Air Botswana (BP, Gaborone) has taken delivery of its first E170 following the arrival of N734A (msn 17000318) in Gaborone on Monday, December 31.

The former Saudi Aramco Aviation jet will be joined by a second of the type, N735A (msn 17000319), which is still at Toronto Pearson awaiting delivery to Southern Africa. The entire deal is being facilitated by Regional One.

Air Botswana plans to use the Embraer Regional Jet on its Cape Town-Gaborone route.

The state-owned carrier is currently in the process of upgrading and modernizing its fleet ahead of a renewed attempt at privatization.

In October, CEO Agnes Khunwane told a Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises that Air Botswana had acquired two ATR72-600s from Avions de Transport RĂ©gional at a cost of USD19 million per aircraft.

To help pay for the acquisition, the carrier agreed to trade in three of its existing fleet (two of its three ATR42-500s and one ATR72-500) with the Botswana government footing the difference (BWP290 million pula or USD27.2 million).

Aside from assisting Air Botswana in improving its operations, the new aircraft will also reduce maintenance costs which, until now, had accounted for 45% of its expenditure.