Connect with us
Advertisement

Air Botswana on Re-Fleeting and Cash Flow problems

The national airline, Air Botswana has explained the process which unfolded relating to its Re-Fleeting exercise which saw the acquisition two ATR 72-600 aircrafts as well as Embraer Jet.

The process was set in motion by a President Directive CAB 6 (A)/2018 which then mandated the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) to acquire two ATR 72-600 turbo props aircraft for Air Botswana on behalf of the Government at a cost of BWP 290 million. 
The Presidential Directive was following a recommendation from MTC/Air Botswana in pursuance of the IATA Turnaround Strategy/Business Plan.

The equipment recommendation was on the basis of competitive bidding process between 3 international aircraft manufacturers being ATR, Bombardier and Embraer.  The process was all times in compliance with the Corporation Procurement Processes, which are in line with Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, according to a communique airline.

The airline contends that the ATR offer was attractive as it included trade-in of the existing ATR trade models for a new generation ATR Turbo prop. Bombardier offered solutions for both the Turbo Prop and the Jet, being Q400 and CRJ900 respectively, whereas Embraer proposed solutions for the Jet (E-Jets series), which was deemed fit for purpose, and in line with the re-fleeting aspiration of the Corporation.  As a result of the options presented before airline, the choice was therefore ATR (Turbo Prop) and Embraer (Jets).

“The Re-fleeting (Fleet modernisation) Project was supported by IATA through various seconded consultants, which included Mr Robert Menzies, Mr Hanspeter Baserga and Mr Chris Hudson,” Air Botswana said in a statement. “Management received offers for a Jet from Oman Air for a E175, valued at US$18.5m, and was active in pursuit of the deal when a US based aircraft leasing company EIC, two 2010 EI70 model aircrafts on the market for a combined value of US$22m the Air Botswana board resolved to pursue the EIC offer subject to funds availability.”

“The private sector funding universe was approached to assist with the funding requirements for the purchase and owing to the reluctance of the Botswana based finance institutions, Air Botswana eventually settled for Investec Mauritius. Unfortunately, due to, among others, the funding disbursement timing, the finance agreement did come to fruition.”

“Government intervened and provided funding from the Public Service Debts Fund (PSDF) to fund the acquisition of the two Jets. The funding was, welcome, as it was, fell short of the total funds needed for the acquisition of the Jet. The funds were insufficient for Entry into Service, ferry costs, insurance, cabin and flight crew training. The deficits were funded the operational budget of the airline, placing the cash flow of the organisation under tremendous pressure, which it has not recovered from since. 

“The Jet was received in December 2018 from EIC, and only managed to be integrate into service in June 2019, following protracted licensing and operationalisation issues between Air Botswana and the regulator Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB). “The period saw intense scheduling challenges, serious cash flow challenges arising from the funding of Jet acquisition and the shortfall between the ATR trade-in.

“The assurance to the Minister is that the Fleet Modernisation Process has always been in full compliance with the Procurement Procedures of the Airline, in compliance with Corporate Governance process, and we have engaged the media at all times. We have offered the journalists full access to our records, an opportunity he declined.

We have reasonable that the tirade against the Corporation is in part supported and fuelled by a former Director of Engineering and Maintenance. The severance of the agreement with the director in part relates to Fleet Modernisation Project.  “We assure the Minister of our intention to cooperate fully with any aspects of the inquiries, and specifically to capacitate the Ministry with any clarification to deal with any inquiries.”

Continue Reading

News

Free at last: Ian Kirby Speaks Out

6th December 2021
Justice Ian Kirby

The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.

WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?

Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

News

Civil society could rescue Botswana’s flawed democracy’ 

6th December 2021
Parliament

Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed.  This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.

In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’  The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

News

Bangwato at loggerheads over Moshupa trip

6th December 2021

Bangwato in Serowe — where Bamagwato Paramount Chief and former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama originates – disagree on whether they must send a delegation to dialogue with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s family in Moshupa. Just last week, a meeting was called by the Regent of Bamagwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, at Serowe Kgotla to, among others, update the tribe on the whereabouts of their Kgosi (Khama). 

Further, his state of health was also discussed, with Kgamane telling the attendees that all is well with Khama. The main reason for the meeting was to deliberate on the escalating tension between Khama and Masisi — a three-year bloodletting going unabated.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!