Tag Archives: Cape Town International

Swiss Air Ambulance Challager 650 Lands at Cape Town International Airport

A lone Swiss Air Ambulance Challager 650 landed at Cape Town International Airport yesterday. The reason is not yet known but some sources indicating a possible medical evacuation of a Swiss National with possible COVID-19 symptoms!

Swiss Air-Rescue is a private, non-profit air rescue service that provides emergency medical assistance in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Rega was established on 27 April 1952 by Dr Rudolf Bucher, who believed the Swiss rescue organization needed a specialized air sub-secti.

The Challenger 650 is the updated version of the Challenger 605. The Challenger 650 features 2 additional executive seats to accommodate up to 12 passengers, upgraded engines offering a higher thrust rate to reduce takeoff field length, and larger appliances in the galley to assist with faster meal preparation.

Hundreds of Swiss travellers remain blocked abroad due to Covid-19 restrictions and cancelled flights. Travel operators and the foreign ministry are working to find ways to get them home. 

“We still have several hundred clients abroad who want to get back to Switzerland. We’re doing our best to find flights for them,” Bianca Gähweiler of Hotelplan Suisse told the Keystone-SDA news agency on Wednesday. 

The travel agent is scrambling to find solutions for clients in locations such as Morocco, South Africa, and Ukraine, where travel bans are in place for people from Switzerland. 

The foreign ministry, meanwhile, has called on Swiss travelling abroad to try to return as soon as possible due to the pandemic, but has reiterated that the costs of flights and other expenses must be borne by individuals. There is no legal basis for an organised repatriation. 

SAA A350

SAA A350’s soon to be seen at OR Thambo International as well as Cape Town International!

In August 2014 Airbus sent their newly built A350-900, F-WWYB, to Johannesburg for some testing. She arrived on Friday evening 2 August 2014 (A350 XWB Route proving Tour Trip 3 from TLS to JHB with flight number AIB301 which took 9h35mins) and departed on Monday morning 4 August 2014 (A350 XWB Route proving Tour Trip 3 form JHB to SYD with flight number AIB303 which took 21h1min). During her visit here, high altitude auto landing trials (with flight number AIB302 which took 3h14mins) were performed on RWY 03L and 03R on Saturday 3 August 2014. There was huge excitement among plane spotters and the aviation community in general as everyone could picture and A350 in an SAA (South African Airways) livery.

The reality at that stage was that we would not see any A350 in SAA livery any time soon. That all changed a few months back when there were rumours that SAA might be leasing two. Again the excitement picked up and when the news broke during early July 2019, the wait for their arrival could not be soon enough.

So why did why did SAA opt for the two A350’s? SAA want to replace its 4-engine operated aircraft with 2-engine operated new technology aircraft. The A350s are such 2-engine new technology aircraft, capable of flying the Ultra-long New York route. The lease is for 3 years and when we asked SAA if we can expect more than two A350’s, we were told that “This is a possibility we cannot rule out”.

All this is good news and you may be asking yourself: when will they arrive? Where will I be able to spot/see or maybe even fly the SAA A350? We will be able to see them arrive during October 2019 and are likely to be seen at OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport and if you are to fly domestic, you may end up in an A350 while in the beginning of their operations when the A350’s are being introduced into service.

Now all the technical stuff:

Registration: ZS-SDC

Serial number: 226

Aircraft Type: A350-941

Engine Type: 2 x RR Trent XWB-84

Test Registration: F-WZFG

Production Site: Toulouse, France (TLS)

Age of Aircraft: 1 y 1 m (Jul 2018)

Current registration: B-304Z

Currently with: Hainan Airlines

Will be leased from: Avolon Aerospace

Registration: ZS-SDD

Serial number: 245

Aircraft Type: A350-941

Engine Type: 2 x RR Trent XWB-84

Test Registration: F-WZNX

Production Site: Toulouse, France (TLS)

Age of Aircraft: 0 y 11 m (Oct 2018)

Current registration: B-305A

Currently with: Hainan Airlines

Will be leased from: Avolon Aerospace

Dimensions:

Overall length: 66.80m

Cabin length: 51.04m

Fuselage width: 5.96m

Max cabin width: 5.61m

Wing span (geometric): 64.75m

Height: 17.05m

Track: 10.60m

Wheelbase: 28.66m

Capacity:

Typical seating 3-class: 300-350

Cargo capacity underfloor (LD3): 36

Max pallet number underfloor: 11

Performance:

Range: 15 000km

Mmo: M0.89

Max ramp weight: 280.90 tonnes

Max take-off weight: 280.00 tonnes

Max landing weight: 207.00 tonnes

Max zero fuel weight: 195.70 tonnes

Max fuel capacity: 141 000 litres

Take-off (MTOW, SL, ISA): 2 600 m (8 500 ft.)

Landing (MLW, SL, ISA): 2 000 m (6 600 ft.)

Service ceiling: 13 100 m (43 100 ft.)

First flight: 14 June 2013

Introduction: 15 January 2015 with Qatar Airways

We cannot wait for their arrival and spotting them at either OR Tambo International Airport or Cape Town International Airport!

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