Bionic buys a BAe 146-300 regional jetliner


South African aviation charter company Bionic Aviation has acquired a BAe 146-300 regional jetliner for passenger charter work in SA and neighbouring countries.

Delivery of the aircraft took place this week and it is now being ferried to the company’s base at Lanseria International Airport, Johannesburg, BAE Systems says in a media release.


No cost was disclosed but one aircraft reseller was this morning advertising a 1994 vintage BAe 146-300 at $10.5 million (R78 million).


Announcing this latest deal at the Airlines Association of Southern Airlines (AASA) Annual General Meeting in Kleinmond, Western Cape, South Africa, Nigel Benson, Director Sales and Marketing for Sub-Saharan Africa for BAE Systems Regional Aircraft said African airlines and operators are showing strong interest in the BAe 146 and the Avro RJ family.


“The sale of this aircraft to our new customer underlines the growing success and acceptability of the BAe 146/Avro RJ family for the African market.


“It brings the number of African operators of the BAe 146/Avro RJ to eight with over 20 aircraft in operation, and given the aircraft’s low acquisition cost and excellent airfield performance, we are confident that more will follow soon,” Benson said.

In addition to Bionic Aviation, SA operators of the type include SA Airlink, Allegiance Air and African Airlines Investments. Elsewhere in Africa, the BAe 146/Avro RJ is operated by Air Congo International (Republic of Congo), Air Libya, Comores Aviation International (Comores Islands) and Jet-Link Express in Kenya.

Established in 2006 as a maintenance, repair and overhaul management, parts supply, avionics upgrades, charter and cargo logistics company, Bionic Aviation also carries out occasional charter services using wet leased aircraft.

In addition to its maintenance and charter activities, Bionic Aviation provides aircraft sales and outsourcing, ground handling for corporate flights and cargo logistics, clearing and forwarding at O.R Tambo International Airport and complete aircraft refurbishments through Bionic Aviation Refurbishment Centre based at Lanseria International Airport.

Pic: BAe 146 aircraft in SA Airlink livery, OR Tambo International Airport