About CemAir

CemAir offers flexible, value added, short, medium or long-term leasing of turboprop and regional jet aircraft. The service offering is structured to include full maintenance and operational support with quality and safety oversight.

We have experience in operating and supporting our aircraft in a variety of conditions, with an emphasis on maintaining first world standards in third world environments. We strive to achieve high levels of reliability through the application of constantly evolving internationally recognized standards. CemAir’s objective is to place properly prepared equipment, well qualified crew and the use of appropriate current technologies at the disposal of the customer.

The company has operating and leasing experience throughout Africa and the Middle East, including Afghanistan, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Kenya, Mali, Gabon, Ghana, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, Zambia, as well as South Africa.

Where CemAir sets itself apart is in our ability to offer superior support for our operation. This is achieved through a multifaceted approach with the objective of creating a comprehensive offering. Some of the elements of this philosophy include:

  • Implementation of international standards and best practices exceeding local Authority requirements
  • Adequate number of qualified personnel
  • Focus on limited number of aircraft types
  • Full in-house spares support for the fleet
  • Documented and implemented procedures for all aspects of the operation
  • A healthy learning culture and embracing the philosophy of continuous improvement
  • A progressive safety environment incorporating the ICAO concept of “non-punitive reporting” and embracing individual and collective accountability.

Our History

CemAir was established from a partnership which began in 2002 with the acquisition of a Cessna Grand Caravan. The partnership grew with the purchase of several piston powered aircraft and following the procurement of the first of the Beech 1900s in early 2006 the operation was formalised as a company known today as CemAir.


In the early days CemAir therefore operated a mixed fleet of aircraft but the other types (except for the Caravans) were sold off over a period of years so allowing the organisation to focus on the operation of the Beech 1900s. As other types were phased out, the 1900 fleet continued to grow and by the end of 2011 the company owned nine of the type.

During 2011 a strategic decision was made to exit the Cessna Caravan market.


Moving Forward

CemAir’s steady and manageable growth philosophy remains the basis for future expansion. Whilst watching our current operations closely we are mindful of the need for the company to evolve in order to remain vibrant and dynamic. This evolution extends beyond our business processes, right down to the fleet composition itself.

In 2012 CemAir acquired its first CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet) and subsequently purchased a series of CRJ100LR and CRJ200LR aircraft bringing the total fleet size to 12.

The Canadair Regional Jet was selected due to its excellent history for reliability and safety. The aircraft popularity and market acceptance make it a logical choice for our customers who are outgrowing the utility of the Beech 1900s. We believe the CRJ will meet the transport needs of our market for the next decade.


In 2014 Cemair’s fleet was expanded with the purchase of its first Dash-8 100 turbo propeller aircraft. The Dash-8 100 is an exceptional aircraft with 37 seats and the technical performance to operate from municipal and regional airports with limited runway length. The four-abreast cabin has full sized overhead stowage for cabin baggage and a full service cabin with flight attendant and galley.

2016 saw the acquisition of two De Havilland Dash-8 Q300 aircraft to further strengthen the fleet. The 50-seat turboprop has proven both popular and effective offering near-jet comfort with the runway performance required to operate into shorter runways. The ‘Q’ designation denotes the incorporation of De Havilland’s active noise cancelling technology meaning the aircraft has inflight interior noise levels close to its jet competitors. We will continue to add these fine aircraft to the fleet to increase capacity and quality of service to our customers.

In 2016 CemAir also added one CRJ 900 and in 2017 two Dash-8 Q400s.


Reliability and Safety

An intrinsic element of the CemAir approach is to recognise that the final responsibility of the company and all its staff is to the passengers using its aircraft in addition to any people on the ground over whom the aircraft flies. We take this responsibility very seriously and we have created a structure, systems and processes designed to minimise all elements of this risk.

CemAir has incorporated the following into the organisation:

  • Fleet selection of safe, well supported and reliable aircraft
  • Dedicated full time Quality and Safety personnel providing operational oversight
  • Stable, experienced and motivated team
  • Full in-house spares support for the fleet
  • Maintenance to the highest standards by CemAir’s own Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO)
  • A healthy learning culture and embracing the philosophy of continuous improvement
  • Overhaul work for both propellers and engines is only performed by facilities that are both manufacturer and FAA approved
  • Maintenance tracking data are provided by a sophisticated on-line application
  • Satellite tracking on all aircraft
  • Financial stability with continuing reinvestment in the operation

We have a long term philosophy at CemAir and believe that solid relationships built today will support our operation in the future. High standards, discipline and constant learning are the cornerstones of the organisation.


International Standards

Our focus is on reliability, safety and quality using constantly evolving internationally recognized standards. These standards exceed those laid down by regulatory authorities and have been compiled by a combination of inputs from oil, gas & petroleum exploration companies, humanitarian aid agencies, FAR Regulations, EASA requirements, ICAO recommendations and aircraft operators themselves. The exacting audit processes and subsequent certification, which are undergone voluntarily by ourselves, go a long way to ensuring a high level of confidence that users of our aircraft and services have every right to expect.


CemAir is an IOSA-registered operator. The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is the benchmark for global safety management in airlines. The IOSA programme is an internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system designed to assess and uphold the standards of operational management and control systems within an airline. The IOSA Standard is arguably the most recognised and respected safety assessment standard in aviation and there are currently more than 400 airlines on the IOSA registry worldwide.

CemAir is also certified by Hart Aviation and is approved by Shell Aircraft International for operations in Nigeria.


Company Structure

CemAir is a private company registered in South Africa. We are the holders of Aircraft Operating Certificates (AOC Part 121) issued by the South African Civil Aviation Authority. We hold licences for both Domestic and International Air Services on for Scheduled and Non-scheduled services. CemAir is also the holder of an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation approval (AMO Part 145) and is authorised to carry out most maintenance tasks on the Beech 1900, the CRJ and Dash8 series.

The CemAir head office is located at Hangar 6, OR Tambo International Airport close to Johannesburg, South Africa. All administration is carried out at this large 2400m2 facility and is the home base to the CemAir owned maintenance facility. In addition this facility is the primary parts stores and logistics hub of the operation.

The management structure conforms to the ICAO model and has six full time post holders for complete oversight of flight operations and maintenance. The duties and responsibilities of each position is documented with frequent internal and external audits to ensure compliance.

Internal oversight is maintained by having separate and full time Quality and Safety portfolios. The organisation runs an ICAO based SMS system conforming to the requirements of ICAO Safety Management Standards & Recommended Practises (SARPs) and ICAO Doc 9859.

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