- Gov’t injects P91m into Air Botswana to ensure it doesn’t remain a going concern
- Aviation school planned for opening in October
- Project to attract more airlines to Botswana and overflights planned
A lot of effort is required to revitalise the Air Botswana and airports around the country, the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Eric Molale, has said.
Presenting to the Committee of Supply in Parliament recently, Minister Molale said as recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the main focus of the national airline should be on diversification of revenue streams and to be more cargo-driven.
Key source markets
“The cargo project is well underway and the airline has signed agreements with cargo handling agents at key source markets such as China, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Germany and the United Arab Emirates,” he told Parliament.
“The restructuring and sourcing of a strategic partner for our airline has also started in earnest. The valuation of the airline as well as its value chain growth projects, which must precede procurement of a strategic business partner, have commenced.”
The transport minister said the value chain development projects for Air Botswana include an aviation school, which is scheduled to be operational by October 2023.
“There is also the expansion of the maintenance and repairs facility aimed at attracting third party clientele to utilise the airline’s maintenance facility for a variety of aircraft types,” he said.
“Then there is the issue of Public Private Partnership (PPP) for a ground handling company as well as a travel agency to afford competitive fares for the airline’s passengers.”
Molale added that the government is committed to ensuring that Air Botswana does not remain a going concern as evidenced by the recent injection of P91 million for restoration of its fleet to full capacity.
“This should eliminate complaints about the airline’s performance,” he noted. “Botswana attained a rating of 80 percent compared to Africa’s average of 57 percent and the global average of 67.4 percent as per the audit conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 2022.
“As a result of this good rating, my ministry has commenced implementation of the State Safety Plan (SSP) to ensure that all aviation operators comply with the required safety regulations.”
Molale disclosed that his ministry will undertake an Improvement of Air Traffic Services (ATS) Surveillance Coverage of Botswana Airspace project in the coming financial year.
Safety and security
“The objective of the project is to improve safety and security of the Botswana airspace and ultimately attract more airlines, including overflights,” he said.
“It will not only ensure aviation safety and security but also attract investors and tourists into the country whilst increasing revenues through overflight fees.
“My ministry intends to go on a continuous improvement mode to sustain all these achievements and initiatives for the overall good of our economy.”