Air Botswana privatisation hits brick wall

Air Botswana plane
Air Botswana plane

Cash-strapped airline, Air Botswana, seems to have no end in sight for its financial struggles with the Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame, last week revealing to Parliament that privatisation efforts have hit a brick wall due to failure to lure in investors because of the loss making nature of the airline.

The state-owned national flag carrier has been drenched in financial dire straits for many years with the airline failing to break even due to low sales and high maintenance costs. Responding to a question in Parliament, Serame revealed that privatisation efforts have been stalled since 2016 with the World Bank roped in to assist in feasibility studies.

“An attempt to privatise Air Botswana was made in 2016, but was not successful due to the loss making nature of the entity. Currently the entity is going through a process of identifying a strategic partner in preparation for privatisation,” she said. The national airline is scheduled to receive a bailout of P121 million in the 2024-2025 financial year, which follows an allocation of P166 million in the current year, also for a bailout.

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