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Formed and started operations in 1972. Domestic, regional, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
Head Office Building
Sir Seretse Khama Airport
P O Box 92
Botswana (Republic of Botswana) was established in 1966, it covers an area of 581,730 sq km, its population is 1.5 million, its capital city is Gabarone and its official languages are English and Tswana.
Often described as the fastest growing capital city in Southern Africa, Gaborone is positioning itself to be a great metropolis for business and pleasure travelers. Gaborone boasts numerous attractions including, the Gaborone Game Reserve situated right in the city, the St Claire Lion Park and Mokolodi Nature Reserve just 15 km south of the city on the Lobatse road, and a world class museum.
Recently, Gaborone and its surrounds have provided the sets and locations for The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, a movie based on the writings of Alexander McCall Smith, staring Jill Scott and a number of leading Hollywood and African actors.
To occupy potential investors and conference delegates between official engagements, Gaborone is also jam packed with activities. Those looking for authentic cultural items can visit the Main Mall situated in the “old” Gaborone (CBD), and those who just love shopping can visit the modern Riverwalk and Game City malls which boast fabulous eateries, coffee shops, supermarkets, and cinemas.
For those mad about golf, there is the Gaborone Golf Club situated within the city, just 3 km from the “old” (CBD), and Phakalane Golf Club 20 km outside the city. If fishing is your hobby, Gaborone Dam is home to fresh water fish like the famous bream.
Accommodation in Gaborone costs from as little as P250 at 1 of the city's many (B&B)'s >P1000 per night at a luxurious 5 star establishment.
As one of the oldest towns in Botswana and site of southern Africa's first gold rush, Francistown, home to 92,500 people, is a typical frontier town, strategically placed as the gateway to the north, with all the main roads to Gaborone, Zimbabwe, Maun and Kazungula passing through it. Francistown is Botswana's 2nd-largest urban center and "Capital of the North".
The city boasts excellent hotels which offer fully equipped conference facilities, a range of good restaurants, sophisticated shopping malls, cinema, night clubs, one of the largest referral hospitals in Botswana, an extensive library, sports facilities, and well-kept parks and colorful markets.
* Popular tourist attractions include:
* Supa Ngwao Museum, containing exhibitions on the culture and history of the Kalanga people, and photographic exhibitions on the early history of Francistown.
* Birds and Game Botswana, an animal orphanage which serves as a refuge for injured or orphaned wild animals.
* Tachila Nature Reserve, 8,200 hectare of well preserved natural habitat providing game drives, historical and cultural tourism, archaeological sites, and conferencing facilities.
* Domboshaba, an Iron Age stone wall city dating back to 1450AD.
Situated on the Chobe River in the NE of Botswana, Kasane offers trouble-free access to the Chobe National Park. As there are no boundary fences between Chobe National Park and Kasane village, game, such as elephant and hippo can frequently be seen wandering down the road and through Kasane campsites. On the main road that runs along the Chobe River, and further in-land, there are a number of lodges and guest houses providing travelers with easy access to Chobe National Park. Some are splendidly situated with wonderful views of the river and wild life.
Kasane’s strategic location along the main tourist routes (meeting point of 4 countries: Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia; has led to rapid expansion in recent years. 6 km east of Kasane is tiny Kazungula, which serves as the border post between Botswana and Zimbabwe and the landing for the Kazungula Ferry between Botswana and Zambia.
Kasane is an important point of debarkation for Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Livingstone in Zambia, and the Caprivi Strip in Namibia.
Maun, a cosmopolitan village in the northern part of Botswana is the gateway to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve. This thriving and bustling tourist capital of Botswana is steadily carving itself a niche as a destination of choice and a real travel hub. The village has the busiest airport in Botswana with daily flights from South Africa, Gaborone, Victoria Falls and Namibia.
From a community museum, to the award winning Moremi Game Reserve, which boasts >500 bird species and a vast array of different kinds of wild life, to luxurious hotels, lodges and eateries for all palates and tastes, Maun, which is the 5th largest village in Botswana, has it all. It is indeed a village of diversity with a host of activities for local, international and business tourists alike.
Enhancing the village status as a destination of choice is the Maun Carnival, a colorful annual celebration of music, art and culture. The carnival, hosted in April, is one of the biggest events in the Botswana social calendar.
