Aviation AND Travel IN Botswana

Global Aviator|March 2020

Aviation AND Travel IN Botswana
For most international visitors, to set foot in Botswana and leaving without experiencing the awe-inspiring Okavango Delta would be an anticlimax! The destination is the draw card and unique selling point to the country’s tourism industry. Several air charter operators fly into the awe-inspiring delta and areas surrounding this incomparable destination
TAP GORA
Major Blue Air

Formed in 2009 and based in Gabarone, it provides chartered flights in Botswana and across Southern Africa. Services range from scenic flights over the Okavango Delta, safari bush transfers, camp transfers, aerial photography, filming, private charter and medical evacuations.

Success for the company is measured by various factors including managing to acquire about 18 more aircraft since 2009. The rate of acquisition is about 2 aircraft per year for the past 11 years, which is an impressive feat for the charter operator. The fleet consists of C172, C208, GA8, Hawker800 XP Jet, King Air 200, PC12 and Baron 58.

The company’s AMO (Aircraft Maintenance Operation) is manned by a widely experienced team of engineers, servicing the whole fleet.

“We are a complete aviation company which has its own AMO, ATO, Corporate and Bush Flying, and is present in three locations in Botswana - Gaborone, Maun and Kasane,” said the company in response to questions. It aims to be operating scheduled flights in the near future.

Fully functional divisions demonstrate the success and growth that continue to be experienced by the company since its early days. It also reflects the ability of the Botswana tourism industry to sustain the charter flight sector.

Though the company experienced “normal challenges in the aviation industry, “being proactive” ensured they were “able to manage them proficiently.”

Mack Air

Mack Air, which flies daily to Botswana’s lodges and game parks, has in its fleet of aircraft the Cessna C208B EX Grand Caravan, 3 x GA8 Airvans and 1 x Cessna 210. Two years ago they acquired a fleet of 22 new aircraft.

Explaining the challenges being faced and how they were being managed, Michael Weyl, Accountable Manager, said: “Aviation has many challenges. The best attitude or plan is to assemble a good team, a combative team that challenges traditional thinking to look at these problems and design the best possible solutions.”

Pointing out the lessons learned over the years, he said: “Safety, efficiency, comfort and customer service. If your operation does not focus on these areas, in this order, you will continue to operate right up to the day one of them returns to bang on your door.”

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March 2020