FlightAware Discussions

South African Airways and North America

Congratulations to South African Airways- with the acquisition of their new A350s. With A350’s increased range, there is now more scope for their B738 and A330 to fly to new destinations. Interestingly enough, there appears to be a weak link between United States and former French colonies of Africa. Do you think there are enough of African American population in the following cities to warrant a 2 weekly routings between United States and the Mid-African countries? I want to know what you think. It’s fine to disagree, however, what alternative routings can you suggest?

Just thinking out the box…


I doubt the A350 could fly nonstop from JNB to ATL with a full passenger load, especially if the OAT at JNB is above 25 degrees C.

JNB’s field elevation is 5558 ft.

So what you are saying, technically A350 is still a useless aircraft for South African Airways?

Delta fly the B77L on the JNB-ATL route. The Great Circle Distance between the 2 cities is approximately 13,600km. The B77L has a maximum range of approx 15,800km, while the A359 has a range of approx 15,000km. The SAA A350 will initially fly the JNB-JFK route, which is around 12,800km (some 800km less than JNB-ATL). That said, I am sure the A359 could be used on the JNB-ATL route.

When the temperatures are high at JNB, the A359 will need to make an enroute fuel stop at SJU, LOS, or ACC, if it’s going to carry a full passenger load and baggage to fly JNB-ATL. Even more so if a weather alternate is required at the destination. Winds at flight level haven’t even been taken into consideration and almost assuredly will be headwinds for the westbound leg.

Something has to give. Either payload or fuel load to meet engine out takeoff/climb gross weight performance for JNB.


BTW, Delta gave up on the idea of operating the A359 between LAX and SYD.

I hear you. Long Haul heavy flights out of FAOR usually depart late, when it is typically cooler. The Delta DL201 to Atlanta departs at 9pm, usually arriving there around 7am. SAA could even conceivably use the A359 on the CPT (FACT) to Atlanta route. Slightly shorter, much cooler, and sea level. Just my thoughts.

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I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Delta uses “Bump Thrust” & APU to Pack for takeoff out of JNB.



I assume RR has a similar thrust setting available for their Trent engines.

British Airways uses the A388 and Lufthansa uses B748 to JNB. I can only assume with such beastly craft, their purpose is to be passenger heavy?

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I take that airlines can install one- who knows maybe SAA has already one installed.

I believe it’s accomplished in the FADEC’s firmware.

SAA Newsroom:


@Natalie5144 - is there any specific reason you copy and pasted my comment from a few weeks ago? I’m just curious.

It’s a spambot. Modus operandi seems to be to copy some previous comment in an old topic so it looks vaguely relevant, then a while later edit the post to include a spam link.

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Thanks for the info. I’ll keep a mental note for the future.

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Just incidentally and for info, SAA have now recently received their third new A359. It was delivered Sat 23 Nov. They are still waiting for one more delivery this year. Just thought I’d share that.