Johannesburg also known as "Joburg," is the largest city in South Africa. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa. The city is 1 of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the world and it is 1 of Africa's only 2 "global" cities. While Johannesburg does not form 1 of South Africa's 3 capital cities, it does house the Constitutional Court (South Africa's highest court).
July 1972: Air Botswana (BOT) was established to succeed Botswana Airways, which in turn had replaced Botswana National Airways.
December 1986: Route network included Francistown; Gaborone; Harare; Johannesburg; Lusaka; Mqanzini; Maseru; Maun; Selebi-Phikwe, and Victoria Falls.
April 1988: Air Botswana (BOT) was taken over by the Botswana government.
February 2010: Air Botswana (BOT) is the national carrier operating scheduled domestic services from Gabarone to Maun, Francistown, and Kasane, together with regional services that link Gabarone with Harare and Johannesburg, as well as Maun with Cape Town and Windhoek, connecting with international carriers. Charter flights are also flown.
Employees = 311.
(IATA) Code: BP - 636. (ICAO) Code: BOT (Callsign - BOTSWANA).
Parent organization/shareholders: The Botswana government (100%).
Company slogan: "Going Your Way."
Telephone: +267 3973951. FAX: +267 3909863.
Main base: Gaborone Sir Seretse Khama International airport (GBE).
August 2012: Air Botswana (BOT) has acquired 2 ex-Lufthansa CityLine ARJ-85s (E2303, A2-ABG) and a 2nd airplane that are expected to be delivered this month and will replace (BOT)'s 2 B Ae 146-100s delivered in 1989 and 1990 and currently used on routes from both Gaborone and Maturín (MUN) to Johannesburg Oliver Reginald Tambo International (JNB) airports.
October 2012: Air Botswana (BOT) grew its international network from Gaborone (GBR) on October 28 as it launched services to both Cape Town (CPT) and Lilongwe (LLW). While 3x-weekly flights to the South African destination are now offered using B Ae 146 airplanes, services to Malawi will depart with 5x-weekly frequencies using variable equipment.
November 2012: Air Botswana (BOT), which launched a number of international routes from Gaborone in October, further expanded its regional network during the last days in October. On October 30, (BOT) commenced 3x-weekly services on the route from Botswana’s 5th-largest city, Maun (MUB), to Victoria Falls (VFA) in Zimbabwe. On the following day, 4x-weekly flights were launched on the route from Gaborone (GBE) to Lanseria (HLE), the South African airport located between Johannesburg and Pretoria. While both routes will be served with ATR 72s, only 1 will see competition; Air Namibia (NAM) already operates 4x-weekly services from Maun to Victoria Falls.
Kenya Airways (KEN) has been forced to stop selling seats between Lilongwe Kumuzu International airport (LLW), Malawi and Lusaka International airport (LUN), Zambia, following 4 years of operations on the route with 5th freedom rights. National carrier Air Malawi (AML) had complained to the government that Kenya Airways (KEN)'s low fares would prevent it from operating on the route. Air Malawi (AML) has now partnered with Air Botswana (BOT) which operates 3x-weekly ATR 42-500 round-trips between the 2 cities. Kenya Airways (KEN) operates a total of 4x-weekly flights with a mix of E170s, 767-300ERs and 777-200ERs, but is now no longer allowed to carry local passengers.
January 2013: Kenya Airways (KEN) is expanding its influence in the African market by aligning itself with smaller carriers as it seeks to build its home base of Nairobi as a continental hub. This includes promoting greater cross-border cooperation and fostering economic development among nations which jealously guard their independence, despite the clear evidence that this has been a fundamental cause of their problems.
(KEN) as Africa’s 4th largest carrier and the continent's only member of the SkyTeam (STM) alliance is focusing on airlines in southern Africa, having already brought (LAM) Mozambique Airlines, Air Botswana (BOT), Air Malawi (AML) and (TAAG) Angola Airlines (ANG) into the fold.
On December 20, 2012, (KEN) and RwandAir (RWA) announced plans to form a strategic partnership and build stronger relations including improved synergies in scheduling, reservation systems and a combined frequent flyer plan. The partnership will also strengthen the airlines' cargo, maintenance and flight training operations.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airways (ETH) looks to strengthen its Addis Ababa hub, as the Gulf carriers (now partnering with some global alliance airlines) expand their global networks across Africa.
