An Air Rhodesia Boeing 720 jet airliner made an inaugural flight to South Africa from Salisbury on Friday (July 6).
An Air Rhodesia Boeing 720 jet airliner made an inaugural flight to South Africa from Salisbury on Friday (July 6). The 122-seat aircraft was filled with sportsmen and women, on their way to compete in Durban.
The jet was one of three bought secretly by Rhodesia in spite of the United Nations economic sanctions imposed when Rhodesia unilaterally declared itself independent in 1965.
The Boeings are expected to replaced the ageing Viscount fleet on flights between Salisbury, South Africa and Mozambique.
SYNOPSIS: One of the three passenger jet airliners secretly bought by Rhodesia earlier this year left Salisbury for Durban, South Africa, on Friday (July 6) on it's maiden international flight in Air Rhodesia colours.
The 122 passengers consisted of rugby players, spectators and punters attending south Africa's premier horse race. "The Durban July Handicap". Air Rhodesia bought the three Boeings 720 jets from an unknown source in April this year to replace its ageing Viscount fleet on flights between Salisbury, South Africa and Mozambique.
Although the jets are scheduled to go into full airline service only in September, this was the first commercial charter by Air Rhodesia of one of its Boeing fleet.
Rhodesia's Transport Minister, Mr. Roger Hawkins, declined to say where the aircraft originated, although reports at the time said they came from a West German-based charter airline company that went bankrupt. Mr. Hawkins said they had been obtained at a very satisfactory price. The Rhodesians regard the purchase of the jets as a blow against the United Nations' economic sanctions imposed when Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence in 1965.