Air Botswana (BP, Gaborone) plans to resume scheduled domestic operations on July 17, it outlined in a statement on July 9.

The state-owned flag carrier intends to increase frequencies in response to growing demand and will reinstate regional operations as soon as travel restrictions are lifted, it said.

Its regional shuttle between Gaborone and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo was its busiest route before the Covid-19 outbreak, with several daily flights in both directions.

The domestic resumption will be subject to health and safety protocols and “new ways of working,” the carrier’s general manager Agnes Khunwana commented in the statement.

“As we gradually reintroduce operations, we will continually explore other possible recovery strategies that address the commercial viability and business sustainability of the national airline, without compromising the health and safety of both staff and customers,” she said.

“Following the suspension of operations towards the end of March, Air Botswana has been waiting for an opportunity to reunite its valued customers with their loved ones, their businesses, and nature,” she added.

On March 25, Air Botswana announced that it would suspend scheduled services on its domestic and regional route network from March 27 to May 31, though subject to regular review. Sales had already fallen by 32% in the first two weeks of March year-on-year.

By late May, it was preparing to resume domestic flights from June 12, the Botswana Daily News reported, but this did not happen.

Resumed flights will mainly be from Gaborone to Francistown, Kasane, and Maun, the last routes that were shut down. Air Botswana operates a fleet of two ATR72-600s and one ERJ 170-100LR, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module.