Gaborone, Botswana (APA) — Botswana’s Civil Aviation Authority and Ethiopian Airlines have entered a bilateral air service agreement that will pave the way for the commencement of direct air services between two Addis Ababa and Gaborone, a Botswana official said here Thursday.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Public Relations Punah Serati said the negotiations were held on 26 and 27 May in Addis Ababa and concluded with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
“This will facilitate the commencement of direct flights between Addis Ababa and Gaborone by Ethiopia Airlines and Air Botswana. It will offer the travelling public additional choices through Addis Ababa, which is one of the major hubs for connections to other countries in the African continent and to Europe and North America,” said Serati.
Ethiopian Airlines has flights of up to 40 destinations within Africa.
The Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) provides for a liberal exchange of traffic rights and multiple destinations of airlines.
“This means that the government of Botswana will be able designate any other Botswana carriers, in addition to Air Botswana, when the liberalisation programme takes effect.
“Airlines of both countries will be able to access directly any destinations in either state by air to the major tourist and mining hubs of Kasane, Maun, Francistown in Botswana,” said Serati.
The Ethiopian delegation was led by Wesenyeleh Hunegnaw, Director General of Ethiopian Civil aviation Authority, while Lewis Malikongwa, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, led the Botswana delegation.
The Botswana government has embarked on programme to increase the connectivity of Botswana to the rest of the world by air through Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA) and thereby reduce dependence on South Africa’s OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) in Johannesburg, through which most of the traffic to Botswana is currently routed.
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