July 12, 2006

Air Botswana to privatise

Botswana's national flag-carrier Air Botswana is set to privatise this September after similar attempts failed in 2004. The general manager Lance Brodgen disclosed that there were five prospective strategic partners to join government, the sole owner of the national airline. Though he did not disclose the possible suitors’ major airlines like British Airways, South Africa Airways are among those said to have shown interest in the deal. The general manager said the privatisation would be helpful in sourcing the right aircrafts and pilots to enable it to compete both on local and regional markets.

The first attempt to privatise the airline failed when the prospective suitors pulled out in 2004 citing unfavourable conditions and terms in the deal and aviation industry. The government privatisations agency is on the exercise to get right partners. In the 2003 plan the strategic partner was to get 40-49 percent, the public would get 45 percent through public listing while staff would get 5percent through share ownership scheme. (Mmegi/The Reporter, Gabarone)

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