From : Mmegi.bw
By : MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE
9 December 2011
Air Botswana monopoly in local skies and routes will soon be a thing of the past as Blue Sky Airways, a local company is expected to start competing with the national airliner as early as next year. With the issuance of their licence before year-end, scheduled routes will become operational.
Blue Sky will become the first company in Botswana to register a Boeing.
At the commemorations of International Aviation Day at Sir Seretse Khama Airport last week Wednesday, the Managing Director of Blue Sky, Mark Spicer showcased the Boeing 737.
Spicer told Mmegi that they will be operating four of the jets. He explained that a second Boeing jet is currently undergoing maintenance checks and should be available early next year, while two other jets will be available for lease from a partner company.
Spicer is excited to be contributing to the development of aviation in Botswana, with plans for scheduled flights to important South African destinations such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, as well as Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and other parts of Southern Africa.
As a local airliner, Blue Sky will also have local routes to such destinations as Maun, Kasane and Francistown. The Boeing jet is famous for both luxury and speed and can carry over 100 passengers. On the other hand, Air Botswana’s signature aircrafts, the ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-500, can carry 42 passengers and 72 passengers respectively.
Blue Sky is operated by the Flying Mission Services, a company that has been in the business of chartering aircrafts, as well as operating air medical evacuation services for the Ministry of Health for decades in Botswana.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority(CAAB) had by yesterday not responded to Mmegi enquiries regarding the licence for Blue Sky. CAAB director for flight services, Olefile Moakofi said the questionnaire was still being handled by personnel.