Air Botswana re-fleeting halted

Portia Nkani - BG reporter
Monday, 06 March 2017
Air Botswana re-fleeting halted

Air Botswana’s re-fleeting process which has been under consideration over the last few years by the shareholder (government) has since been put on hold pending completion of the privatisation process. The shareholder recently invited suitable entities, companies, consortiums or service providers capable of offering efficient and reliable air transport services to meet the needs of Botswana’s business and tourism sectors by operating Air Botswana to indicate their interest in the airline.

Air Botswana’s Director-Commercial, Hugh Fraser revealed to Botswana Guardian that “Air Botswana is currently undergoing privatisation and the re-fleeting project is on halt until the process is complete.” This was following an inquiry from last week’s announcement on the resumption of Air Botswana routes to Kasane and Cape Town. Air Botswana currently operates four ATR turbo propeller aircraft and a leased Jet aircraft, which is operated on the Gaborone-Cape Town route. Meanwhile, the Gaborone-Cape Town route resumed on February 26th, whilst the Gaborone-Kasane resumed on March 1st.

The service will be operated through an existing agreement with CemAir on the same current flight schedule to minimise any customer inconvenience. Air Botswana said this is an internal commercial agreement to cover the operation of the Cape Town route and has been in place since 2015

Fraser explained to this publication that, the Kasane and Cape Town routes were never suspended. Rather, “we had replaced the Jet service with a turboprop for six weeks between Gaborone and Cape Town, but the jet operation has been reintroduced. The Kasane flights were reduced due to heavy maintenance on the aircraft and reduced fleet availability. However, five flights per week have now been restored between Gaborone and Kasane from 01 March.”

Days of operation between Gaborone and Cape Town in either direction remain as Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The Gaborone and Kasane flights will be on Wednesday and Friday respectively. Air Botswana said the Sunday flights will become a later morning schedule, to better suit tourism and other business travellers to the Kasane / Chobe area.