Botswana's Mack Air (MKB, Maun) and Zimbabwean charter carrier South West Aviation (Zimbabwe) (Harare International) have announced a commercial partnership that will see them joining their networks across the neighbouring Southern African countries.

"As the first private commercial operator in Botswana to hold both scheduled and non-scheduled licenses, our vision at Mack Air has always been to offer these services locally within Botswana and likewise expand responsibly, alongside our client base, throughout the region," Mack Air Managing Director Michael Weyl commented in a statement. "Through this relationship, we aim to jointly create new flight services linking Mack Air's established Botswana network with a new and expansive network service across Zimbabwe with diversified geographical base locations."

"The first Cessna (single turboprop) 208B Grand Caravan EX has been positioned in Zimbabwe and is currently operational. We expect to expand the fleet by March 2023 to an additional five aircraft, resulting in the partnership operating a fleet of six aircraft for the 2023 season in Zimbabwe. This fleet of aircraft will be operating from two principal hubs in Harare International and Victoria Falls."

He added: "The Harare hub will principally service all domestic destinations and safari camps in Zimbabwe as well as neighbouring regional business and tourist destinations in Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique.

"The Victoria Falls hub will principally service all domestic destinations and safari camps in Zimbabwe, as well as neighbouring tourist destinations in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia. Seat rates will be offered exclusively out of the Victoria Falls hub for the Hwange National Park area; however, as we gain momentum and volumes increase, we hope to introduce these seat rates throughout the region," he explained.

As reported, Mack Air's fleet comprises 21 aircraft, including seventeen Cessna 208B Grand Caravans, two GA8 Airvans, a single Cessna 210, and a Cessna Citation M2 business jet based at Johannesburg Lanseria (South Africa) for VIP and business charters.

South West Aviation Managing Director Mathew Brooke-Mee was not immediately available for comment.