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Last Updated
Tuesday 18 May 2021, 10:10 am.
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Air Botswana to increase Ftown-Joburg flights

FRANCISTOWN: Air Botswana plans to introduce more direct flights between the cities of Francistown and Johannesburg in the near future to support the mining boom in the country's second largest city.
By CHAKALISA DUBE
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Air Botswana to increase Ftown-Joburg flights








The company's general manager Sakhile Reiling told Mmegi recently at Tati River Lodge where she officiated at the bi-annual meeting of the Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM), that the airliner has since realised that the mines around Francistown contract workers who live in Johannesburg. She said the workers fly into the city from South Africa on a frequent basis. "We have other flights that operate between Johannesburg and Gaborone on other days of the week. The problem is that they are not direct. They pass through Gaborone, that is why we want to introduce more direct flights between the two cities. We want to improve the convenience of doing business for the mines," she said.

She revealed that several mining companies around the city have requested Air Botswana to introduce direct flights for the whole week between the two cities to reduce travel logistics for the workers and improve productivity in their ventures.   Reiling said they are seriously considering introducing flights for the whole week because they are happy with the frequency of travellers between the two cities.

"It is a viable business idea. We also want to take services to our customers. I however cannot reveal when we intend to introduce the initiative because we are still to consult thoroughly with the concerned stakeholders but it will be soon," she said.

Currently Air Botswana operates two direct flights between Johannesburg

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and Francistown on Tuesday and Thursday every week.

Reiling also stated that should Air Botswana introduce more flights between Francistown and Johannesburg, the company will not have a problem as it has purchased two planes from Europe at the cost of P42 million. She said this would help the company in its bid to expand its operations and improve its competitiveness.

She stated that the first plane will arrive in the country in July while the second is expected in September. She added that Air Botswana will again purchase two planes from Europe next year as part of its ambitions to improve its competitiveness.  Reiling also hinted that new jobs could be created if the airliner's dream to introduce more flights between Francistown and Johannesburg come to fruition. The chief executive officer (CEO) of the Botswana Chamber of Mines, Charles Siwawa has stated that should Air Botswana introduce more flights between Francistown and Johannesburg, it will improve efficiency in the mining sector.

"We even encourage them to consider bringing direct flights from South Africa to other mining areas such as Maun. We have many engineers and business people who travel there every week. It is our view that when more direct flights are availed to take them to such areas it will help reduce logistics of travelling, and this will greatly improve efficiency in our mines," he said.

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