Milestones in MAF's history

70 years of faith-adventures flying to crazy bush airstrips isn't without its highlights! Here are some of them.

1940s - MAF is born

1944 Murray Kendon proposes MAF concept

1945 MAF office opens in London, UK

1947 First aircraft dedicated (Miles Gemini)

1948 Gemini survey of Africa

1949 De Havilland Rapide purchased for Sudan

1950s - Flights take off

1950 Sudan: first MAF regular flight operations commence

1953 First flights from Sudan into Ethiopia

1957 Sudan: single-engined Cessna 180 aircraft introduced

1958 Survey of south-western Ethiopia

1959 Kenya: MAF programme starts

1960s - Operations expand throughout Africa

1960 Ethiopia: MAF programme starts

1964 Sudan: expulsion of missions and closure of MAF programme there after 14 years

1965 Chad survey

1966 Chad: MAF programme starts

1970s - Struggles and blessings

1974 Ethiopia: six MAF aircraft now operating

1975 Chad: bitter persecution of the church

1976 Finnish Council of MAF formed

1977 Tanzania: MAF programme starts

Ethiopia: Marxist government restrictions force closure of MAF's operations. Programme ends after 17 years

Sudan: a respite in the civil war. MAF programme restarts

1978 MAF Netherlands formed

1979 Chad: fierce fighting and civil war in Chad forces MAF to fly its planes out of the country after 13 years

1980s - A time of growth

1981 Chad: programme reopens

1982 FFM, later MAF Sweden, formed

First European MAF conference held with representatives from Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and UK

Tanzania now has six aircraft operating all over the vast country from five bases

1983 Sudan: after seven years of further operations (21 years in all in Sudan) programme closes due to government restrictions

1985 Chad famine

1986 MAF Norway formed

1987 Uganda: MAF programme starts

1988 Madagascar: MAF programme starts

1989 MAF Denmark formed

MAF Europe Board officially constituted with representatives from Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and UK

1990s - 50 years of MAF

1990 Finland, Denmark and Norway join MAF Europe

1991 Namibia: MAF service initiated

Mongolia surveyed

1992 Ethiopia: programme restarts

MAF France and MAF Germany established

1993 MAF Europe now operating 30 aircraft and has over 80 family units overseas

Relief operations with MEDAIR in northeast Somalia

Kenya operating five aircraft

Relief flights into Sudan from Kenya

1994 Rwanda crisis: MAF involved

Tanzania now has 11 aircraft

Rapid expansion in Ethiopia

MAF Europe reconstituted. Appoints a separate Chief Executive to concentrate on overseas operations

European national supporting groups, including UK, focus on gathering the necessary resources for the operations

1995 Rwanda crisis continues

MAF 50th anniversary celebration meetings

Ethiopia now operating five aircraft

1996 Rwanda crisis still continues

Crisis in Zaire (now DRC)

MAF Italy formed

1998 Opening of new Nairobi operations centre

Ethiopia: flying stops again

1999 Ethiopia: Abyssinian Flight Services formed

Substantial increase of flights into Sudan

Funds provided for Caravan and hangar in Mongolia

2000s - Help amid tsunamis and cyclones

2000 First flight in Mongolia

Mozambique crisis

2001 Funds provided for Grand Caravan and operations centre for MAF South Africa

2002 Handover of Bangladesh operations from MAF Sweden to MAF Europe

Further crisis in DRC

2003 Relief flights into Sudan from Uganda

Evacuation of 1,700 people in DRC by MAF and AIM AIR

Second Grand Caravan provided for South Africa

MAF Europe and MAF Australia seeking closer collaboration

2004 MAF South Africa and MAF Europe working together

2005 MAF flights aid tsunami relief in Aceh, Indonesia

2006 New base established in Juba, Sudan

MAF Europe reconstituted as MAF International, a new organisation responsible for co-ordinating MAF's operations and resources globally. MAF groups from Australia (including PNG and Arnhem Land), Canada, New Zealand and South Africa join as members

2007 First flight in Timor-Leste

Massive cyclone Sidr devastates communities in southern Bangladesh. MAF provides support for relief and ongoing redevelopment work

MAF rescues hundreds of people during post-election violence in Kenya

2008 First pilot family for 25 years arrives in Juba, southern Sudan

Training base opens in South Africa

MAF evacuates from Chad for four months following rebel advancement

2009 The first Kodiak 100 aircraft funded by MAF UK is delivered and deployed to Indonesia

2010s - responding to today's needs

2010 MAF is central to the relief efforts in Haiti providing flights and logistical support following the devastating earthquake in January

2011 Southern Sudan votes to secede becoming officially independent on 9 July. MAF flights continue to provide support in South Sudan as well as responding to evacuation requests from areas of unrest

As famine grips East Africa, MAF sees a surge in flying activity to bring relief workers and aid to the worst affected areas, particularly with regards to the soaring number of refugees escaping conflict and famine

2012 New common MAF logo launched by all MAF groups worldwide

2013 MAF Malaysia Berhad incorporated, designating MAF as an NGO in Malaysia

2014 MAF groups re-established in the Philippines and Singapore for the purpose of resourcing MAF’s worldwide ministry.  

2015 MAF begins flying in Liberia. MAF also sets up a helicopter co-ordination service to provide humanitarian assistance following two earthquakes. 

2016 Staff from India and Singapore begin service, a programme is established in Nepal, and surveys are carried out in Myanmar. MAF is central to relief efforts in Haiti following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.

2017 Help us write MAF's story in 2017