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Stakeholders appreciate new route

12 Jun 2024

Stakeholders in the tourism industry have expressed appreciation towards efforts by the Ethiopian Airlines to commence a direct flight from Addis Ababa to Maun. 

The Ethiopian flight landed in Maun beginning of this week marking the start of the scheduled flights between the two destinations. The flight will have a stopover at Ndola, Zambia upon return from Maun. 

Stakeholders who had the opportunity to witness the historic landing ceremony said the move would have a positive impact by boosting both areas’ connectivity,  offering more opportunities for travelers to discover and enjoy trips between the destinations. 

The Botswana Tourism Organisation acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Keitumetse Setlang, expressed gratitude in an interview saying the new flight was a game changer more so that Ethiopian Airlines was servicing over 130 international passenger and cargo destinations. Now that the Ethiopian flight had commenced its route, she said they were expecting an influx of tourists into Maun, appreciating that the new connection not only opens up new opportunities for tourism but would impact positively on the economy. 

Ms Setlang noted that the flight would also bring confidence to international travellers as they would now arrive well on time and enjoy different destinations in Botswana. 

She also appreciated the decision by government to fund Air Botswana to increase its fleet saying it would help provide greater accessibility for travelers as well as improve service delivery. 

The local airline, she said, would complement the Ethiopian Airlines efforts and eventually improve the overall travel experience for passengers. 

The local airline is reported to be buying three aircrafts through the government financial assistance. 

“The decision to increase our own airline fleet is commendable as some tourists will choose to fly to Gaborone while some fly into the Okavango Delta,” she added. 

The Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana Chief Executive Officer, Ms Lily Rakorong said the Ethiopian Airlines was a proud member of their association and appreciated their effort to commence the flight to Maun as a tourism hub. 

She said the landing of the new flight in Maun marked a significant milestone in Ethiopia and Botswana’s commitment to connect Africa to the rest of world. 

On behalf of the private sector, she applauded the Ministry of Transport and Public Works through Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana for identifying the route through the Ethiopian government. 

“This is a milestone in the recovery of our aviation sector after the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Over and above, this development will not only boost our economy but also provide a seamless regional connectivity for both our inbound and outbound travelers and residents to enjoy incredible breakaway,” she said. 

She said history indicates that the Ethiopian airline was established in 1945 connecting the continent to the rest of the world and now Botswana, particularly Maun, had been added to the list. ENDs

Source : BOPA

Author : Esther Mmolai

Location : MAUN

Event : Start of the scheduled flights

Date : 12 Jun 2024