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 Post subject: Re: National flights to and from Skukuza
Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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The private reserves guests made up the largest proportion of traffic through Skukuza .
A strip was built in Sabi sand close to Mala Mala - if I recall SanParks was unhappy with the impact of the traffic , so why it is being reconsidered is beyond my understanding .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: National flights to and from Skukuza
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:14 pm 
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ndloti wrote:
so why it is being reconsidered is beyond my understanding .
It is most certainly not beyond my understanding. Closing Skukuza to scheduled commercial flights and thus forcing them to move to the biggest White Elephant in all of Africa (KMIA) is one of the dumber things SANParks have done.

I used to fly in and out of Skukuza all the time (so often that I got to know the pilots and could fly in the cockpit jump seat), it was very convenient, much more so than Eastgate (Hoedspruit), Phalaborwa and the old Nelspruit, all of which I used occasionally. I've also flown from Skukuza via Londolozi to Mala Mala. Actually had to fly back to Skukuza because I'd left my binoculars in the car. That cost me R47 in landing fees.

Although scheduled flights were banned, they still allowed (and allow, as far as I know) "scheduled charters". A bit of a loophole, but convenient if you are staying at, say, Rhino Post or Plains Camp. Federal Air will fly you straight in from ORTIA. I've taken those flights quite a few times too, but it only works if you have a reservation for one of the private lodges in the KNP proper.

Johan


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 Post subject: Re: National flights to and from Skukuza
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:24 pm 
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Dabchick wrote:
I think no. Not without major upgrading of the landing strip, which is probably too short and not able to handle heavy, wide-body, "Boeing-sized" planes. More likely the SA Airlink type of aircraft (Jetstream I think), which can only carry about 30 passengers, will fly the route.
Skukuza's runway is 1,550 x 30 m. That's long enough for a Boeing 738 to land, but not to depart again at maximum takeoff weight. (A 738 is not a widebody, by the way).

Airlink (no longer called SA Airlink) used to serve the old Nelspruit (NLP) with J41s. The runway there was 900 m long, and ended in a precipice. A bit on the tricky side, the airline's pilots had to be specially qualified to operate to that airport. Landing required touching down right on the threshold, and then immediately slamming on the brakes and the slamming props into reverse. Quite fun.

Johan


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 Post subject: SANParks announces successful operator for Skukuza Airport
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:28 pm 
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The South African National Parks (SANParks) has today announced the appointment of a preferred operator for the Skukuza Airport in the iconic Kruger National Park.

SANParks, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. David Mabunda said the successful bid was submitted by the Skukuza Airport Management Company (Pty) Ltd jointly owned by Lion Sands, Federal Air and Airlink. The consortium will sign a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with SANParks for a period of ten years.

The announcement follows a lengthy process of technical evaluation and adjudication of bids submitted in response to a Request for Proposals issued in April 2013.

According to Dr. Mabunda this development will benefit SANParks’ long haul clients and those from major centers who will no longer be subjected to a two hour drive from Nelspruit to the Kruger National Park. “We are reliving a tradition that started in 1959 to enhance visitor convenience and experience and we are looking forward to working with our new partners in taking the business of managing national parks assets to another level.”

In reacting to the announcement, Robert More, Lion Sands Co-founder and CEO said it is an absolute privilege to be involved in this venture. “Our lodges are all in close proximity to Skukuza and our customers will benefit significantly from re-opening the Skukuza airport to scheduled air services”.

Carl Trieloff, Commercial Director of Special Projects at Fed Air added, “We are proud to be part of the consortium behind the winning bid. We are looking forward to providing visitors the opportunity to experience a high quality affordable bushveld experience”.

Rodger Foster, Airlink’s CEO responded by saying his company is delighted to be in the consortium and looking forward to delivering scheduled air services to Skukuza, and access to all lodges within the Skukuza precinct. This is going to make travelling to the Kruger National Park simpler and affordable.

Skukuza Airport Management Company will be given access to the Skukuza airport facility from 1 September 2013, in order to commence with the alterations and improvements essential to bringing the airport to the international standard, which will include rehabilitation of the runway.

