Air Botswana receives first of two Embraer E170s

Air Botswana E170.

Air Botswana has received the first of two Embraer E170s as the southern African carrier rebuilds its fleet.

The first regional jet arrived in December and the second is scheduled for delivery around March. Both aircraft, which are being purchased rather than leased, were previously operated by oil company Saudi Aramco and are about eight years old.

The E170s will initially operate between the Botswanan capital Gaborone and Cape Town, South Africa. Other routes have yet to be determined.

The national flag carrier has been undergoing a fleet renewal. The airline’s previous jets consisted of BAe 146/Avro RJs, but these have been out of service for some time.

The airline is also replacing the turboprop component of its fleet, with its previous group of three ATR 42-500s and a single ATR 72-500 being upgraded with the arrival last year of two new-generation ATR 72-600s. They will join the ATR 72-500, with the remaining examples of the Franco-Italian turboprop having been disposed of.

The Botswanan government has made several unsuccessful efforts in recent years to sell the state-owned carrier. It is believed that one reason for the failure to attract private investors was been the age of the former fleet.


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