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Badly-maintained airline plots a comeback

Silverstone Air Services is planning to come back as JetLite Air Limited.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has received a request for the name change but has not yet approved or rejected it. This is according to people familiar with the issue.

In 2019, the carrier experienced a series of minor accidents, forcing it to suspend scheduled passenger services. In October 2019, one of its DHC-8-300s skidded off the runway at Nairobi Wilson, injuring two of the 50 passengers on board. In November the same year, another one of its Dash-8-300s made an emergency landing at Eldoret after one of its wheels came off.

The accidents prompted the industry regulator KCAA to temporarily suspend Silverstone’s Dash 8 turboprop fleet for inspection, on November 12, 2019. When the suspension was lifted on November 19, the carrier itself halted all of its scheduled operations.

The airliner also suffered a different problem in December 2019, after Elix Aviation Capital repossessed it’s fleet of Dash 8 turboprops, which consisted of two DHC-8-100s and four DHC-8-300s.

Revealed: Lobbying Behind Silverstone Airlines Reinstatement

Some of Silverstone’s remaining fleet was chartered out to Somali domestic carriers Salaam Air Express, Som Express Airways, and Maandeeq Air.

In September 2020, a Silverstone air cargo flight was reported to have crash-landed at Mogadishu airport.

Silverstone Air Services started as a charter and contract air operator using a Cessna (single turboprop) CE208 to serve northern Kenya and South Sudan, primarily on behalf of NGOs. In 2017, the company rebranded as Silverstone Air, deploying two 50-seater Fokker 50s to serve Kisumu and Ukunda in October that year. The airline then expanded to the coastal destinations of Malindi and Lamu, adding two DHC-8-Q100s.

Silverstone Air continues to have eleven aircraft, including one CRJ100ER(F) leased from Avmax Aircraft Leasing; seven F50s, of which three are wet-leased to Maandeeq Air; and three F50(F)s.

 


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