Sudan’s Badr Airlines Cements European Growth Plans – AirlineGeeks.com
By Victor Shalton
Sudan’s Badr Airlines Cements European Growth Plans
Sudan’s largest airline, Badr Airlines, has recently appointed Network Airline Services (NAS) as its cargo general sales agent (GSA) in the UK and Ireland. This announcement follows Badr Airlines’ launch of a new route from Khartoum to London Gatwick in late February 2023.
NAS will now be responsible for selling Badr Airlines’ cargo capacity, which is a vital link between Europe and Sudan, and also provides connections to other destinations in need of additional capacity from Europe such as Chad, Eritrea, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.
Commenting on the appointment, John Gilfeather, Sales Director of Network Airline Services, said, “NAS is delighted to be selling the cargo capacity of Badr Airlines. This is the only direct flight between Europe and Sudan which allows us to provide a vital link for shippers to not only Sudan but also other destinations in need of additional capacity from Europe.”
The appointment of NAS comes as Badr Airlines continues to expand its services and operations. The airline had announced earlier in February 2023 that it would commence flights to London Gatwick from Khartoum via Istanbul, with the first flight scheduled for Feb. 24, 2023.
The route was scheduled to operate twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.
However, it seems that the launch of this new route did not materialize as planned. Despite the airline listing a preliminary schedule in both GDS and OAG since the third quarter of 2022 for an Oct. 31, 2022 “launch,” the first flight did not take off until late February 2023.
This new service is significant as it is the only nonstop flight between Europe and Sudan. In 2019, about 33,000 passengers traveled from London to Khartoum, making London an unserved European market from Sudan. With the new direct flight, Badr Airlines aims to meet the needs of many travelers who have been seeking a more convenient way to travel between the two countries.
Badr Airlines operates a fleet of ten Boeing 737 aircraft, including -300, -400, and -500 variants. The airline provides international routes from its base at Khartoum International Airport to neighboring countries, as well as to Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey.
Interestingly, the flight to London Gatwick is operated by a Slovakian charter airline, AirExplore’s Boeing 737-800 on behalf of Badr Airlines as Badr is currently banned from flying to the UK by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The ban is due to safety concerns over the airline’s maintenance practices and safety standards.
Badr Airlines’ appointment of NAS as its cargo GSA in Europe is an important step in the airline’s expansion plans. As the only direct flight between Europe and Sudan, Badr Airlines’ cargo capacity is a vital link for shippers to not only Sudan but also other destinations in need of additional capacity from Europe. With NAS now selling its cargo capacity, the airline is well-positioned to continue its growth and expansion in the region.
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