Archive for the ‘Air Botswana’ Category

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

BSE-listed tourism concern, Chobe Holdings, has joined a growing list of Air Botswana castigators, labelling the national carrier’s sub-standard service as the single biggest challenge to the growth of the tourism industry in the country.

Announcing their financial results for the six months ended 31 August 2010, Chobe said Air Botswana’s failure to offer internationally acceptable service and its monopoly of routes into Northern Botswana was to the detriment of their business, which was heavily dependent on reliable air transport.

“The biggest challenge the tourism industry faces within Botswana remains the often sub-standard service rendered by Air Botswana, the only air carrier allowed to service the tourist industry in the Okavango,” said Managing Director, Jonathan Gibson.

“This situation has been further exacerbated by the [continue reading]

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source: Mmegi
BAME PIET
Staff Writer

Mystery surrounds suspension of national airline – Air Botswana from the membership of International Aviation Transport Association (IATA). While Air Botswana says it was suspended from the organisation, the latter says the airline resigned from the organisation in 2008.

In a written response to our queries Albert Tjoeng, assistant director of corporate communications of IATA headquarters in Geneva Switzerland (Asia Pacific) said “Air Botswana resigned from IATA membership at the end of 2008 (they were not suspended). In terms of why they chose to stop their IATA membership, you might want to check with Air Botswana directly”.

However, Air Botswana acting commercial director, Helen Chilisa would not say a word on [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA
Staff Writer

FRANCISTOWN: Air Botswana’s perennially inefficient and inconsistent service came under harsh and severe criticism here during the opening session of BOCCIM’s National Business Conference (NBC) with captains of industry challenging the government to promptly restore order at the national carrier.

Air Botswana’s service failings have also reignited debate on the liberalisation of the aviation industry, a move that government committed to but is yet to facilitate. Most speakers expressed frustration after more than 100 delegates heading for the conference were stranded at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport for over five hours on Sunday after a scheduled flight and a chartered service were both delayed.

The charter service was booked by BOCCIM. Said Executive Director, Maria Machailo-Ellis, at the start of the conference that began on [continue reading]

source: BOPA
02 December, 2009

The Minister of Transport and Communication, Mr Frank Ramsden has told Parliament that Air Botswana privatisation is still on. He said after the two attempts to privatise the airline, and the one to engage a management contractor failed, government decided to fully refurbish the airline.

Mr Ramsden said so far, two ART72 500 aircraft had already been bought, with possibilities of acquiring other wide bodied aircraft to augment the fleet and enhance the airlines performance in the aviation transport. He said that government would make the [continue reading]

source: Sunday Standard
by Tlotlang Rahube
26.07.2009 11:45:03 P

National carrier, Air Botswana, and East African skies heavyweight, Kenya Airways, have entered into a partnership that will see the two servicing the new Gaborone-Nairobi route.

Under the code-sharing deal, Air Botswana will sell seats on Kenya Airways direct flights, beginning September 4th between Nairobi and Gaborone.

The Managing Director of Kenya Airways (General Sales Agent), Mahesh Patel, opened the launch of flights on Friday. He said that Nairobi will be opening the second hub to Botswana, the first one being Oliver Tambo in Johannesburg.

“It is indeed a historic event; it is the first time we [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
05.04.2009

The Government is expected to embark on a full-swing of airways liberations plan that will see at least four more new airlines battling for domestic and international routes that might push the ailing Air Botswana to the brink.

The move comes after South African Airways—the continent’s biggest airliner with a business class —started its Gaborone – Johannesburg route a fortnight ago when its Airbus 319-100 with a 120 seating capacity flew into Botswana.

The SAA airbus gives customers an international experience as loyal customers with platinum card are given fast track check in at Johannesburg’s Oliver Tambo Airport.

Transport Minister, Johnnie Swartz, confirmed to Sunday Standard that [continue reading]

source: BOPA
25 March, 2009

GABORONE – The national-flag carrier, Air Botswana has taken delivery of its first new ATR 72-500, in accordance with a deal for the supply of two ATR 72- 500s inked last year and valued at US $ 37 million.

With its new ATR 72-500s, configured with 68-seats and equipped with the “elegance cabin” and in-Flight entertainment, Air Botswana will be able to respond to the growth of the air transport demand in the country by increasing the passenger capacity of its current fleet of three ATR 42-500s, says Mr Letlhogonolo Bantsi, Acting General Manager of the airline.

Mr Bantsi said the introduction of this new ATR 72-500 aircraft was a [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Percy Serumola
22.03.2009 11:50:01 A

Air Botswana (AB) this week revealed that it will be introducing additional routes after the purchase of two additional aircrafts. The new routes will be introduced on March 29 and May 31.

This comes at a time when the competition is getting hostile after South African Airways (SAA) announced its entry into the Johannesburg-Gaborone route. The airliner and the introduction of new aircraft are expected to make Air Botswana more competitive.

Air Botswana last year announced the purchase of two ATR 72-500 aircrafts with a seating capacity of 72. However, the airliner noted that the planes will only be allowed to carry 68 passengers so as to maximise comfort.

