Air charters and emergency air evacuation services in Zimbabwe just got a whole lot faster, sleeker and more sophisticated with the introduction of a stylish new 8-seater Bombardier 45 Learjet into the Halsted Aviation Corporation (HAC) Fleet.  Says HAC Managing Director James Halsted, “It has always been our goal to provide a first-class charter service based in Zimbabwe that competes with the best in the world, and the acquisition of this Learjet 45 ensures we continue to deliver against that goal.”

The Learjet service is aimed at business executives and premium travellers who like to travel in complete luxury.  The aircraft can fly 3,000 kilometres (1,600 nautical miles) nonstop and can cruise at 800 kph.  This means it can get you from Harare to Johannesburg in just an hour, or to Mauritius in as little as 3.5 hours.  Harare to Vic Falls is a mere 40 minutes and Lusaka just half an hour.

The cabin holds eight generous leather seats in a double club layout with plenty of room to swivel, recline, and track.  There is an on board private lavatory and wardrobe in the aft cabin, and a small closet and refreshment centre, as well as a temperature control system that ensures that both the cabin and the cockpit are kept comfortable. An external compartment provides almost 1.5 cubic metres of baggage space with an additional half cubic metre of storage in the interior (carrying up to 226 kilograms), meaning that bulky souvenirs and additional baggage may no longer have to be shipped separately.

HAC’s new acquisition is based out of Harare International Airport and adds the ultimate in class and a range throughout southern and central Africa, to the existing HAC fleet, which already includes Beechcraft King Airs, Cessnas and Caravans which service even the more remote areas very well. The jet needs a decent sized runway to land on, and so can’t get you into or out of the really out-of-the-way places, but this is where the rest of the fleet dovetails nicely.

This “dovetailing” is especially important when it comes to air ambulance operations, where HAC partners with ACE Air and Ambulance, one of Southern Africa’s premier Air Ambulance companies and the only company in Zimbabwe to be accredited with the renowned  international air ambulance quality certification body, Eurami. The Learjet can be configured as an air ambulance to quickly ferry distressed patients (as well as up to 2 family members) to advanced medical care facilities in the region.

If need be, HAC and ACE’s other, smaller air ambulances can collect the patient from a remote area and then transfer them to the Learjet at a suitable runway for seamless rapid evacuation.  “Adding a jet to our air ambulance service allows us to ensure that our patients can get to the best medical facilities much more quickly and with less time in the air once our medical team has stabilised them at the scene. It could very well save more lives.” says Mark Smythe, Operations Director of ACE.

HAC is a member of Wild Zambezi more information on the company can be found here.

VF24 editor 5