Re: Growth of passengers at George (and Hoedspruit) airport.

Unread post by GL »

Joker11 wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 1:01 pm
GL wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:39 am Hoedspruit and George are two great examples of what improved air connectivity can do for a region - yet small towns continue to lose their airports.
Would you mind going into details regarding Hoedspruit?
Until to early 90s Hoedspruit was nowhere with airlines (Comair) only serving Phalaborwa and Skukuza. Then FAHS was initially opened by SAX. Then Airlink and CemAir arrived doing FAOR - FAHS and added FACT - FAHS. And the region has boomed. Land prices in the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate have gone up about 500% in 10 years. There is a big housing shortage. Game farms and tourist lodges are booming. Retirement homes are springing up now that a top quality private hospital is opening. And the role of the airlines is key in bringing big spending tourists or work-from-homers.
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by southside »

GL wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 8:43 am
Richard Smit wrote: Thu Nov 23, 2023 1:14 pm
GL wrote: Tue Nov 21, 2023 11:39 am Hoedspruit and George are two great examples of what improved air connectivity can do for a region - yet small towns continue to lose their airports.
I believe it has happened the other way around Guy. The (recent) improved air connectivity has been a result of increased market demand.

There was far more comprehensive air connectivity in and out of George in years gone by (pre 2005). That was whittled down by SAA/SAX over the years as they stumbled, chocked and fumbled their way to where they are today.
Yup - its actually bi-directional causality. A place looks like its growing, so an airline provides a service - which accelerates the growth. It like constructive interference in waveforms.
BTW - this is one of the better reasons for having a state owned airline. The state owned airline can use taxpayers money to pioneer a non-profitable route. As the place grows so the route can become profitable - which is when a private sector carrier muscles in and out-competes the state owned carrier. A good example was 1time moving in on George.
But how does a private company out-compete an SOE on these routes when the SOE doesn’t need to make a profit? We saw this with SAX competing on routes with private companies. SAX just lower their price even though they are making a loss. I am not referring specifically to George with this.

This is not sustainable for a private company who needs profits in the green space to operate the route. As soon as the competition backs out, the SOE has the monopoly again and increases the prices.
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by GL »

Indeed - you need a strong regulator to crack down on predatory pricing.
..... and just today it looks like SAA is engaging in predatory pricing on the Gqeberbha (PE) route.
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by MadMacs »

GL wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 4:17 pm Indeed - you need a strong regulator to crack down on predatory pricing.
..... and just today it looks like SAA is engaging in predatory pricing on the Gqeberbha (PE) route.
This is seasonal.
If in doubt, change it.
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by GL »

MadMacs wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 8:47 pm
GL wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 4:17 pm Indeed - you need a strong regulator to crack down on predatory pricing.
..... and just today it looks like SAA is engaging in predatory pricing on the Gqeberbha (PE) route.
This is seasonal.
But the wrong way round - they should put up the seat prices as seasonal demand increases. Nonetheless I believe the competition commission is reasonably sympathetic to limited loss leaders for marketing purposes.
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by Snitch »

GL wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 4:17 pm Indeed - you need a strong regulator to crack down on predatory pricing.
..... and just today it looks like SAA is engaging in predatory pricing on the Gqeberbha (PE) route.
And letting kids fly for almost free:

https://simpleflying.com/south-african- ... -for-kids/
South African Airways is offering free flights for children throughout December and January, giving families a chance to save on travel expenses.
The promotion is only available for booking until Friday, December 1, so passengers must act quickly to take advantage of the offer.
Families can save over 40% on flights to Durban and Cape Town during the holiday period, with the cost of a child's ticket after tax as low as $8 for a one-way trip.
According to SAA, up to two children aged from 2 to 11 can fly for free when traveling with one or two paying adults to and from Johannesburg OR Tambo (JNB), Durban King Shaka (DUR), and Cape Town International (CPT) airports. This is available for the travel period between December 1, 2023, and January 31, 2024,
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by IKTAV »

Snitch wrote [quote I personally don't think a 747 or A340 would fit.
They had to give an exemption in 2017 to allow George airport A310-300 flight in
[/quote]

I flew the last A340-200 into George (circa 2007.)
Although the runway is shortish the -200 and -300 are fine.
But we couldn’t land the A340-600 there. Not because of the short runway, but because of the fuselage length.
(The landing and takeoff wasn’t the problem. Even with a full payload the aircraft was light, as very little fuel was required for the 1.5 hour flight back to JNB.)

The real problem was taxing. The increased length of the 600 made it impossible to make a 90 degree turn onto, or off the narrow 45 meter wide runway without dragging the main wheels through the grass.
The 747 didn’t have that problem because it has Body Gear Steering.
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by southside »

IKTAV wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 6:50 pm Snitch wrote [quote I personally don't think a 747 or A340 would fit.
They had to give an exemption in 2017 to allow George airport A310-300 flight in
I flew the last A340-200 into George (circa 2007.)
Although the runway is shortish the -200 and -300 are fine.
But we couldn’t land the A340-600 there. Not because of the short runway, but because of the fuselage length.
(The landing and takeoff wasn’t the problem. Even with a full payload the aircraft was light, as very little fuel was required for the 1.5 hour flight back to JNB.)

The real problem was taxing. The increased length of the 600 made it impossible to make a 90 degree turn onto, or off the narrow 45 meter wide runway without dragging the main wheels through the grass.
The 747 didn’t have that problem because it has Body Gear Steering.
[/quote]

Interesting comment about Body Gear steering IKTAV.

