Air Botswana on turnaround path-Mabeo

Air Botswana plane
Air Botswana plane

The five-year business plan that Air Botswana is currently implementing has resulted in constant improvement in one time performance of the carrier by 10 percentage points from 79 percent last year to the recent 89 percent recorded by the first week of February.

Presenting the committee of supply speech recently, the minister of transport and communications Tshenolo Mabeo said, “ Air Botswana is currently implementing a five-year business plan that intends to turn Air Botswana into an economically and commercially sustainable airline.”

According to Mabeo there has been reduction in the number of flights to Maun, Kasane, Cape Town, Francistown, Harare and Lusaka in order to match passenger volumes. He added that, “ as a result of this rationalised schedule, an aircraft is always on standby to ensure efficient recovery, maximised maintenance opportunities, reduced operating cost and increased profitability.”

Further, Mabeo added that they are also implementing a project called ‘Improvement of Radar Coverage in the eastern sector airspace’ to enhance air traffic surveillance in the eastern airspace of Botswana.

The project is scheduled for completion in November this year. The installation of the equipment for the Air Traffic Control Stimulation Radar is ongoing with the expected commissioning date scheduled for April this year. Meanwhile, there is an ongoing construction of a new Air Traffic Control Tower and Technical Block at the Maun Airport, which commenced in January this year for a 12-month duration.

However the Minister raised concern that the estimated cost of the Maun Terminal building is too high at over P700 million.

“I have since assigned the project consultant and Civil Aviation Authority Botswana (CAAB) to re-assess this with a view to reducing the cost.

“This has since been done and we are currently studying their report. Should recommendations be approved and discussed with our stakeholders, then final designs will be done within six months after which construction process will begin.”

According to the Development Budget Expenditure Analysis for the financial year 2014/ 2015, Air Botswana was given about P300 million and as of March 6 this year and all the money has been spent.

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