Monday, June 11, 2012

► BOTSWANA: Bluesky Airways gearing up for service?

BlueSky AirwaysFrom info garnered from Botswanan charter company Bluesky Airways' website, it appears that  Air Botswana could be in for a run for its money in the very near future. Having recently performed proving flights with its leased Boeing 737-200 to Maun for the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB), and with a new website on its way for a 9 July launch, the airline seems to be gearing up for scheduled operations, given the green light from the CAAB. At present, the airline only offers a charter service.

BlueSky Airways 737
BlueSky Airways Staff (Bluesky Airways)
Blue Sky Airways has announced plans to acquire four Boeing 737 aircraft to be used on scheduled service routes from the capital, Gaborone to key domestic and regional destinations. Blue Sky Airways is part of existing charter airline, Flying Mission Services and the Boeing jets will be flown in direct competition with the existing turbo prop aircraft flown by Air Botswana.

Bluesky Airways' parent company Flying Mission Services, from whom it wet leases its 737, is itself a charter company and was founded in 1977, using aircraft to take mission and medical personnel on trips into the desert regions in and around Botswana.
"Beginning with one aircraft and a part-time pilot, the work has grown to a fleet of aircraft flying over half a million kilometres per year. Originally from bases at Gaborone and Maun in Botswana, and now also from bases in Zambia, Flying Mission provides a rapid link connecting major centres with distant and inaccessible areas, and brings physical and spiritual help to people in need."

The number of local and international air passengers arriving in Botswana for 2011 have shown an increase of nine percent from 2010 (788,461 last year) so there exists a growing market which Bluesky can exploit, but is that enough to protect it from a government subsidized Air Botswana?

Watch this space.