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Central African Airways
CentralAfricanAirways logo.jpg
Founded 1946
Hubs Salisbury
Focus cities None
Fleet size 17
Destinations Domestic, South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, United Kingdom
Headquarters Salisbury, Rhodesia
Key people A E P Robinson, Max Stuart-Shaw, Ken Greager
Website None

Central African Airways (CAA) was formed in 1946 from the wartime Southern Rhodesian Air Services (SRAS), which was in turn formed from the pre-war Rhodesia And Nyasaland Airways (RANA) and Southern Rhodesia Air Force (SRAF) communications squadron. The airline was the national carrier initially of Southern Rhodesia, then of the Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953. It was headquartered in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia.[1]

The airline headquarters and maintenance base was at Belvedere Airport, close to the centre of Salisbury.



CAA Vickers Viking VP-YIR "Luangwa" arriving at Heathrow from Salisbury in May 1953

After starting with an Avro Anson, fleets of DH104 Doves and Vickers Vikings were bought, but the Doves proved unequal to the hot-and-high tropical operations, and were soon replaced by DHC2 Beavers.

CAA operated its first service to London in 1953 with Vickers Vikings in 1953 (known as the Zambesi Service, with a giraffe as a logo).

1956 - The airlines main base was moved to a newly built headquarters at the new Salisbury Airport (then called Kentucky Airport, because it was built on the former Kentucky farm, about 10 miles (16 km) outside Salisbury.

Five new Viscount 748Ds were delivered. The aircraft came equipped with external slipper tanks for long-range operations.

1957 - The Viscounts took over the international service to Europe from the Vikings.

1958 - CAA established the first computerized reservations system in Africa, using a Hollerith mechanical computer.

In 1958 an agreement was reached with BOAC, where BOAC operated a weekly 'Rhodesian' service using CAA flight numbers (CE892 northbound, and CE893 southbound) for a period of 10 years. In sequence BOAC operated the Rhodesian service with Argonaut, Britannia, Comet and VC10. The services ceased in 1966, following the Rhodesian Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).

1960 - The BOAC/SAA/EAAC/CAA quadripartite African partnership was started on 1 October, and continued until ended by the Rhodesian UDI.

1962 - When Rhodesian Air Services ceased operations, CAA took over their route to Vilancoulas and the aircraft.

CAA leased a DC-6A from Alitalia for services to Europe and Mauritius.

1963 - The Central African Federation was dissolved.

1964 - CAA established subsidiary airlines in the three countries of the Central African Federation as Air Malawi, Air Rhodesia and Zambia Airways.

1965 - CAA ended the lease and returned the DC-6A to Alitalia.

1967 - All CAA assets were divided among the three subsidiaries and CAA ceased to be an operator on 31 August 1967.

Aircraft operated

Accidents and incidents


  1. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 8 April 1960. 495.
  2. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 11 September 2009.  

External links

CAA history [1]

CAA accidents from ASN [2]



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