Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Air Botswana cuts fare prices

In the wake of the global fall in oil prices, which forced government to adjust retail pump prices for petrol, diesel and fuel, national airliner Air Botswana has announced a cut in flight fare prices for the benefit of its customers and passengers. Air Botswana also confirmed that its cost structure on account of lower fuel costs has not as yet changed.
 
“This is largely due to the fact that while jet fuel costs have decreased, the domestic cost of fuel that we pay to our supplier had not yet changed,” said Air Botswana General Manager Ben Dhawa.
 
However, after announcements of a looming price drop by the supplier this past week; Air Botswana has decided to review its fare prices. Dhawa pointed out that due to the unchanged impact on the airline’s fuel structure, Air Botswana has been unable to revise its fares downwards. He however revealed that now that there is a domestic jet fuel cost decrease, which as stated only effected this past week, the airliner will be hard at work reviewing the level of reprieve to the cost structure in consideration for a fare decrease.
 
“We are currently reviewing ticket fares based on this new development. A decision to adjust fares will be determined by the outcome of the review,” said Dhawa.
 
He further said Air Botswana experienced a decline in passenger numbers in some routes over the course of 2012/13 and 2013/14 financial years, mainly because of entrance of new players in the market. However, said Dhawa, the airliner has also enjoyed passenger growth in certain routes.
 
Asked how it was to operate in a small domestic market and whether there are plans to aggressively grow the business base within the region and beyond, Dhawa said growth will be determined by Air Botswana’s ability to effectively service its current route network.

“We do nonetheless undertake market research studies that inform travel trends for us to determine paths for future growth”.
 
He added that future growth will be informed by capabilities in terms of whether the airliner has an appropriate fleet and is in sound financial standing, all of which will be addressed by the five year strategy that is still undergoing channels of adoption.
 
Across the border in South Africa, it is reported that regional carrier, SA Airlink has also reduced its fuel surcharge and passed the savings onto its customers.  The carrier announced on its website, that it will reduce the fuel levy following the recent fall in oil prices. SA Airlink, which connects 35 destinations in nine African countries including Botswana, says while the reduction in the price of jet fuel does not correlate directly with the fall in oil prices, airlines have enjoyed some relief.

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