South Africa’s CemAir (5Z, Johannesburg O.R. Tambo) launches its first own international schedules with the commencement of weekly commercial flights between Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and Luanda, Angola, on March 23, 2021, confirmed Chief Executive Officer Miles van der Molen.

Flights will depart OR Tambo International Airport at 0800L (0600Z) and arrive at Luanda’s Quatro de Fevereiro International Airport at 1100L (0900Z), using CemAir's sole owned 90-seat CRJ900ER, ZS-CMP (msn 15079).

“The introduction of the flight was made possible following the relaxation of COVID travel restrictions by the Angolan government. The current level of restrictions allows for one flight per week by CemAir on the route. Further flights will be added once restrictions are relaxed,” he said.

Meanwhile, CemAir last week received designation to start flights to Gaborone, Botswana, Van der Molen informed ch-aviation. “We just need a Foreign Operator’s Permit for Botswana, and we will be good to go. We are also designated by Mozambique and are awaiting the FOP before we start flights to Maputo.” The airline has applied for daily services to Maputo in code-share with LAM - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (TM, Maputo).

He said CemAir expects to receive Zambian designation this week after having been granted route rights to Lusaka and Ndola. It started code-sharing and interlining with Proflight Zambia (P0, Lusaka) on March 1, 2021, on the Zambian carrier’s services between Johannesburg and Lusaka, as well as on domestic services from Lusaka to Ndola, Livingstone, Mfuwe, and Solwezi.

As previously reported, CemAir has also received route rights to operate to Lagos, Nigeria and intends to add larger gauge aircraft to its fleet this year. Van der Molen said the carrier was still finalising its options in this regard. It has expressed interest in three A319-100s (formerly leased from Castlelake by South African Airways) but is also considering B737-700s as an alternative.

Meanwhile, Van der Molen confirmed CemAir’s DHC-8-Q400 ZS-DHG (msn 4105) was back in Johannesburg after its wet-lease to Cameroon's Camair-Co (QC, Douala) was terminated, while its second DHC-8-Q400 ZS-DHD (msn 4103) is currently being wet-leased to LAM on a month-to-month contract.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, CemAir currently operates one CRJ100ER, two CRJ100LRs, one CRJ200ER, one CRJ200LR, one CRJ900ER, one DHC-8-100, two DHC-8-Q300s, and the two DHC-8-Q400s. It also operates Beech 1900Ds.