December 2014: All airlines from Libya have been added to the European Commission (EC)’s aviation safety list, also known as the "airline blacklist," subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union (EU).
The updated (EU) Air Safety List now includes Libya, but otherwise remains unchanged, with no countries removed from the list in this update.
(EU) Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “Recent events in Libya have led to a situation whereby the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is no longer able to fulfill its international obligations with regard to the safety of the Libyan aviation sector. My priority in aviation is passenger safety, which is non-negotiable, and we stand ready to help the Libyan aviation sector as soon as the situation on the ground will allow for this.”
Bulc said she was pleased to see that “progress has been made in a number of countries whose carriers are on list, notably the Philippines, Sudan, Mozambique, and Zambia. Hopefully, this progress can lead to a positive decision in the future.”
The updated air safety list includes all airlines certified in 21 states, for a total of 308 airlines fully banned from (EU) skies: Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon (with the exception of 3 airlines that operate under restrictions and conditions), Indonesia (with the exception of 5 airlines), Kazakhstan (with the exception of 1 airline which operates under restrictions and conditions), Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Nepal, Philippines (with the exception of 2 airlines), Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sudan, and Zambia. The list also includes 2 individual airlines: Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname) and Meridian Airways ((CPB) (Ghana), for an overall total of 310 airlines.
The list also includes 10 airlines that may only operate into the (EU) using specific aircraft types. These are Air Astana (AKZ) (Kazakhstan), Afrijet (FRJ), Gabon Airlines and (SN2AG) (Gabon), Air Koryo (KOY) (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Airlift International (AGH) (Ghana), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (IRN), (TAAG) Angolan Airlines (ANG) and Air Madagascar (MAD).
The (EU) air safety list covers airlines that are either considered to be unable to respect international aviation safety standards, or whose Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA)s are deemed unable to provide the necessary safety oversight as foreseen by international aviation safety rules. Some are banned outright from operating to the (EU), while others can only do so under very strict conditions. The list also serves as a tool to warn the traveling public, when traveling in other parts of the world.
The (EU) air safety committee, which draws up the list, consists of aviation safety experts from the Commission, each of the 28 member states of the Union, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
July 2015: Blue Sky Airways (Gaborone) is looking to replace the 28 year-old 737-200 (Adv) it leases from Flying Mission Services (Gaborone) with either a 737-300 or a 737-500, Managing Director Mark Spicer has told "African Aerospace" in an interview.
According to Spicer, the need for relatively 'newer' airplanes comes as the airline pursues its own Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Botswana's 2013 decision to re-certify all locally-based carriers to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards left Blue Sky in limbo as under the country's revised civil aviation regulations, 737-200 (23520, A2-FMX) was deemed too old for commercial operations. “We were informed that the 737-200, which we previously had on the registry, was no longer qualified, because they put in a 22-year old rule,” Spicer said.
Unable to secure a plane without an (AOC) and without an airplane to complete its (AOC), the airline has been stuck on Phase 4 of its certification drive, despite being awarded its Air Services License (ASL) in January of this year.
As such, BlueSky has been trying to raise funds to help secure a jet which would allow it to complete its (AOC) and thus commence revenue flights. "It will either be a 737-300, or a 737-500. We want to get 2, so it might be 1 of each. We’re looking at a 1999, 737-300 that’s currently in the UK, and there are also 2 737-500s that we’re looking at as well, but the 737-300 is my airplane of choice. This would be a purchase.”
Should Blue Sky secure its (AOC), Spicer said the airline would launch with 3 routes out of its Gaborone hub, 1 of which would be to Maun in Botswana's north, with the others to Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa.
Currently, Botswana's scheduled local market is dominated by state-backed carrier Air Botswana ((IATA) Code BP, based at Gaborone) (BOT) with rival South African Airways (SAA) offering strong competition on the regional front via its Johannesburg O R Tambo hub, located just 292 km away from Gaborone.
February 2017: The Botswana government has begun the process of privatizing loss-making national carrier Air Botswana ((IATA) Code: BP, based at Gaborone) (BOT).