At the moment, BA seem to be using the 777 mainly on the Cape Town run (BA056L), although last week there was a -400 on the run. I think that in season, you can expect -400s all through, and out of season a -400 to JNB, and 777 to CPT.
A friend has just booked from CPT to LHR and I see that the 0042 in November is a daylight.
If this is a change throughout the CPT summer timetable, this indicates that BA have decided to treat CPT as a tourist destination and turn the machine in the normal long haul time. At JNB, as we all know, BA sit on the ground for nearly 12 hours, the cost of which lands up on our tickets. VS and the other first rank European carriers follow suit.
SN (as was) turned immediately and did a daylight return. If memory serves, SR did a daylight outbound from Zurich and a night return? But I never used that service.
For CPT, VS have always done the immediate turn and a daylight return to improve a/c utilisation. I deliberately used this three years ago, so that I could see the Sahara again from Fl 370 and very fine it was. Many moons ago, BOAC had some daylights in VC10 days but these fell away with the dominance of C-class passengers not wanting to lose the time.
It is a problem only found in the major North/South routes, such as Europe to South Africa, N/S America and some Japan/HKG to Oz and NZ.
As to this thread topic ... the 0042 is marked as being a 744.
Long Haul daylight flights have always been a commercial problem , not just north -south /south- north, but east-west as well when an overnight option exists. The loss of a day severely affects the high yield business traffic, so they will almost invariably be less profitable than the overnights. However the cost of staying on the ground for 12 hours plus is also high and that is the counterbalancing calculation. So far though on S Africa- UK, and HKG , SIN, KUL and BKK to Europe the vast majority of schedules are still overnight although CX have now followed LH with a daylight ex HKG. TYO and SEL to Europe because of their shorter flight time have to be daylight and do well because there is no overnight alternative. Gulf- Europe daylights do well because high yield Arab passengers generally prefer to avpid overnight travel. BA have spasmodically tried Far East- London daylights ever since the Comets in the 60s but never with any great success,- possibly because they have never persevered long enough for the services to build their own markets.
Thanks skylion, it has always been an irritation on the UK/ZA run. When I go to the far east from London, it doesn't make a great deal of difference as the time zones will make a mockery of any day or night start. I find the late evening departure, with a short night followed by a long day with landing at about 18:00 local (HKG) as very reasonable.
If I am in Y, then I prefer daylights, as I don't have to try and sleep - not to mention enjoying the view. If I have the time, I will use a daylight from the US back to the UK. For example, JFK at 09:00 will get to LHR at 21:00 and then home to bed after a nice day at Fl360!
Of course, if I am in C, I don't mind over-nighting on board!
BA do 10 flights a week LHR-CPT-LHR for part of the northern winter, the daily flight is a night flight both ways and the 3 extra flights are turned around and do a daylight flight back to LHR. It does seem inefficient to have 3 747's (1 in CPT and 2 in JNB) spending the day on the ground in SA but the pax like night flights! Virgin have only done daylight flights north bound out of CPT I believe.