The First No Toilet Airline: A New Trend or Torture?

Beechcraft
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No Toilet Cem Air connects Johannesburg with popular tourism destinations for passengers coming in on British Airways, Qatar Airways or other airlines.

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Founded in 2002, CemAir South Africa operates 26 aircraft from Johannesburg. They service popular tourist destinations and important business towns across Africa.

The airline’s head office, engineering, and maintenance facility are in Hangar 6 OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

CemAir is proud to serve as an interline carrier for British Airways, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air, Proflight Zambia, and LAVA Mozambique.

One of the aircraft used is a Cem Air Beechcraft 1900D. It’s a twin turboprop engine plane that can carry two crew members and 19 passengers to destinations such as Johannesburg to Maun in Botswana. The aircraft has a range of 2500 km.

Maun is a popular gateway to the Delta Safari region in Botswana.

Miles van der Molen, the Camair CEO, told Wendy Knowler, publishing a popular travel column:

“We have found that encouraging passengers to plan their needs on either side of the flight is the most successful strategy.”

Ms Knowler referred to the locked toilet on some of the flights, such as the Beechcraft 1900D.

When asked if the airline would open the toilet in case of an emergency, the CEO said: “Opening this functioning toilet on our 1900D will not happen.” She also said she didn’t like the odor of doing so.

A flight from Johannesburg to Maun takes about one hour and 45 minutes, plus the time to board and taxi to and from the gate.

Passengers are warned before boarding to use the airport toilets.

The CEO also said: “Someone who wanted to cancel because of the locked toilet will receive a full refund.”

The reality is that there are countless times when male passengers are being forced to relieve themselves into a bottle in front of fellow passengers. The situation becomes even more embarrassing and perhaps more of a torture for lady passengers.

Water and alcohol were provided on a self-service basis on Cem Air flights.

The airline is a full member of IATA. IATA policies suggest a functioning toilet on member airlines carrying passengers, but according to Cem Air CEO this was not a binding regulation.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • A flight from Johannesburg to Maun takes about one hour and 45 minutes, plus the time to board and taxi to and from the gate.
  • Ms Knowler referred to the locked toilet on some of the flights, such as the Beechcraft 1900D.
  • The reality is that there are countless times when male passengers are being forced to relieve themselves into a bottle in front of fellow passengers.

About the author

Avatar of Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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