Charter specialist Aeronexus Corporate (ARN, London Stansted) is to operate high-end tourist flights from Europe and the US to Botswana’s Okavango Delta from November 2021 on behalf of South African tour operator Fly Okavango.
Flights will be conducted with Aeronexus’s VIP-configured B767-300(ER) which is fitted with 96 premium lie-flat seats. Aeronexus is FAA-approved and also has a worldwide Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), according to its website. The company is based near Johannesburg O.R. Tambo in Kempton Park, South Africa, and at London Stansted.
Stephen Becker, chief executive of Johannesburg-based Fly Okavango, said set package tours would depart from Munich (Germany) and West Palm Beach Int’l (US) to Maun, the gateway to the Delta, in November.
From May 2022, the European departures will switch to Aeronexus’s Stansted base. Original plans to leave from Stansted in 2021 had to be shelved due to UK COVID-19 restrictions.
Aeronexus will also switch to a larger 120-seat A340-500 (in the process of being registered) from May, to accommodate add-on flights from Maun to Cape Town.
Private charter specialist FliteStar Private Jets, based in Knutsford, UK, will be available to transfer passengers in Europe and the US to the departure points if required.
Transfers from Maun to safari lodges and Victoria Falls will be handled by each participating lodge group’s preferred operator, Becker said. Tour packages will be offered in cooperation with andBeyond, Barclay Stenner, Belmond, Golden Africa Safaris, Great Plains Conservation, Natural Selection, Red Carnation Hotels Xigera, Wilderness Safaris, and have been endorsed by Botswana Tourism, according to the company brochure.
Becker said feedback from the market has been positive, especially in the last three weeks. Rates range from USD39,200 to USD48,200 per person ex-Munich; and USD45,000 to USD59,950 per person from Palm Beach, depending on the season.
From November, flights to Maun will operate as follows:
- Munich from November 19 to November 29, 2021, and December 29, 2021, to January 5, 2022;
- Palm Beach from November 23 to December 3, 2021, and December 21, 2021, to January 1, 2021.
From May, flights would operate as follows:
- London to Maun, Victoria Falls, Maun, and Cape Town: High season from May 2022 to October 2022, and in December 2022/January 2023;
- Palm Beach to Maun, Victoria Falls, Maun, and Cape Town: June 2022 to November 2022; and December 2022/January 2023.
Aeronexus, since its beginning, has operated a number of aircraft, including a Boeing 727 VIP and two Boeing 767-200ER aircraft. One of the Boeing 767’s operated in an all economy 220 seat configuration and one in 100 all lie-flat seat configuration. In 2012 the Boeing 727 was taken out of service and the all-economy Boeing 767 sold.
In October 2012 Aeronexus relocated their 100 seat VIP Boeing 767-200ER to the UK to meet the growing demand in the European long-haul VIP market.