in Air Transport

Air Botswana loses 10 ATR pilots to Middle Eastern airlines

Posted 7 March 2017 · Add Comment

Botswana's troubled flag carrier Air Botswana has confirmed the mass resignation of pilots, with at least 10 having resigned to take up the opportunities arising from the high demand for Any Type Rated (ATR) pilots among major airlines in the Middle East.

The loss of at least four Captains and six First Officers came as the airline continued to battle against an internal financial crisis, the
uncertainty presented by an ongoing privatisation process and labour unrest arising from disgruntlement over low pay.

Last month, the government of Botswana invited Expressions Of Interest (EOI) from companies interested in taking over and running the airline in line with its privatisation plans. The invitation of EOI froze all pre-planned expenditures, including a 17% pay hike that was calculated to stop the exodus of ATR pilots to Middle Eastern airlines.

Air Botswana Acting General Manager Agnes Khunwana said like other African airlines, they were losing ATR pilots to Middle Eastern
airlines which offer higher salaries, perks and better working conditions. Since issuing the notice calling for the EOIs, the airline has lost many pilots.

“They (Middle Eastern airlines) do pay very high remuneration packages, which are tax free. So it is very difficult for Air Botswana
to compete with them. However, there is no risk to the continuation of business as the number of pilots that the airline has been keeping
relative to its aircraft has cushioned this loss,” she said.

Some of the former Air Botswana pilots are reportedly headed for Saudi Airlines and Fly Dubai. A few may be headed for regional competitors including South African Airlink (SAA) as well as a host of emerging private operators.

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

More than 41 million passengers pass through South Africa’s main airports

The Aviation Barometer has released passenger traffic through Airports Company South Africa’s network of nine airports.

Cooperation is the key to a safer future for everyone

Airspace, safety and security are key issues for the Middle East and North Africa. The United Nations body for civil aviation, ICAO, has its regional headquarters in Cairo, where Alan Peaford met regional vice president, Mohamed Rahma.

Ethiopian holds autism awareness panel discussion ‘Flying with Autism’

Ethiopian Aviation Academy (EAA) conducted a half-day Autism Awareness panel discussion on May 11, 2018 at EAA Auditorium under the theme “Flying with Autism”.

Madagascar airports turn ‘green’

Combining sustainable development and a fresh business approach, the Malagasy airports development project is well under way with the new terminal building at Antananarivo-Ivato International Airport due to open early in 2020.

Ethiopian to start direct flights to Jakarta

Ethiopian Airlines will launch thrice weekly flights to Jakarta, Indonesia as of July 17, 2018.

Why drone use is different in Africa

The African unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market is interesting in comparison to other regions of the world, with less dominance on the military use of such technologies and more emphasis on the humanitarian benefits. Beth Stevenson

TAA SK0902311218
See us at
AAD2018 BTAirCargoAFA_BT220318210219