MGC increases aviation fleet

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Bereng Mpaki

THE Matekane Group of Companies (MGC) this week welcomed a new and larger jet to its aviation fleet.

The new airplane, a Learjet, is expected to widen MGC Aviation’s company services. Among others, the company currently provides private chartering services.

MGC Aviation was launched on 23 February 2010 in the presence His Majesty King Letsie III and the then Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.

The airline began charter operations using a Hawker 700A and a Euro Copter EC135. In April 2012, the airline received its first Bombardier CRJ200, followed by a second in 2013.

The aircrafts were initially used on charter flights and by other African airlines before MGC Airlines rebranded to Maluti Sky in June 2015.

On 29 March 2016, the airline launched scheduled operations with flights to Johannesburg from Maseru using the Bombardier CRJ200. However, in April of the following year, Maluti Sky halted operations citing that the airline industry needs a conducive commercial strategy and support from stakeholders and the government.

At the time, the company said it was not ready to operate a fully-fledged airline service and had to make the most economical decision to seize operations until further notice.

MGC Airlines was founded in 2009 by entrepreneur, Sam Matekane, was inspired to start the airline after an episode where King Letsie III was stranded in Paris because of a strike by Air France pilots in November 2008.

Mr Matekane’s MGC is a multi- sector business empire with interests in mining, aviation, property, construction and agriculture among others. It operates in Lesotho and South Africa. Mr Matekane himself is a renowned businessman and was last month honoured by Forbes with the Best of Africa award for 2021 for his sterling entrepreneurial work.

The award is given to business people with a record of creating businesses “with far-reaching and positive contributions to the development of Africa”, according to Forbes.

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