Since opening in September 2014, Fireblade Aviation has become the go-to hub in southern Africa for private air travel. Strategically located at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, the facilities and services of this independently owned fixed-base operation (or FBO, in aviation parlance) are not only unrivalled in the region but are up there with the best private airports around the globe.
Freedom of movement – the ease with which travellers explore the world – will never be taken for granted again. Fireblade’s private charter service offers the luxury of personalised air travel that is safe, secure and seamless, not only onboard our aircraft but also at the point of departure. We strive to make the journey feel like part of the vacation experience, rather than a necessary means to an end.
Besides our own young aircraft fleet, Fireblade has access to a larger pool of aircraft to suit the personal preferences and private charter needs of high net worth travellers.
Safety, discretion and efficiency are synonymous with Fireblade’s private airport terminal. Flying commercially, even if it’s at the front of the plane, usually means having to navigate your way through large airports with multiple departure gates. It also means having to share space with strangers, at a time when social distancing has become the ‘new normal’.
A private air charter brings back the luxury of time. There is no rush, and there are no queues. Time in the airport terminal can be kept to a minimum. If you do have time on your hands, our private terminal has a choice of private lounges, VIP suites, day rooms and private bathrooms with showers. Added conveniences on site include spa treatments, a fully-equipped gym, dining options, and boardroom and conference venues. Complimentary wifi and charging stations are available throughout the building.
For international arrivals and departures, Fireblade is the only private terminal in South Africa that has its own customs and immigration facility, operated independently as a parallel point of entry at OR Tambo International Airport.
When it comes to safe, efficient, seamless travel, skipping busy passport control queues is a game changer. As every trip is chartered and therefore pre-authorised, your pilot will inform you personally when it’s time to depart. Fireblade has 14 pilots in its crew, including three women. The only people boarding the aircraft with you are your chosen travelling companions and your dedicated crew. As borders slowly reopen across Africa, travel to and from the continent is starting to pick up. However, between airlines cutting back on routings or no longer flying to certain destinations, high net worth travellers do not have the same certainty about the frequency and availability of commercial flights as before.
The result is a marked increase in demand for private charter flights and individually tailored travel experiences for leisure and business. Chartering a flight is no longer just about the convenience of scheduling your own departure time, it has become a question of prioritising your health.
For clients flying into OR Tambo International Airport’s main terminal, a complimentary luxury transfer will be waiting to transport you safely to Fireblade. Once in the capable, experienced care of the team on the ground, complete peace of mind is what our regular and return clients value the most, from the new, stricter health and hygiene protocols to hassle-free luggage storage while you’re on safari.
Private air travel also opens up access to far more destinations, especially in Africa where remote runways in alluring, off-the-beaten-track wilderness areas bring you closer to your final destination in less time and with less effort. Many clients have come to know Fireblade as the departure point for Tswalu Kalahari, the Oppenheimer family’s private reserve in the Kalahari. When they return to Africa, as many do, Fireblade is their private air charter service of choice for safely accessing iconic safari destinations throughout Africa.