Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Malaysia Airlines: Cape Town-Buenos Aires, 2010-2011

Of all the routes that Malaysia Airlines has pulled down, such as its Newark-Dubai-Kuala Lumpur and later Newark-Stockholm-Kuala Lumpur B777 service-- and all the cities it has withdrawn from--its list of terminated destinations is long-- none is quite so unusual, and so unfortunate, as the recent end of its Kuala Lumpur-Cape Town-Buenos Aires service. Just a year ago, the airline was offering special fares, priced in rand, for the transatlantic leg of the journey. Now, the airline has completely withdrawn from the South American continent, and without any African destinations outside of Cairo.

Cape Town itself is now without a nonstop connection to South America, although southeast Asia can still be reached with Singapore Airlines's nonstop to Singapore (the inevitable competition of this service may have been a primary factor in Malaysia's withdrawal). Buenos Aires passengers must head eastward to Johannesburg and connect to South African Airways, which also serves Sao Paulo from OR Tambo. Alternatively, Cape Town travelers can reach Brazil via Luanda on TAAG Angolan Airlines, which bridges to both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

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