Pirates reveal plans for Comoros
Orlando Pirates are to cut out a potentially taxing travel schedule to the Comoros Islands next weekend by chartering their own plane in and out of the island nation.
Instead of flying via Cairo, Kenya, Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius or Tanzania, they are traveling directly to Moroni on Thursday for the second leg of their African Champions League first round tie against Djabal.
The away leg is to be played next Saturday afternoon in the Comoros capital.
Pirates, who have a 5-0 lead from the first leg, intend departing on Thursday, having a practice on the match surface on Friday and flying home on Sunday.
They want to get back quickly after the match because they have a game against Bloemfontein Celtic on March 6 at the Orlando Stadium, just three days after they arrive back.
Were they go by commercial flights, they might only likely make it back by late Monday, leaving little time to recover for a key game in the championship chase.
More than a decade ago there used to be direct flights between Johannesburg and the Comoros when Sol Kerzner still operated a luxury hotel on the island but the Le Galawa Sun is now derelict. It was closed as political instability in the former French colony, now an Islamic republic, hit the tourist trade.
One of the major drawbacks of competing in the annual pan-African club tournaments is the sometime odious travel arrangements, necessitated by poor links across the continent. Clubs are often forced to spend as many days on the road getting to a destination as they are actually there. It usually has a detrimental effect on their domestic form.