Monday, September 16, 2013

► BOTSWANA: Kalahari Airways turns to crowdfunding for 747s to operate London Gatwick flights.

Kalahari Airways is a Botswana-based startup that intends to offer flights from Cape Town, South Africa to London Gatwick via Gaborone Botswana using three B747-400s.

British Airways 747 in Gaborone
According to the Gaborone-based firm, it aims to attract the growing Botswana-bound business and tourist market by cutting out "stressful" stopovers in Johannesburg, Gaborone's & Maun's main feeder hub. 

So far, one former Qantas B747-400 has reportedly been acquired with a crowdfunding initiative having now been set up to help fund the purchase of a further two.
"I decided to try crowdfunding having found lots of encouragement for my project but no funding other than my own, due to the ongoing reluctance by Venture Capital Investors to invest in high risk areas in the current economic climate," said CEO Denis Coghlan.
Once acquired, maintenance will be outsourced to SAA Technical in Johannesburg.

Botswana last saw direct service to Europe with British Airways (BA) in the late 90s, with national carrier Air Botswana (BP) itself having considered the acquisition of a used 777 with which to commence international routes.