Fireblade Aviation opens first and only FBO at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport.

Tuesday 21st October 2014

  • FireBlade
  • Fireblade FBO
  • Fireblade FBO VIP

South African-based business aviation concern Fireblade Aviation (Pty) Ltd has recently opened the first and only Fixed Base Operation (FBO) at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport (ORT). The Fireblade Aviation FBO, which became operational on 1 September 2014, already serves domestic aircraft having welcomed its first private jet on 2 September 2014.  It is anticipated that full approval for the dedicated Customs and Immigration Service will be given by the end of the year making it the first FBO in South Africa to welcome international travellers.

The state-of-the-art facility, which represents an investment of R165 million (US$15 million) by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer is a culmination of the owners' lifetime passion for the aviation sector and a desire to fulfill a market demand for a world-class international FBO facility at South Africa's main airport.  "At the heart of this project is immense passion for aviation," comments Jonathan Oppenheimer, "we believe we have created a leading global product and brand in Fireblade Aviation that is synonymous with the highest quality of service and attention to detail. Our employees, who are stakeholders in the business, are just as passionate about our product which will ensure visitors to the facility receive world class service."

The main FBO building, which covers 2,500 square meters, has been carefully designed to offer a variety of functions.  The lower floor houses the Customs and Immigration area with its direct access to and from the facility's apron to cater for departing and arriving passengers. A spacious welcome lounge offers comfortable seating that opens onto an external terrace. VIP / meeting rooms and a fine jewellery boutique for passengers to make last minute purchases, also feature. A central reservations desk can provide onward arrangements and a full concierge service.

A spacious upstairs lounge has been created to cater for international travellers who are transferring from commercial flights to internal shuttles predominantly serving the growing number of game reserves in the country. It will feature a la carte dining, individual VIP rooms, designer shower rooms, and a private spa offering treatments with organic products sourced from the Kalahari desert. This level also accommodates crew facilities including a full operations and trip planning facility, crew rest rooms, gym and dining area.  

Fireblade Aviation has partnered with the prestigious Everard Read Gallery in displaying the best in traditional and contemporary African Artwork throughout the FBO. All art pieces will be available for purchase.

The Fireblade Aviation FBO will welcome customers from domestic business and leisure traffic, intra-continental executives and shuttles, global users regularly flying internationally and heavy metal jets coming from the Middle East, Asia, Europe and America.

Complementing the FBO offering are two Fireblade Aviation hangars. The first hangar measures 3,500 square meters and is home to the Fireblade Aviation fleet. This includes an Agusta Westland AW139 helicopter, a Pilatus PC12NG, a Learjet 45XR and a Global 6000, all of these aircraft feature unique African art on their paintwork. The aircraft are all available for charter. The second hangar, known locally as K8, is a sizeable 13,000 square meters and will provide parking and maintenance operations for managed and independently owned aircraft.

Oppenheimer concludes, "We believe we have created something very valuable for the business aviation sector. Whilst Lanseria Airport has dominated the executive market, we can now offer the sector an alternate location with a reduced commute to downtown Johannesburg, 24 hour refueling services from our new fuel farm, and a world class FBO facility which will have Customs and Immigration processing capacity. All of this makes Fireblade Aviation's FBO a compelling offering for both the international and domestic markets alike".

General Manager Bjorn Ischner will attend the NBAA Convention in Orlando 20-23rd October to meet with operators and businesses interested to know more about the new facility.

Fireblade Aviation has appointed Emerald Media, the business aviation PR specialist with strong activity in Africa, as its external media agency.  Emerald Media also supports the African Business Aviation Association, EAN, Bestfly and Toucan Aviation.  It also represents Ethiopian Airlines in the UK and Ireland.

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