SAFAIR ITALIAN ANTARCTIC AIR SUPPORT

Safair is a Private South African company which specialises in aircraft chartering and flies both passenger and cargo aircraft.  It is one of the few private companies to operate a fleet of Hercules cargo aircraft. It has over the past decade become proficient in operating Hercules to the Antarctic Continent flying firstly to the Antarctic Peninsula area and then to East Antarctica for the South African and Russian programmes.

In 2001 SAFAIR was chartered by the Italian Antarctic Program to provide air logistics support in place of the previously used Italian Air Force whose aircraft had proved less than reliable.

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Safair Hercules aircraft on McMurdo Ice runway with Mount Erebus in background November 2004

*******   2001 SAFAIR FIRST SEASON   *******

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SAFAIR 1  2001 (November 19th) Envelope carried by SAFAIR on first flight.   Price US$6

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Note: The above cover is backstamped in Christchurch on 19 November 2001 following flight to Christchurch.

The picture at left shows the chartered SAFAIR Hercules taking off from the Tethys Bay sea ice at Terra Nova Bay.

 

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SAFAIR 2  2001 (November 19th) Signed envelope carried by SAFAIR on first flight.   Price US$8

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Pictured at left are the flight crew of the SAFAIR aircraft.

The Navigation Planner Louis Cronje who has signed the above envelope is at far right in the photo with the others being Roos, Hannes, Fela and Kwoss.

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SAFAIR 3  2001 (November 22th) Airmail envelope carried by SAFAIR from Scott Base.   Price US$5

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Note: The above cover has the cachet at left from Scott Base on its back flap. The envelope was carried from Scott Base by SAFAIR to New Zealand where it was postmarked by the Postal Agency on arrival the following day.

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SAFAIR 4 2001 (November 22th) Airmail envelope carried by SAFAIR from Scott Base.   Price US$8

Note: This envelope was on the same flight as the previous item and it has been signed by Louis Cronje.

*******   2004 SAFAIR FOURTH SEASON   *******

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SAFAIR 5 2004 (December 2nd) Airmail envelope carried by SAFAIR from Scott Base.   Price US$5

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SAFAIR 6 20041 (December 3rd) Envelope carried by SAFAIR from Mario Zucchelli.   Price US$8

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Note: The above envelope has been autographed by Captain Carlos Martins. It also bears 2 new Mario Zucchelli Station cachets as well as one of Scott Base. Because of the early break up of the ice at Terra Nova Bay all Hercules flights were now limited to McMurdo to Christchurch flights with smaller Twin Otter aircraft flying to and from Terra Nova Bay.

The view at left shows the SAFAIR Hercules on the ice runway in Terra Nova Bay adjoining Mario Zucchelli Station during November 2004.

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SAFAIR 7 2004 (December 3rd) Airmail postcard carried by SAFAIR from Scott Base.   Price US$5

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SAFAIR 8 2004 (December 3rd) Airmail postcard carried by SAFAIR from Scott Base.   Price US$10

Note: The above postcard has been autographed by all 4 members of the flight crew.

The picture at right which also appears on the postcard above shows the 4 man flight crew of the Safair Hercules (with Captain Carlos Martins at far right) on the McMurdo Ice runway in November 2004.

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SAFAIR 9 2004 (December 3rd) Airmail envelope carried by SAFAIR from Scott Base.   Price US$5

Note: The envelope above bears a large circular beer bottle label from a special Lager brewed by  Christchurch's "Harringtons Breweries" for the SAFAIR crews of 2004. This label is also shown at right. The Safair team comprised two 4 men crews, engineering back up staff and a flight planner. They stayed in Christchurch for 1 month and evidently enjoyed a good Christchurch lager in their time off.

We offer unused labels below.

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SAFAIR 10   SAFAIR 2004 Lager label unused     Price US$3

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SAFAIR 11 2004 (December 6th) Airmail postcard carried by SAFAIR from Mario Zucchelli.   Price US$5.

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Safair Hercules on the Tarmac at Christchurch International Airport in November 2004.

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SAFAIR 12 2005 (November 14th) Airmail postcard carried by SAFAIR from Mario Zucchelli.   Price US$8.

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Note: the above postcard has been signed by Captain Peter Bocking who is shown above.

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The view above shows a Helicopter being unloaded from the SAFAIR Hercules at Terra Nova Bay.

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SAFAIR 13 2005 (December 2nd) Airmail postcard carried by SAFAIR from Mario Zucchelli.   Price US$8.

Note: The above postcard has also been signed by Captain Peter Bocking. It has a nice airmail from Antarctica air label on it. It has the triangular Mario Zucchelli Station cachet on the reverse.

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SAFAIR 14  2005 (December 5th) Airmail postcard carried by SAFAIR from Mario Zucchelli.   Price US$8.

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The above postcard has been signed by the entire crew of the Safair Hercules aircraft. The cachets shown at left are on the reverse of the above postcard.


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