Do you mean that the main gear can also steer, not just the nose wheel? If that is the case, its very interesting, I did not know that existed.

Or perhaps I am misunderstanding you?
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by IKTAV »

southside wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 10:52 pm
IKTAV wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 6:50 pm Snitch wrote [quote I personally don't think a 747 or A340 would fit.
They had to give an exemption in 2017 to allow George airport A310-300 flight in
I flew the last A340-200 into George (circa 2007.)
Although the runway is shortish the -200 and -300 are fine.
But we couldn’t land the A340-600 there. Not because of the short runway, but because of the fuselage length.
(The landing and takeoff wasn’t the problem. Even with a full payload the aircraft was light, as very little fuel was required for the 1.5 hour flight back to JNB.)

The real problem was taxing. The increased length of the 600 made it impossible to make a 90 degree turn onto, or off the narrow 45 meter wide runway without dragging the main wheels through the grass.
The 747 didn’t have that problem because it has Body Gear Steering.
Interesting comment about Body Gear steering IKTAV.

Do you mean that the main gear can also steer, not just the nose wheel? If that is the case, its very interesting, I did not know that existed.

Or perhaps I am misunderstanding you?
[/quote]

That’s correct Southside. All the 747 variants have Body Gear Steering, selected via a capped switch on the cockpit overhead panel. (This became automatic on the 747-400 and -800.)
The purpose is to make confined taxing and sharp turns easier with less torsional stress on the main gear.

As the nosewheel is deflected to turn into the parking bay the body gear turns in the opposite direction to help bring the entire aircraft around into alignment with the centreline. Thus preventing the aircraft from “cutting the corner.”

The A340-600 doesn’t have this feature, but it does have cameras under the belly and the top of the tail to help taxi very precisely in confined areas. (The -200/300 does not have cameras, as the distance between their main gear and nose wheel is much shorter.)
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by MadMacs »

IKTAV wrote: Sun Dec 03, 2023 7:47 am
southside wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 10:52 pm
IKTAV wrote: Sat Dec 02, 2023 6:50 pm Snitch wrote [quote I personally don't think a 747 or A340 would fit.
They had to give an exemption in 2017 to allow George airport A310-300 flight in
I flew the last A340-200 into George (circa 2007.)
Although the runway is shortish the -200 and -300 are fine.
But we couldn’t land the A340-600 there. Not because of the short runway, but because of the fuselage length.
(The landing and takeoff wasn’t the problem. Even with a full payload the aircraft was light, as very little fuel was required for the 1.5 hour flight back to JNB.)

The real problem was taxing. The increased length of the 600 made it impossible to make a 90 degree turn onto, or off the narrow 45 meter wide runway without dragging the main wheels through the grass.
The 747 didn’t have that problem because it has Body Gear Steering.
Interesting comment about Body Gear steering IKTAV.

Do you mean that the main gear can also steer, not just the nose wheel? If that is the case, its very interesting, I did not know that existed.

Or perhaps I am misunderstanding you?
That’s correct Southside. All the 747 variants have Body Gear Steering, selected via a capped switch on the cockpit overhead panel. (This became automatic on the 747-400 and -800.)
The purpose is to make confined taxing and sharp turns easier with less torsional stress on the main gear.

As the nosewheel is deflected to turn into the parking bay the body gear turns in the opposite direction to help bring the entire aircraft around into alignment with the centreline. Thus preventing the aircraft from “cutting the corner.”

The A340-600 doesn’t have this feature, but it does have cameras under the belly and the top of the tail to help taxi very precisely in confined areas. (The -200/300 does not have cameras, as the distance between their main gear and nose wheel is much shorter.)
[/quote]

Yes the body gear steering allowed tight turns without damaging the tyres. They turn in the opposite direction to the nose gear and I guess the only analogy is to that of a racing car drifting through a corner. The body gear steering actuates after the nosewheel steering has passed through 20 degrees. The body gear can then rotate to a maximum of 13 degs,13 degs is achieved when the nose gear has 70 degs of steering angle.
If in doubt, change it.
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by Snitch »

MadMacs wrote: Sun Dec 03, 2023 11:55 am . They turn in the opposite direction to the nose gear and I guess the only analogy is to that of a racing car drifting through a corner.
Or any of the many Sports or Luxury cars that are now fitted with real wheel steering where they turn in oposite direction to the front wheels at low speeds ( but same at high speeds)


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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by evanb »

Snitch wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:00 pm In the days it was "P W Botha Airport" SAA flew us down in A300's during the peak December time.
Else 737-200
I looked at some old timetables but couldn't find any schedules with the A300 into George, but I did find some nice A300 flights to PE!

1983 OAG has SA 623 CPT-PLZ-DUR 7:00pm 10:15pm Ex Sat Sun and SA 408 JNB-PLZ 6:40pm 8:10pm Fri only!
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Re: Growth of passengers at George airport.

Unread post by Snitch »

evanb wrote: Wed Dec 13, 2023 12:53 pm
Snitch wrote: Fri Nov 24, 2023 9:00 pm In the days it was "P W Botha Airport" SAA flew us down in A300's during the peak December time.
Else 737-200
I looked at some old timetables but couldn't find any schedules with the A300 into George, but I did find some nice A300 flights to PE!

1983 OAG has SA 623 CPT-PLZ-DUR 7:00pm 10:15pm Ex Sat Sun and SA 408 JNB-PLZ 6:40pm 8:10pm Fri only!
Don't think they were on the normal schedule but were substitute on during the very peak December period for some flights.

Flew on 3 of them, twice George-JHB once JHB-George
Would have been in the 1990's
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