- Hopes to bring 150t of mining inputs from China every month
- Sales and service agents appointed in China, India, Dubai, Germany and SA
The Minister of Transport and Communications, Thulaganyo Segokgo, has expressed optimism that Air Botswana has what it takes to bounce back following setbacks occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister Segokgo told the Committee of Supply recently that the national airline is starting on a clean slate and should hit the ground running. He noted that Botswana was not spared as the COVID-19 pandemic caused abrupt disruptions to airlines around the world. “However, in response to this situation, the airline developed a new three-year strategic recovery plan (2021-24), the focus of which is diversification of revenue streams (and) to be more cargo-driven,” Segokgo said.
Air Botswana has reviewed its cargo potential and major sources of markets were identified as China, India, Dubai, Singapore, Indonesia, Europe and South Africa. “General Sales and Services Agents have been appointed in China, India, Dubai, Germany (covering the European region) and South Africa,” Segokgo said. The minister added that in order to streamline cargo logistics and transportation capacity, Air Botswana is negotiating Cargo Special Prorate Agreements (SPA) with long haul operators from the markets identified.
Botswana’s national carrier is currently pursuing a multimodal approach between Johannesburg and Gaborone “to augment tonnage capacity in order to handle bulky goods owing to the small capacity of our aircraft”, he said. Segokgo noted that the airline has engaged in a series of consultations with major exporters and importers and is presently talking with Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) about securing a monthly consignment of 150 tonnes from China for use in manufacturing of mining inputs.
Regarding privatisation of the airline, Segokgo stated that Air Botswana has embarked on benchmarking with national airlines that successfully privatised. “Other privatisation models such as finding a strategic partner or investor(s), the PPP model, are also being explored prior to issuance of an Expression of Interest,” he said. Air Botswana is among government parastatals that have been making monumental losses over the years.