Purchasing ATR aircrafts was chosen over jet planes as they are more reliable and economic. These aircraft are able to travel direct routes to their destination without [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
STAFF WRITER

The Air Botswana management team is working day and night to have the airline reinstated by the International Air Traffic Association (IATA) by September this year, Assistant Minister of Works and Transport Frank Ramsden told Parliament yesterday.

He was responding to a question by Member of Parliament (MP) for Mogoditshane Patrick Masimolole who wanted to know whether withdrawal of Air Botswana’s membership from IATA was associated with its non-compliance with IATA safety requirements and standards.

The legislator also wanted to know if it is true that non-compliance by the airline was communicated to its former chief executive officer who has since joined IATA.
Ramsden said that IATA Operational Safety Audit programme is an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to assess operational management and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
03 March, 2009

GABORONE – The new management contract of Air Botswana is expected to be in place in April, says the Minister of Works and Transport, Mr Johnnie Swartz.

Presenting his ministry’s budget proposal last week, Mr Swartz said consultations to get the necessary approval are currently ongoing within government.

Mr Swartz said the government started negotiating with International Development Ireland (IDI) after the unsuccessful management contract with COMAIR.

The minister said apart from efforts to secure the services of a management contract firm to improve operational efficiency, the government late last year assisted the national airline with about P160 million for the procurement of two aircrafts.

He said his ministry is currently in the process of disbursing a further P267 million as final payment and that delivery is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE
Staff Writer

Cabinet is yet to be presented with the new management contract for Air Botswana by International Development Ireland (IDI), Mmegi has learnt.

Said the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Baledzi Gaolathe, in his budget speech four weeks ago: “Government started fresh negotiations with IDI, which have successfully been concluded and it is expected that the management contract will start by April 2009.”

However, the new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Carter Morupisi, yesterday said he was not in a position to discuss the contract between the government and IDI because the two parties were yet to sign an agreement.Morupisi said Cabinet was yet to be furnished with the report in order to decide a way forward.”We are hoping it will be finalised April 1,” he said. “It has been debated, and the ministry is [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE
Staff Writer

A Russian billionaire who was reported to be keen in investing in Air Botswana appears to have abandoned the idea. Alexander Lebedev an ex-KGB spy has not communicated with the Botswana government ever since it was announced that he is interested in the national carrier.

Last August, the Ministry of Works and Transport announced that the billionaire was interested in buying a stake in Air Botswana. But so far, he is yet to pitch up for talks with the government.

The Ministry of Works and Transport spokesman, Samuel Mbaiwa who broke the news in August with a sense of optimism sounded more pessimistic yesterday about the investor. “That man never pitched up. He has not communicated. We invited him so we can ask him questions about his [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
By Brian Benza
Staff writer

The long-awaited privatisation of the national airline Air Botswana would significantly boost the tourism industry due to increased volumes of visitors to the country, says eco-tourism group Chobe Holdings.

Presenting the group’s results for the six months ended 31 August 2008, Chobe Holdings Managing Director Jonathan Gibson said the privatisation of Air Botswana was expected to bring more confidence to the travel industry.

The privatisation of Air Botswana has been frozen after management contract negotiations with Com Air of South Africa snagged and before totally collapsing early this year.

“Given the perception that Air Botswana remains an unreliable provider of regular airline services, the tourism industry continues to explore alternative entry points, mainly through neighbouring [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
BRIAN BENZA and
WANETSHA MOSINYI
Staff Writers

Sticking points on restructuring has led to the collapse of contract negotiations for the management of state-owned Air Botswana, government sources have revealed.

Ministry of Works and Transport sources privy to the negotiations say that one of the sticking points is the proposed retrenchment by the management company Comair.

It is understood that as part of the restructuring of the national flag carrier, Comair wanted to trim down the staff compliment at Air Botswana, particularly the top managers. The company felt the managers are too many and this has caused a duplication of roles and imposed a huge burden on costs.

It is understood that Comair has problems with the ageing Air Botswana fleet and had provided alternatives, which the government turned down.

Government now plans to negotiate a management contract for Air Botswana with International Development Ireland (IDI).

Comair was selected as the [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
WANETSHA MOSINYI
Staff Writer

A Russian billionaire has shown interest in buying a stake in Air Botswana, Ministry of Works and Transport spokesperson Samuel Mbaiwa has confirmed.

“I can confirm that he is interested in investing in Air Botswana and we have invited him to come to Botswana to make his proposal to government,” Mbaiwa said.

He explained that the Russian’s interest has nothing to do with the ongoing management contract or privatisation of Air Botswana.

He said the Russian proposed that he could help establish a direct air link to transport tourists from Europe to Botswana.

Business Today has been reliably informed that the Russion is Alexander Lebedev, who was in 2008 listed by Forbes magazine as one of the richest Russians. He is the 358th richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of $3.1 billion and owns Aeroflot and is part owner of Noyaya Gazeta. He is referred to as one of the Russian tycoons and is a member of the state Duma and one of [continue reading]