Desert Airways News

#1

Good evening everybody,

As some of you may or may not remember, I used to run an airline on Croydon called Desert Airways which stopped operating a year and a half ago. Having taken a long break from AS, I am finally back with Desert Airways… again but this time on Tempelhof in South Africa. This will be the first of hopefully many press releases covering the development of Desert Airways.

Background
With the folding of the previous national carrier, South Africa was suddenly left without an airline. Desert Airways quickly pounced upon the opportunity to fill this gap.

The Hub - Johannesburg International
Being the capital and largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg was the perfect place to set up base for the new airline. The city is the economic centre of the country, being located in the mineral-rich Witwatesrand hill range. Johannesburg is also a rapidly growing city with almost 5 million people living within its boundaries.

Desert Airways - Goals

  • Link every airport to our hubs.

  • Open a second hub in Durban

  • Expand our fleet to over 100 planes.

  • Become one of the largest airlines in Africa

  • Begin flights to Europe and the Middle East

Desert Airways - Fleet
After long consideration over what type of plane should be used, the executive board decided upon the Embraer E-Jet Series as the backbone of the fleet. The company originally settled on 2 Embraer 190’s, 3 Embraer 175’s and 6 Embraer 170’s. However, demand was so great that the company had to expand its fleet to accommodate this: 5 Embraer 170’s (one LR variant used to expand into Central Africa and the Indian Ocean), 2 Embraer 190’s and a 737-700.

Destinations
Currently, Desert Airways serves 24 destinations from its hub in Johannesburg, the majority of these being domestic services. However, several international services are in operation:
JNB-HRE
JNB-LVI
JNB-TNR
JNB-FIH
JNB-MPM
JNB-GBE
JNB-WDH
JNB-MUB
JNB-BEW
JNB-MRU
JNB-UEL

Here is a route map of our services (EDIT: Just realised I missed out Livingstone from the route map :stuck_out_tongue:):

Desert Airways - Logo
Previously, I had an incredible logo created by DanielL, which you can find on my previous press conferences on the Croydon forums. However, this time around I wanted to attempt to create a logo for myself, which would be more suited to the South African setting (featuring a Springbok (kind of)):

logo

Thank you for attending the first Desert Airways news conference! Leave any questions below and I will answer them promptly! An update should follow in 2 weeks to one months time.

Billy, CEO of Desert Airways

4 Likes
#2

Welcome back :slight_smile:

Love the new look - very elegant !

Checked out your older posts on Croydon - must say I hope your relaunch includes the couscous salad !

Best of luck

1 Like
#3

How did you make the route map? Some app or website?

#4

Go to www.gcmap.com - you can make plenty of maps there, quite useful for AS.

1 Like
#5

Yep as Spezialist said, GC Map is the tool I used and I switched to the blue marble setting as I thought it looked a bit more professional.

#6

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Hello everybody,

Its been a massive week for Desert Airways, and for South Africa as a whole. We have welcomed two new competitors to the South African scene, with Zulu Airways, based in Cape Town, beginning operations early last week and Wings of South Africa, also based in Cape Town, starting a day after Zulu. Desert Airways welcomes these competitors to the South African scene and looks forward to a friendly rivalry in the coming.

Fleet Expansion
The Desert Airways fleet has doubled in size since last week’s post, expanding to 31 planes as of the time of writing. Our fleet now consists of:
2x 737-700BGW
5x 737-700HGW
12x EMB 170
3x EMB 170LR
4x EMB 175
1x EMB 175LR
4x EMB 190

The decision to expand the Boeing fleet was as a result of high domestic demand, mostly between Cape Town and Johannesburg. The Boeing aircraft are serving us well and remain in top condition despite their age! In the future, we hope to modernize our fleet to have an average fleet age under 5 years old, but currently our loyal passengers are happy with all the planes that we fly.

Route Network
As a result of our fleet expansion several new destinations have been added to the network, as well as a reorganization of our hubs and focus cities. The destinations we have added to our vast route network in the past week include Lusaka, Ndola, Sun City, Victoria Falls and Johannesburg Lanseria (flights operated from CPT and DUR). However, the most exciting destination(s) to be added to our route map was our new flight to Lagos via Brazzaville. This flight will help connect passengers from the West and South sides of the continent without having to go through onerous connections in other inconvenient parts of Africa. Brazzaville has become a focus city for our airline (despite only serving the route from Lagos to Johannesburg) and we hope this airport can be a stepping stone for future routes in the West African region. The short connection time of only 45 minutes makes this airport a perfect stopover for every passenger! Brazzaville allows us to reach destinations otherwise unreachable with our small Embraer 170LR’s and so the airport is in perfect location for us too.

Our hubs (green on map) are:

Johannesburg International: 667 dep/week
Cape Town: 265 dep/week
Durban King Shaka International: 184 dep/week

Focus Cities (yellow on map):

Port Elizabeth: 61 dep/week
Brazzaville: 14 dep/week

Here is our updated route map (forgive the location names overlapping each other, our network has become quite extensive!):

Partners
Desert Airways has formed partnerships with three airlines who all help improve the connectivity for our passengers in Johannesburg International.
Persian Sky, the Near East’s favorite airline, provides valuable flights from Johannesburg into their hubs in Shiraz and Tehran, allowing passengers from all over South Africa to connect onto flights to Europe and beyond.
Dash Indonesia Airways, the largest and most successful airline Indonesia has ever seen, has landed in Johannesburg with a sparkling new Airbus A350-900, offering passengers unrivaled comfort to connect onto further Asian destinations from their hub in Medan.
Our newest partner is the Ethiopian start-up, Amharia, who like Desert Airways, aim to offer passengers brilliant connectivity in their corner of Africa. From their hub in Addis Ababa, passengers can connect onto flights into Europe and beyond.

All interlining offers are accepted as long as we are your ONLY partner in South Africa!

That concludes today’s press conference, next week we will give further updates on our expansion on our route network whilst showcasing our new business class product, Springbok Class.

Billy, CEO of Desert Airways

2 Likes
#7

Awesome news posts, Billy. Love it.

I’d have some more relatively young 737BGWs on lease offer. Just in case you’re interested. :wink:

1 Like
#8

Excellent expansion !

#9

A moment of madness. I was doing a check on my airline, and I must have entered autopilot mode, as i think i tried to click on settings and tweak something there, but I ended up clicking on the liquidation button and deleting my airline. It sounds stupid and it was, I am so so unbelievably frustrated with myself for doing this.