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Photo by James Duncan,
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Uyuni Salt Flats



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  #1  
Old 5 Mar 2022
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Flying Africa Twin from Cape Town to Malaga, Spain

Hi, everyone

My wife and I intend flying our bike to Malaga next year (towards the end of March). What company would be the most comfortable to work with? An estimate of the cost would also be appreciated.

Thank you for your interest in our situation!
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Old 7 Mar 2022
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Until someone more knowledgeable chips in...

The best thing to do is to look for an air freight forwarder in Cape Town, send inquiries to those you find, and read online reviews about them.

There are apparently no direct flights from Cape Town to Malaga or even anywhere in Spain, so you'd have to not just load the bike into a crate, but then also have that crate transferred from one airplane to another.

Furthermore, the airplane that arrives in Malaga would need to be either a dedicated freighter, or a passenger widebody aircraft (Boeing 787/Airbus A350 or similar), and I am not sure there are many widebodies at all going to a relatively regional airport like Malaga. A quick google tells me that Qatar is apparently flying widebodies Doha-Malaga, and does also fly direct Cape Town-Doha. So Qatar Air Cargo might be technically possible. Turkish Airlines is the cheaperst connection from Cape Town to Malaga, but I am almost certain they would use a narrowbody A320 on the Istanbul-Malaga route.

However: 1) air cargo space is at a huge premium right now, and very expensive to book; 2) it would be better to start your European road trip somewhere that has a direct widebody/freighter connection with Cape Town; 3) if you're just flying out on holiday, chances are that renting an Africa Twin in Malaga will be cheaper than shipping your own bike two ways; 4) if you're moving permanently, you will also lose less money selling your existing bike in SA and buying an equivalent used one in Spain.
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Old 29 Mar 2022
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Talk to Adrian Schultz at Econotrans in Paarden Eiland. Top bloke and very helpful.


Econo Trans


There are plenty of ships going from Capetown to Algeciras, but if you ship build in extra time. Mine has just got back to London by sea (done this twice now) - there was a two month delay at Capetown (not Econotrans fault), but hopefully things will have settled down by the time you want to travel. If you can swallow the considerable extra cost, you could fly it to London (to Motofreight for example) and then get on the ferry to Spain. DO NOT put your bike on Turkish Airlines, they are gits.


Costs have risen considerably as you will have heard. There were far fewer planes than normal flying to South Africa in November 2021 when we started our trip, so flying the bikes down cost us about GBP2500 plus fees via IST and JNB with Turkish, that's about a grand more than I paid in 2015, but cheaper than any other carrier at the time. There were delays and cockups along the way, entirely the airline's fault. Normally flying is super easy though. I don't know what we will be paying for bringing the bike back, but hopefully it will be between 1500 and two grand (in 2015 it was about GBP900 plus fees)


EDIT. Just had the invoice - GBP1495 including port fees. Not too bad at all. As usual with shipping, you need to decide if it's cheaper versus renting. With a big bike you seem to break even around the four week mark depending on where you're going, definitely by six weeks. We were in SA and Namibia for seven so saved maybe a grand on a rental.
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Last edited by reggie3cl; 30 Mar 2022 at 14:25.
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