Did you know that it is possible to relocate sharks across the globe by aeroplane?
FlySafair may seem like just another new low-cost airline flying you around our beautiful country. But, born from Africa’s largest specialised charter company, Safair, it is part of a 50 year heritage of safe, reliable and adventurous aviation. Adventures around the world include:
– Landing on ice in Antarctica
– Relocating rhino and other threatened species
– Humanitarian relief and food drops in East Africa
– Helping to clean up oil-spills
– Transporting cars to the Dakar rally
– Shipwreck search and rescue
– Flying dignitaries and delegations across Africa since 1965, including Clive Rice and the cricket team for their first tour after Apartheid.
You can imagine that operating an average flight from Cape Town International to O.R. Tambo in a 737-400 is just another day in the office for pilots and crew that have successfully transported hammerhead sharks from Thailand to Singapore in four massive aquariums. In a landmark conservation effort, the sharks were loaded onto one of Safair’s six Lockheed 100-30 Hercules planes with specialist aviation and veterinary crew. Factors including the compensating weight of the water, and securing the right temperature and pressurisation for the sharks had to be meticulously calculated.
You can imagine that operating an average flight from Cape Town International to O.R. Tambo in a 737-400 is just another day in the office for pilots and crew that have successfully transported hammerhead sharks from Thailand to Singapore
Safair originated when South African Marine Corporation (Safmarine) purchased Tropair in 1965, and while the company has operated a great many aircraft, it is best known for its fleet of Lockheed Hercules 100-30 planes, currently the largest fleet in the world. Yes, they are those giant fat propeller-based planes that you see in the movies like A-team.
“They are incredibly versatile with four propeller engines and a drop down tail. We also engineered a unique drop-down lever system to operate the food drops,” says Kirby Gordon, Vice President of Sales and Distribution for FlySafair. The company became known in the seventies for its innovation, with the design and manufacture of unique aviation products like the drop-down lever. Safair currently has stations in Naiorobi and Entebbe to operate food relief missions in Northern Africa.
“Safair has set the standard for airline service in Africa with a team of highly qualified personnel across a wide range of commercial aircraft having serviced the needs of more than 40 different airlines and operators in Africa.”
We have been fundamental players in starting more than three popular consumer airlines
In fact, if you’re a semi-regular flyer you’ve most likely flown on a Safair plane before. The company has a long tradition of leasing and operating commercial passenger planes to our domestic market. “We have been fundamental players in starting more than three popular consumer airlines,” says Kirby. Safair has maintenance bases at all major airports in South Africa and service agreements with several domestic airlines.