Sobelair stops flights to Johannesburg

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Sobelair stops flights to Johannesburg

Post by sn26567 » 04 Jun 2003, 16:53

The board of Sobelair decided yesterday to put an end on the remaining flights to JNB. The company lost 2 million € in this venture and must reimburse a further half million € to passengers who have booked flights at a later date.

The board was also satisfied with the progress in the negotiations with DSF on a reduction of the leasing cost of two B767s. When this is completed, Aldo Vastapane will re-inject 4 to 5 million € into his airline, opening the way for new negotiations with SN Air Holding.

The latter will only be successful if Sobelair staff accept a reduction in salary of about 15%. This might not be the most easy hurdle to jump before a co-operation between our two national airlines.
Last edited by sn26567 on 04 Jun 2003, 17:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by liebensd » 04 Jun 2003, 16:56

What will happen with the aircraft that was serving the Brussels Johannesburg route?

Greetz,

Dave

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Post by Skystef » 04 Jun 2003, 17:47

Hi,

finaly a wise decision by the "management" of SLR.
The last couple of years flights BRU-JNB-BRU have been a lost making post, Sabena lost a lot of money on it, and SAA wisely decided to stop flights back in 1993.
Vastapane was proud on "the air route to his backyard" in South Africa, but things do not work like that in this high competitive sector. Very wisely he recognised the mistake, now lets hope the best for SLR now.

People travel as cheap as possible so there are a lot of classic alternatives around BRU to start the voyage to JNB, like AMS, FRA, LHR etc, etc.

The Nationwide flights are perhaps a nice alternative, but those rumours circulate for years and looks to me nothing more than a "castle in the air".... :(

SkyStef

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Post by luchtzak » 04 Jun 2003, 22:27

For information: Sobelair will discontinue the flights as from the 30th of Juin. Too bad because one of my holidays was in Cape Town a few years ago. I travelled with Sabena from Brussels to Johannesburg and then further with Nationwide from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Anyway like Skystef said it is not economical to continue a flight with 2 millions € per month loss.

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Sad to hear that!!!

Post by Fluglotse2000 » 05 Jun 2003, 14:36

It is sad to hear that Sobelair stops its flights to JHB, because I expected to see them in July. But it is really not the best idea to start flights from Brussels to Johannesburg, when passengers can get faster around Europe by using FRA, LHR or Amsterdam...

Keep well,

Felix

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Re: Sad to hear that!!!

Post by sn26567 » 05 Jun 2003, 14:41

Fluglotse2000 wrote:But it is really not the best idea to start flights from Brussels to Johannesburg, when passengers can get faster around Europe by using FRA, LHR or Amsterdam...
Felix,

Why should a passenger go faster through FRA, LHR or AMS than through BRU? The minimum connecting times are the same everywhere (45 min), except in LHR where they are longer because of the changes of terminals (1 hr 15 min).
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Post by sn26567 » 13 Jun 2003, 13:26

The last SLR flight (Q7 701) will leave Brussels on 30 June and return from Johannesburg on 1 July (Q7 702).

Sobelair has just announced the conditions for an exchange or refund of tickets. Holders of a ticket issued before 7 June can exchange their ticket against a KLM ticket by paying a service fee of 35 € (one way) or 55 € (return).

Passengers without a ticket booked for a flight after 30 June (to JNB)/1 July (from JNB) up to 31 August can rebook on KLM at the SLR price by paying a service fee of 35 € (one way) or 55 € (return). After 1 September, the regular KLM fare will apply.

Incidentally, SLR will soon start charter flights to Zanzibar.
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Same old Swiss tactics again?

Post by sn26567 » 17 Jun 2003, 09:42

SLR stops fligts to JNB. Immediately SWISS grabs the opportunity and offers return flights via ZRH at 484 €.

Two years ago, it was already Swissair that compelled Sabena to stop its flights to JNB, in order to fill up its own planes. :evil:
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Post by meerkat » 17 Jun 2003, 10:02

To paraphrase - "All's fair in love, war and the airline business"

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Post by SLR001 » 19 Jun 2003, 15:44

Hello ,

To answer one of your questions , the Sobelair plane who was assigned on the JNB route is still flying on a few destinations such as TFS , RHO and many others ... no plane is really assigned to a specific destination.

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Post by sn26567 » 19 Jun 2003, 17:41

SLR001 wrote:To answer one of your questions , the Sobelair plane who was assigned on the JNB route is still flying on a few destinations such as TFS , RHO and many others ... no plane is really assigned to a specific destination.
Not even the one painted in DCA colours? :?:
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Post by SLR001 » 19 Jun 2003, 17:45

Yes this one mostly flies to TNCC but the others not

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Post by OO-VEX » 02 Jul 2003, 23:56

As Sobelair has to reduce capacity after the summer season, i think that they will not need OO-IHV to destinations like TFS and RHO.

But i would like to have your opinion about this idea:
when an agreement between SLR and SNBA (or SN Air Holding) is reeched, SNBA could use the plane to start operations to New York JFK, this will give SNBA finally a link with NYC and if they code-share the flight from the beginning with AA, this route should have a good load factor i think, those flights will bring more passengers on other flights connecting from BRU and beyond NYC. This is also a good solution for SLR as they can still operate the plane and they have a customer, otherwise if SLR and SNBA have an agreement, the money transfer from SNBA to SLR will stay in the 'group', which is also a positive argument.
Wouldn't that be cool, a B767-300 in SNBA colors? :D


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Post by sn26567 » 03 Jul 2003, 08:27

I like your idea, OO-VEX. But I don't think it will happen soon. Nobody is making profit over the Atlantic these days. Furthermore, on a prestige route like BRU-JFK, I don't think any airline would use a B767 outfitted mainly for charter flights. SN BA would rather use one of Birdy's A330-300 and send the SLR B767 to Africa (in better times, Sabena was using one SLR B767 on the Dakar route).

Like you I would love to see SN BA fly over the Atlantic again, but today it is only wishful thinking. :(
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Post by sn26567 » 03 Jul 2003, 08:31

Back to the Sobelair JNB topic: it is funny to read in the OAG pocket issue of July that Sobelair is still advertising their direct BRU-JNB flights the very month they are stopped.

But I guess they had long-term advertising contracts :(
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Post by Avro » 03 Jul 2003, 10:48

Why couldn't they stop that advertising campaign?? Because it's a bit silly to advertise for flight that won't be done anymore :?

Chris
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