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April 20, 2024

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Last November, Surf Air Mobility announced a deal with Azul. Today, they announced another deal with Safarilink and Yellow Wings in Kenya for two Caravans. The Surf Air Mobility deal is to deliver electric powertrains for the Cessna Caravans operated by these airlines.

The Caravan is an amazing aircraft on which to develop our electrified powertrain, and we believe Safarilink and Yellow Wings’ operations are perfectly suited to demonstrate the benefits of our technology,” said Stan Little, CEO of Surf Air Mobility. “We believe Africa is at the cutting edge of regional air mobility. Surf Air is excited to work with innovative, pioneering companies like Safarilink and Yellow Wings.”

Elewana

Safarilink operates 8 Cessna Caravans (9 later in 2024) and provides connecting flights in Kenya and Tanzania. Yellow Wings has four Caravans (5 later in 2024) and flies routes into more than 500 airfields throughout East Africa.

The key driver for these operators is the 50% lower operating costs. This is a compelling issue with so many fewer moving parts and operating in regions where MRO support is likely in short supply.  The conversion from the PT-6 is likely to simplify operations considerably.  The “green cover” is helpful but probably less of an issue.

Surf and AeroTEC are targeting an FAA STC for the powertrain in 2026. Yellow Wings and Safarilink expect the Caravan conversions in 2027.

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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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