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Air Botswana to Add Three Embraer Aircraft

The airline is looking to expand its network.

An Air Botswana Embraer jet (Photo: Air Botswana)

Gaborone-based Air Botswana has announced that it will take delivery of three Embraer aircraft in an attempt to grow its fleet. The airline’s CEO Lulu Rasebotsa said that the expansion is part of a broader strategy to transform Botswana’s national carrier. Furthermore, Rasebotsa also said that it was likely that the airline would need a fourth new aircraft. 

“We have identified three aircraft, all fully paid for, and we are in the market for the fourth,” Rasebotsa said.

New Embraer Aircraft

The three new aircraft will supplement the airline’s existing fleet. Currently, Air Botswana’s fleet consists of one Embraer E-170 and two ATR 72-600 aircraft. These are used to service the airline’s flights between Gaborone, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Kasane, Maun, and Francistown. Rasebotsa said that the airline would not dispose of its older ATR aircraft as these would be used to prevent delays in Air Botswana’s flight schedule.

“They’re (the three new aircraft) all Embraer Jets. For the time being, ATRs will remain part of the fleet as the aim is to keep delays to a minimum,” she said.

More Air Botswana Routes

Air Botswana aims to introduce new routes. The new aircraft will enable it to expand its route network. Rasebotsa said that the airline is doing its homework with regard to new route expansion.  She said Air Botswana is benchmarking, to ensure that new routes are implemented effectively, with the aim of meeting customer needs and expanding Air Botswana’s market reach. 

“The airline views the acquisition of the Embraer jets and the expansion of routes as crucial steps towards achieving financial stability and operational efficiency,” Rasebotsa added. 

Botswana’s state-owned airline has experienced financial difficulties for several years. The airline has struggled to make a profit due to low sales and high maintenance costs. The government has tried to privatize the airline several times. However, these attempts have failed as investors withdrew or the government rejected the terms offered.

Creating Employment Opportunities

Rasebotsa said that the addition of the new aircraft would create employment opportunities in the country’s aviation sector. According to Mmegi.bw, new employment opportunities would include positions for cabin crew, pilots, and other aviation personnel. 

Furthermore, in an effort to support young entrepreneurs, Air Botswana has also begun serving snacks produced by locals on its flights. The initiative aims to provide greater exposure to local businesses while offering passengers a taste of Botswana’s culinary offerings. 

Lorne Philipot

Author

  • Lorne Philipot

    Lorne is a South Africa-based aviation journalist. He was captivated and fascinated by flying from the day he took his first airline flight. With a passion for aviation in his blood, he has flown to destinations in all corners of the globe. Lorne has traveled extensively and lived in various countries. Drawing on his travels and passion for aviation, Lorne enjoys writing about airlines, routes, networks, and new developments.

    View all posts

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