REINVENTING EXECUTIVE TRAVEL: Blu Crane Air takes off - linking PE and EL business

BY GRAEME LUND - AUGUST 14, 2014
Gone are the days of wasting productive time and money during long airport departures, scheduling delays and unnecessary hotel stays while on short business trips from Port Elizabeth to East London, says Marcus van Heerden, founder and major shareholder of a new local start-up airline, Blu Crane Air, which took to the skies on 25 March.

Gone are the days of wasting productive time and money during long airport departures, scheduling delays and unnecessary hotel stays while on short business trips from Port Elizabeth to East London, says Marcus van Heerden, founder and major shareholder of a new local start-up airline, Blu Crane Air, which took to the skies on 25 March.

“We are o.ffering business class travel for a lower-than-economy-class cost; safe and secure parking for vehicles as well as a personalised service. For the executive, time is money and we have reduced the airport time wasting to a minimum… we also fly even if we have one passenger,” explains van Heerden.

“Our business premises are just outside the PE International Airport where our passengers check in, leave their vehicle in our safe parking area, have a cup of coffee before been chauffeured directly to the aircraft for boarding. The passenger can arrive just 25 minutes before departure!”

Blu Crane Air currently operates a 6-passenger, all-leather, pressurised Cessna 414A aircraft and offers weekly executive flights on the 230 km journey between PE and East London - the airline’s sole route,  

“At the moment we do one flight a day – we leave for East London at 06h30, and fly back to PE at 17h00, Monday to Friday. As the need arises, we will increase these flights,” describes van Heerden who added that they also operate a charter service seven days a week.

The airline is striving to ensure its passengers enjoy service excellence and safety.

“At present, we are operating under an [email protected] licence until our licence is approved. Through this, we are also gaining expertise from them – they are helping with our learning curve,” says van Heerden adding that in less than a month of operations, the airline has already attracted a lot of interest and flights.

“We cater for the business person, the medical rep and anybody that needs to get to East London,” he explains.

Blu Crane Air has also partnered with Hertz meaning business travellers also enjoy very good rates on their car hire.

“In ten years, we would like to have eight aircrafts doing six routes daily, with multiple flights per route per day and Port Elizabeth as the centre hub,” says van Heerden, who is also a PE gynaecologist, believes there is huge economic potential in the Eastern Cape.

To change from that mundane airline, call Blu Crane Air on 082 785 3842 or visit them online at www.blucraneair.com