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The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.
GAS bolsters presence in key African regions
Sheer volume of flights and the lack of VIP handling means the continent is ripe for General Aviation Services to add not only serviced locations but flight management integration.
General Aviation Services now provides ground support across Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia.
Read this story in our June 2024 printed issue.

A lot has been happening over the past year for Africa-based ground support company General Aviation Services. "Given the number of business aviation flights in this region and feedback from customers, we have expanded again. We are opening offices in several locations across the continent, staffed by our own people. Just this month we added Namibia and Botswana to our network of locations and in February we added Mozambique," says director of operations Hussein Qubah. "We have so many flights going to Botswana that it just makes sense to support them directly. Same for Namibia. When our customers land somewhere where we don't have an office, they ask us to open one up. Most other locations are handled by airline handlers that don't do VIP handling. But we treat clients like VIPs, and the dignitaries are very happy with that. So we add value."

GAS has put support staff at Sir Seretse Khama International in Gabarone, Maun International and Francistown International airports in Botswana; Walvis Bay International, Eros and Hosea Kutako International airports in Namibia; and at Maputo International, Vilankulo and Pemba airports in Mozambique.

Going forward, the company continues to do its research, collecting data to see where to open up next. It also gets a lot of feedback from clients, who appreciate that if they go to Rwanda, the quality of service is the same as if they go to Mozambique.

Logistical issues within the continent mean that business aviation is a vital tool for businessmen. "For example, there is no daily direct flight from Namibia to Botswana, but they are neighbouring countries. If you need to get to a meeting in Botswana for the next day, you might have to wait three days for a scheduled flight, and you have to fly into South Africa on the way. But if you have a business jet you can do whatever you want," says Qubah.

"Also in Africa there are a lot of tourist locations, and it is still a virgin economy so people are coming in for investment. There are a lot of business meetings going on."

Recognising the growing need for streamlined operations and service ordering, GAS has integrated with Leon software, so that users now have access to GAS' comprehensive range of services directly through their flight management screen in Leon, achieving immediate updates to flight plans, enhancing operational efficiency and reducing logistical challenges.

Founding director Mohammed Tewfik says: "Our integration with Leon underscores GAS' commitment to leveraging technology for the benefit of customers, simplifying the mission planning process and ensuring efficiency."

GAS boasts 40 years of experience in facilitating missions throughout Africa, providing comprehensive support for trip support companies, charter and management operations, as well as private operators, air ambulance and cargo flights. It works directly with CAAs and CAA-authorised agents in the 54 countries that form the continent to arrange landing and overfly permits, regional ground handling coordination and supervision, and fuel solutions. It has arranged more than 12,500 permits for over 900 customers' missions.