Montréal - Bombardier Aerospace has announced that South African Express Airways (SA Express) has been appointed as one of their Authorized Service Facilities (ASF).The announcement was made to coincide with the African Airline Association Annual General Assembly happening in Johannesburg this week. Under the ASF agreement, Johannesburg-based SA Express received Bombardier's endorsement to offer maintenance work to operators of CRJ100, CRJ200 and CRJ700 regional jets and Dash 8-100/200/300, Q100, Q200, Q300 and Q400 turboprop aircraft. The Authorized Service Facility is the first of its kind in Africa. "We are extremely proud of this achievement and I am sincerely grateful for all of the efforts and commitment of the stakeholders involved that have culminated in this accolade," said Ramon Vahed, General Manager, Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering and Fleet Development, SA Express."Achieving the ASF status will prove to be a significant milestone for the airline and our shareholders and will provide operators in the region with improved access to a sustainable, cost-effective and high-quality local maintenance support service."The SA Express ASF will no doubt prove to be increasingly valuable to Bombardier as the company expands into Africa.Bombardier commercial aircraft are already significantly present on the African continent with more than 160 Dash 8/Q-Series and CRJ aircraft in service with, or ordered by, 40 operators and leasing companies in over 20 countries.Recent orders from African carriers include five Q400 NextGen aircraft from Ethiopian Airlines to increase its fleet to 13 and RwandAir's purchase agreement for two CRJ900 NextGen regional jets. Ethiopian Airlines' Q400 NextGen aircraft - three of which will be operated by its affiliate, ASKY Airlines of Togo - were the first to be outfitted with Bombardier's newly introduced dual-class interior for the turboprop.SA Express will join a network of 59 ASF and Line Maintenance Facilities (LMF) that serves operators of Bombardier business and commercial aircraft spanning across more than 25 countries worldwide.These facilities are supported by nine Bombardier-owned service centres in North America and Europe.The local airline operates a fleet of 15 CRJ200 and CRJ700 regional jets and nine Q400 turboprops. The airline employs a full-time staff of approximately 300 maintenance technicians performing both light and heavy maintenance work within a 10,000 square-metre maintenance hangar and support infrastructure facilities across their base of operations.It has also repeatedly earned Bombardier's Airline Reliability Performance Award for the Middle East and Africa, winning awards in 2010 and 2012 for the CRJ100 and CRJ200 aircraft, in 2011 for the Q100/200/300 turboprop category and in 2008 for the Q400 turboprop category.