Dignitaries get a surprise drenching as new air service christened

2010-09-07 00:00

A CELEBRATORY spray of water from a fire engine left dignataries and journalists drenched at Margate Airport on Sunday when a Beechcraft 1900 twin-engine turboprop aircraft landed from Johannesburg’s Lanseria Airport.

The flight was organised to inaugurate a new flight schedule at Margate Airport, but the occasion was somewhat dampened when the “christening” spray from the fire engine went awry.

The new air service for the region — a partnership between Studio 88 Aviation, MGM Aviation and Flymargate.com — began yesterday.

The schedule offers flights between Margate and Lanseria on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; between Margate and Mthatha on Tuesdays; and Margate and East London on Thursdays.

Tertius Myburgh, managing director of Studio 88 Aviation based at Lanseria Airport, says passenger volumes in the initial stages of the new schedule will determine whether additional flights are neccessary.

The move from the old Durban International south of Durban to King Shaka International Airport, 170 km from Margate on the north coast, has meant added time and expense for south coast travellers.

The first official flight departed with nine passengers from Margate for Lanseria at 6 am yesterday, with the arrival from Lanseria scheduled for later in the day.

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