Textron Aviation begins delivery of 10 Cessna Grand Caravan EX turboprops to support charter service in Botswana
Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, today announced at Dubai Airshow that it is has begun delivery to Tuareg Aviation Ltd for 10 Cessna Grand Caravan EX turboprops. The aircraft will be operated by Mack Air (Pty) Ltd to provide charter, cargo and logistic services between a network of independently owned bush safari lodges in the popular Okavango Delta and Kalahari Plains regions of Botswana. The aircraft will partially replace Mack Air’s current fleet, which currently also includes Grand Caravan turboprops.
“The Caravan platform continues to prove its incredible performance and reliability in challenging environments,” said Lannie O’Bannion, vice president of sales, Africa. “An ideal platform for charter operators like Mack Air, the Caravan offers the performance and impressive cargo capabilities commuter operators desire while providing the comfort and cabin features passengers appreciate.”
“Our business relies on versatile aircraft that not only operate in harsh environments, but also transport our passengers comfortably, along with the necessary cargo required to sustain our clients’ safari lodges,” said Mike Weyl of Mack Air Charter. “The Caravan platform has served us well, and we look forward to enhancing our business with the reliable and modernized fleet of Cessna Grand Caravan EX turboprops.”
Textron Aviation’s South African based channel partner, Absolute Aviation, will provide maintenance support for the new aircraft at a new maintenance facility in Maun, Botswana. Absolute Aviation’s Maun facility is an addition to its existing aircraft parts business established earlier in 2017, and will include a hangar, aircraft engineers and management.
The Cessna Caravan platform has seen more than 2,600 aircraft delivered that are certified in 100 countries with nearly 20 million flight hours amassed worldwide since the aircraft was introduced. Caravans fulfill roles for multiple missions, ranging from flight training to recreation, commuter airlines to VIP transport, cargo carriers and humanitarian missions. The Grand Caravan EX offers an impressive output of 867 horsepower and a rate of climb of 1,275 feet per minute. It was engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, rough runways, while providing single-engine economy and simplicity.