It is envisaged that the airport upgrades should be substantially completed by 1 November 2013 to achieve the necessary licensing by the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA). It is anticipated that the licensing process will be completed before the first quarter of 2014 with scheduled flights set to commence in March 2014.

In conclusion, Dr. Mabunda said, SANParks was highly impressed with the successful bidder’s operational plan for the airport and its associated air services. “This included a comprehensive environmental management plan to limit the noise impact of operations overarching minimized environmental impact philosophy.”

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Tel: 012 426 5065

Enquiries:
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
SANParks General Manager: PR, Media and Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 012 426 5203 cell: 073 373 4999
Email: rey.thakhuli@sanparks.org

or

Annemi van Jaarsveld
SANParks General Manager: Business Development
Tel:012 426 5027; Cell: 082888145
Email: annemi.vanjaarsveld@sanparks.org

or

Rob More
Lion Sands Co-Founder CEO
Tel: 011 880 9992
Email: Robert@morehotels.co.za

or

Karin Murray
Airlink
Tel: 011 451 7300
Email: karinmurray@flyairlink.com

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Lesego Nko
Web forum and Online Stakeholder Relations
Lesego.nko@sanparks.org
Tel: (012) 426 5202


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 Post subject: Re: SANParks announces successful operator for Skukuza Airpo
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Will only private charters be flying in?

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 Post subject: Re: SANParks announces successful operator for Skukuza Airpo
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Lesego wrote:

Rodger Foster, Airlink’s CEO responded by saying his company is delighted to be in the consortium and looking forward to delivering scheduled air services to Skukuza, and access to all lodges within the Skukuza precinct. This is going to make travelling to the Kruger National Park simpler and affordable.



It mentions scheduled trips so think it will be for both.


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 Post subject: Re: SANParks announces successful operator for Skukuza Airpo
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:12 am 
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Here is an answer to your question Stark: Direct Kruger flights to launch

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 Post subject: Re: SANParks announces successful operator for Skukuza Airpo
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Thanks DB. :)

If done right, this could be a good benefit for SANParks and for far-flung travelers and the private reserve crowd. (The Starks are guilty on both counts)

We'd certainly take advantage of flying into the park as opposed to one of the outlying airports. Buy our supplies at Skukuza, stay the first night in SA in the park, rent our car there, and not have to rush to the airport on our last day. I'm sure it will make SANParks travels to and from the park for business far easier as well.

I do understand the concern for noise pollution, but twice-daily flights on what will most likely be smaller planes (if they're anything like the ones flying into Nelspruit) shouldn't be that bad, IMO. It sounds like it is also using current facilities that are just being fixed up so environmental impact should be small.

I hope the winning bidder utilizes the local communities to build jobs.

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Last edited by Stark on Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SANParks announces successful operator for Skukuza Airpo
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:30 pm 
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Hugh............the 30 seater Airlink turbo props fly from Joburg to Phala, and are not very noisy. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:30 pm 
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There are some details about the Skukuza Airport included in today's media release.

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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:03 pm 
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We flew Airlink into/out off Nelspruit/Kruger airport a couple of weeks ago. The Airlink magazine on board mentioned once daily from Joburg & Durban and twice daily flights from Capetown starting up. I priced a random date return Jo'burg flight next year online and it was R3280, not quite double the cheapest to MPQ.

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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:08 am 
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We are looking at flying into Skukuza Airport in August next year. Silly question but how do you then get to Skukuza camp? I am assuming there is some sort of shuttle service? My other concern is the timing as we will be arriving on a Saturday at 10.50am and the Avis people finish 12pm. I am tempted just to fly into KMIA and get a car from there.
From an international tourist point of view being able to get off a plane at JB and onto another to fly straight to Kruger is a good thing. I have been to SA a couple of times before and driven all over the place but this time I just wanted to take the more relaxing option.


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:47 pm 
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I suspect that Avis will have your vehicle available at the airport. The airport is but four or so km from the main entrance and the airport will be a good source of business for Avis with self drive guests flying in.

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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:53 pm 
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I would like to think that will be more than one car hire option available, besides Avis, and if there are a number of flights each day, their car hire hours would surely increase to accommodate arrivals.
Lets wait and see.


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:33 pm 
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I think Avis has a monopoly on in-park car rentals. :(

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