Botswana-registered Kalahari Airways is looking to launch a route between Gaborone and Gatwick as well as Gaborone-Cape Town from November 1.
Chief Executive Officer, Denis Coghlan, told Tourism Update the airline would start the licence application with the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) shortly. ‘’The routes are freely available to any Botswanan airline that qualifies,” he said. “It is a very expensive exercise. However, all that is required is that we comply with the Civil Aviation Act. Once we are compliant, CAAB will issue our Aircraft Operating Certificate and the requisite Air Service Licences for the Gaborone-Cape Town route and the Gaborone-London route.”
Coghlan said the airline would operate from Cape Town to London and stop for 30 minutes at Gaborone each way.
Coghlan first starting discussing his plans for the route in 2013. At the time, he told Tourism Update he had started contemplating the launch of flights after British Airways ceased operations on the Gaborone-London route. Flights were expected to launch in early 2014, but didn’t take off.
However, he is confident flights will launch in November this year. “There are no CAAB licensing issues to prevent a successful start-up on November, 1. “The Director, Air Services Licensing has indicated that he will approve our licence without delay once we are in compliance.” The airline plans to use two leased Boeing B747-400 aircraft.
The Kalahari Airways flight will leave Cape Town at 09h15 and arrive in Gaborone at 11h00. It will then depart from Gaborone at 11h30 and arrive in Gatwick at 19h30. The return flight will depart Gatwick at 21h45 and arrive in Gaborone at 09h45 next day. It will depart Gaborone at 10h15 and arrive in Cape Town 12h00.
Frequencies are planned for Tuesdays and Thursdays. All flights will have a 30-minute stopover in Gaborone to allow pick-up and disembarking of passengers in Gaborone.
Kalahari Airways is currently not offering any flight service as it is not yet licensed.