Central African Airways Corporation - 1951
Aviation in Central Africa
Central African Airways Corporation
This Airline, which was created to serve the interests of Central Africa, is one of the younger members of the International Air Transport Association, being "born" on the 1st June, 1946. Its history, however, goes back farther than that.
It was as long ago as 1918 that a company called Air Road Motors, Ltd., was formed, but this does not appear to have been very actively concerned with passenger air transport, as could hardly be wondered at in those days. In 1933, however, after many changes and with the formation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Airways, Ltd., the first real step towards organised air transport within Central Africa was made.
This Company, known to all as RANA, was associated with Imperial Airways. It operated until 1939, when, by agreement, it was taken over by the Southern Rhodesia Government, During the war it operated as a Communications Squadron and maintained essential services in Northern and Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, as well as with neighbouring territories. Its name, meanwhile, had been changed to Southern Rhodesia Air Services.
In June, 1946, the Central African Air Authority and Central African Airways Corporation were established under the joint ownership of the Governments of Southern, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The duties of this new body were immediately obvious. It was to absorb the war-time functions of Southern Rhodesia Air Services and to open up Central Africa for air travel. The capital for this development is subscribed by the Governments of the three territories, Southern Rhodesia, as the senior partner, subscribing 50 per cent., Northern Rhodesia 35 per cent, and Nyasaland 15 per cent. Any subsidies which may become necessary are subscribed in this same proportion.
The fleet is made up of modern aircraft, including 7 Vickers Vikings, which are similar to those chosen by H.M. the King's Flight for the Royal tour of Southern Africa. They are magnificent aircraft and have earned the unstinted praise of all air travellers.
For its feeder services and for ambulance work, C.A.A. uses 5 fast and comfortable De Havilland Doves—eight-seater planes, which cruise at 180 miles an hour, which is only 20 miles an hour slower than the Viking.
An exact calculation shows that C.A.A. operate over 6,195 route miles. In doing this, they serve not only the Rhodesias and Nyasaland, but also Portuguese East Africa, Kenya, Tanganyika and the Union of South Africa.
The Corporation's base is at Salisbury, and from there the routes branch out in all directions. They radiate as far as Nairobi, Dar-es- Salaam, Tabora, Kasama, Abercorn, Ndola, Lusaka, Blantyre, Fort Jameson and Lilongwe in the North, to Beira in the East, Livingstone (Victoria Falls, Mongu, Mankoya, Kalobo and Balovale in the West, and South to Bulawayo, Johannesburg, Gatooma, Que Que, Gwelo and Fort Victoria
The Corporation is determined to. bring air transport to the doorstep of everybody who might want to use it. To serve the remoter' areas,- therefore, De Havilland "Beaver" aircraft are employed, which made their initial appearance in January, 1951, when they were used to re-open the "Midlands" route in Southern Rhodesia. Services are also to be operated with "Beavers" in Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia.
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The fact that there was a need for some modern form of air transport in Central Africa cannot be borne out more emphatically than by reference to the number of passengers carried. There are some striking examples of this. In 1947, for instance, the number of passenger miles flown was 12,095,159; by 1949 it had risen to 19,984,814; and in 1950 it reached 24,524,607. Full statistical details are attached for the years 1947-50, inclusive, which tell the full story of C.A.A.'s development.
Schoolchildren, sports teams and families all benefit as a result of the reduced concessionary fares which C.A.A. provides. The Corporation, for instance, runs a very successful Family Travel Plan, and in 1950 it introduced a holiday scheme which took passengers up to Lake Nyasa, one of the most perfect holiday resorts of Central Africa. This latter scheme, operated for the first time in the winter season of 1950, was 100 per cent, successful, every seat being booked for ail the journeys.
Central African Airways can, in fact, be proud of their record and of the efficiency achieved in so short a time. This fact was recognised by Lord Pakenham when he opened the new Livingstone Airport and spoke of C.A.A. as a "young Company with a first-class reputation."
It constantly endeavours to live up to its motto, "Conservimus Africae Alis"—"We Serve Africa with Wings."
Comparative statistics for the last three years of operation are as follows:—
Passengers carried: 38,140
Passenger miles flown: 18,621,555
Freight (tons): 304.7
Mail (tons): 221
Passengers carried: 41,579
Passenger miles flown: 19,984,814
Freight (tons): 507
Mail (tons): 254.3
Passengers carried: 49,553
Passenger miles flown: 24,524,607
Freight (tons): 573.4
Mail (tons): 284
Small print reads:
Regular Services throughout the Rhodesias and Nyasaland
Covering over 6.000 route miles. Central African Airways provide main Line services between all the principal centres of the Rhodesias arid Nyasaland—to Johannesburg and Nairobi. Feeder services link the more remote arena to the main line routes.
In under 30 hours you can fly to LONDON from any of the main centres of Central Africa — Salisbury, Bulawayo, Blantyre. Lusaka or Ndola.
Air travel is cheaper by C.A.A—see your Travel Agent for details of Family Excursion. 30-Day Excursion. Sportsmen's and Students' Fares, and also Reduced Cargo Rates for Heavy Baggage.
50,000 PASSENGERS TRAVEL OVER C.A.A. ROUTES EVERY YEAR
Further details from your own Travel Agent or CENTRAL AFRICAN AIRWAYS
Extracted and recompiled by Eddy Norris from the Year Book and Guide of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland dated 1951. This year book was kindly given to ORAFs by Mrs. Valerie Malcolm of the Rhodesian Air Force. Thank you Valerie.