ExecuJet Africa is based in South Africa at Lanseria International Airport near Johannesburg, but also has a presence at Cape Town International Airport and Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. Both South African locations offer a comprehensive range of services encompassing corporate aircraft charter, maintenance, aircraft management, fixed base operations and full concierge services. The Nigerian facility offers fixed base operations, aircraft maintenance services and charter.
Since 2009 ExecuJet Aviation has been providing a safe, comprehensive aviation service to resource extraction industries seeking business aviation solutions to remote locations throughout Africa.
Whilst the demand for regular air service to remote places has grown considerably in Africa with the discovery of more mineral wealth, the continent’s aviation safety is poorly rated when compared with other continents, and many of Africa’s airlines are considered to be unsafe.
Approximately four percent of the world’s flying occurs in Africa, but the continent accounts for about 38% of the accidents. Whenever there is an accident, there is a disproportionate negative impact on Africa’s aviation image, which affects all operators.
This has encouraged African mining companies to take control of the air movement of their staff to mining sites, through the use of dedicated, private air services. Further to that, the use of chartered aircraft continues to increase as Africa struggles to improve poor road and rail infrastructure.
“Private business aviation in Africa is a necessity rather than a luxury,” says Chris Frost, Business Manager for Flight Operations at ExecuJet.
Ever mindful of the need to reduce operational risk, most mining companies now only procure aviation services from internationally-rated aircraft operators adhering to stringent safety standards.
Aviation safety awareness is particularly important for those companies requiring different aircraft types to fulfil different missions. For example, ExecuJet can supply air service through helicopter, light business jet, 50-seat airliner, intercontinental business jet and air cargo on any one day to the same mine. It is critical that each type is operated to the same safety standards.
Africa has traditionally been treated as a haven for ageing aircraft, many of which may no longer be adequately maintained. This is changing, as African civil aviation authorities realise the need to legislate that aircraft importation be limited to newer, safer technology 15 or 20-year-old aircraft models. The civil aviation authorities in Africa try to mirror the regulatory standards of their European and US counterparts, but most are woefully under-skilled and often issue policy difficult to understand or implement. It can be a difficult environment in which to operate.
Resource extraction companies recognise that safety costs. Whether the cost is incurred pro-actively in the prevention of accidents or retro-actively after an accident has happened, it forms a significant part of an operational budget.
Whilst chartering an aircraft is generally perceived to be more expensive than using airlines, the tangible advantages (travelling direct to site) and intangible advantages (saving time safely) can be shown to be more cost-effective in the long run.
Probably the biggest myth in air charter is that private air travel is only for the ‘rich and famous’. The days of the company aircraft being the ‘Chairman’s Chariot’ are over – there is a definite cost justification for the use of private air travel for those forward-thinking companies or individuals for whom time and safety has value. When a proper, true trip cost comparison between different modes of transport is done (including personnel cost to company, travel risk, nights away, entertainment, connecting flights etc) private air travel often proves the best solution.
With air safety being of such concern to miners, ExecuJet invests millions of rands every year in ongoing crew simulator training, quality and safety systems, and the maintaining of ever-changing regulatory knowledge, to ensure that any flight meets and exceeds the safety standards laid down by a large corporation’s risk management department.
Aviation and mining share similar input cost challenges – aviation is a US dollar-based industry and typically fuel accounts for between 20% and 35% of any flight. Therefore, aviation departments have to manage exchange rate fluctuations and the aviation fuel price.
The priority for operators like ExecuJet is still the highest level of safety, ensuring that regular safety audits are conducted and the necessary accreditations are current. ExecuJet Africa is accredited at international standards and currently holds ISBAO, Wyvern, and Argus Platinum ratings, and recently acquired the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Safety 1st Ground rating.
More About ExecuJet Aviation Group
The ExecuJet Aviation Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and operates in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, embracing a workforce of over 900 experienced staff.
The group manages 160 business jets worldwide under the most stringent safety standards. Its commercial fleet is operated under the regulatory umbrella of seven regional civil aviation-issued air operating certificates. ExecuJet also has many authorised maintenance facilities, certified to work on most business jets, and the group operates 18 world class FBO facilities worldwide.
ExecuJet South Africa is an approved service facility for Bombardier Aerospace and is a Honeywell Engine & Avionics Service Centre. In addition, ExecuJet is an Authorised Gulfstream Warranty Repair Facility, an Authorised Hawker Beechcraft Service Centre, and a Dassault Approved Service Centre, and holds an EASA Part 145 approval. ExecuJet Aviation Nigeria is an approved service facility for Bombardier and Hawker Beechcraft. Further to that, ExecuJet is qualified to work on a large number of business jets and turboprop aircraft, and operates the only authorised Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney test cell facility in Africa.
The ExecuJet Aviation Group has a large inventory of business aircraft to suit all budgets, with an international team of sales directors offering local knowledge and expertise.
Tel: +27 11 516 2300 / +27 82 330 7399
*This story was paid for by client