New Generation Aircraft To Serve Clients In Africa From DAC’s Base Of Operations In Nairobi, Kenya
DAC Aviation International (DAC), a provider of aircraft charter and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services with expertise in serving aid and relief agencies in remote and conflict-affected areas, has taken delivery of a new Cessna Grand Caravan EX. This aircraft is the first of six Grand Caravan EXs to be delivered to DAC by Cessna over the next six months. It will be unveiled at a reception on May 7 at Starlink Aviation’s FBO in Montreal.
Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, DAC’s primary base of operations is at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya (secondary bases are located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan). The Wilson Airport facility offers MRO services and is home to DAC’s current fleet, which includes Bombardier Dash-8s, a Bombardier CRJ 200 LR and Cessna Grand Caravans. The new Cessna Grand Caravan EX will be repositioned to Nairobi within the month. Upon delivery, the remaining five EXs will expand DAC’s fleet to 21 aircraft and extend its capability to provide safe and reliable passenger (up to 78 people) and cargo services to international relief and aid agencies across the region.
In the early 1990s, DAC founder and Chairman Emmanuel Anassis was a bush pilot in Africa. Mr. Anassis quickly realized that international relief and aid agencies lacked reliable air transportation services. In 1993, starting with one DHC-5 Buffalo, Mr. Anassis founded DAC and began to offer a solution to this critical need. The company’s first client was the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Over the years, DAC has served numerous relief and aid agencies, including: the European Commission Humanitarian Organization (ECHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
“Over 20 years of continuous operations, DAC has increasingly focused its efforts on providing safe and reliable air transportation for relief and aid agencies that need to move their people and vital cargo in and out of remote and challenging environments,” says Emmanuel Anassis, Chairman, DAC. “Our success depends on our highly-trained and experienced pilots, support crews and, of course, the right aircraft. The Grand Caravan EX provides excellent operational flexibility, an additional margin of safety thanks to a more powerful engine, latest generation avionics and Cessna support. Specifically configured for DAC, this EX can comfortably move its two-person crew, 10 passengers and cargo. These are important missions. The welfare of many people depends on our clients’ work. Our job is to get them where they need to go safely and reliably. We go where few others dare,” continues Mr. Anassis.
“We are very pleased to be delivering this Cessna Grand Caravan EX to DAC,” said Jodi Noah, Cessna’s Senior Vice President of single engine/propeller aircraft," Noah said. “The EX was engineered with high performance capabilities for many types of runways, along with the capacity for high payloads. Whether moving people, transporting cargo or any combination thereof, the EX has the power for the mission while possessing the agility of a much smaller aircraft – able to move more than 3,700 lbs with a takeoff distance less than 2,500 feet. These specifications are ideally suited to many of DAC’s typical mission requirements."
(Grand Caravan EX image from file)