DAS Air Cargo grounded – sold off to Nigeria’s Continental Air Services?

Air Cargo Airlines 0 comments

I’m no longer on the air freight forwarder side of the business, and I never had a lot of Africa cargo when I did, but I remember DAS Air Cargo very well and used them before at past companies. They were amongst a long list of airlines banned from operating in the EU in 2006 and were finally removed from the list in 2007, but, as this article from AllAfrica.com mentions, the damage had already been done:

The sale came just nine months after the cargo carrier emerged out of EU ban that also affected 90 other airlines, mainly from Africa. The ban crippled operations, pushing up operating costs as DAS lost contracts and entered a lengthy legal battle to appeal against the EU decision.

Although DAS was eventually removed from the banned list in March 2007 after winning a legal appeal, the damage had already been done with most contracts lost, that made it difficult to survive the high cost operating environment ushered in by skyrocketing oil prices.

Four of its fleet of seven aircraft were eventually returned to leasing companies, setting off the events that led to the collapse.
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At its peak in 2003, DAS Air operated 88 flights a month into Entebbe and had an annual income in excess of $200 million.

It was valued at $260 million and rebuffed attempts by investors to buy a 40 per cent in it at the time. By the time it was banned from the EU, monthly flights into Entebbe had come down to just 16.

As the article also mentions, there are rumors that executives from DAS Air plan a comeback, possibly via local affiliate Dairo Air.

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