Air Botswana Still Up for Privatization – Mokaila

  • 3 New aircrafts to be bought
  • P11 million spent on consultants in last 5 years


Transport and Communications Minister Kitso Mokaila has told parliament that government will proceed to privatize Air Botswana.
Government in 2016 decided to privatize Air Botswana and through the Transport ministry invited interested bidders in the privatization partnership early last year. Mokaila told the media that 17 companies had responded to the Express of Interest (EOI). Wilderness Holdings, a company with links to President Ian Khama emerged as winners in the process. However, following backlash from the public and media, the tourism company withdrew its interest.
“Madam Speaker, Air Botswana will be privatized. The desire is to have an operationally efficient Air Botswana that will be valuable and attractive to potential investors,” Mokaila responded to MP Dithapelo Keorapetse in parliament last week, divulging the national flag carrier was in the process of acquiring new aircrafts.
“One of the priority preparatory actions is to increase the intrinsic value of Air Botswana. Amongst these is to implement a fleet renewal plan, which will see the airline acquire new aircraft,” explained the minister.
Mokaila also told parliament that since 2013, the airline has spent P11 million on consultant fees but failed to implement recommendations due to limited finances.
“In 2013, Air Botswana engaged ICF Consultants to develop a business plan and to develop a turnaround strategy, at a cost of P10 million. Air Botswana engaged the International Air Transport Association (IATA) consultants in 2015 to refine the strategy which was, subsequently, not implemented due to lack of funding. They were also tasked to determine suitable aircraft types and numbers for Air Botswana route network. This was at a cost of P1million,” he explained.
“Air Botswana has a viable business plan with a modern model of the type of ICT that should be used for competitive advantage. Lack of funding; as well as Government’s decision to privatize resulted in delayed implementation,” concluded Mokaila.