Tuesday, October 19, 2021

New Air Botswana GM optimistic about the future of the national airline

“We concede that there have been challenges in terms of OTP, but the instances have now become minor, and far in between, and in our view do not warrant being classified as operational challenges,” says Agnes Khunwana who was recently unveiled as the new substantive general manager of Air Botswana.

On Time Performance, or OTP as Khunwana calls it, refers to the level of success of the service remaining on the published schedule.

In the airline industry, on time performance, sometimes referred to as on time running, is normally expressed as a percentage, with a higher percentage meaning more aircrafts is depart and arrive on time.

Khunwana says the increased capacity in terms of passengers and cargo volumes at Air Botswana would ultimately lead to tangible financial improvements on the back of efficient operation in terms of OTP.

“The shareholder expectations are simple.  The shareholder expects profitability, quality of service and safety, operational efficiency to improve the image of the Airline as a going concern business that will attract outside investment”.

Khunwana says the role of management, under her stewardship, has the mandate to lead the privatization agenda on behalf of government. This entails enhancing the value of the airline and positioning it as a going concern to potential investors.

“The priority areas are our human capital, re-fleeting, optimum utilization and efficiency of all airline equipment, and optimum cash flow management, financial viability, cost management and cost efficiency,” she said in recent interview.

Khunwana also spoke of the airline’s loss which has since been reduced from P165million in 2015 to P12million in 2017.

The Airline’s immediate deliveries centre on profitability through cost containment and expenditure management.

There is also talk of product and service diversification to increase revenue streams as well as creating of strategic business units that Air Botswana could focus on.

Khunwana gave an example relating to unnecessary expenditure in which she said AB will soon end free liquor on their flights, to manage costs associated with such initiatives. She is of the view that it is those small issues that will contribute to the bigger picture in the final analysis.

“The positive news has and will continue to improve our standing and credibility within the aviation sector, with travel agents and most importantly with customers”.

She believes that the new aircraft that AB is to acquire will mean continued adherence to quality standards, customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and safety.

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