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Botswana opens borders for private chartered flights

Hippos in the okavango delta. Photo: Armand Hough

Hippos in the okavango delta. Photo: Armand Hough

Published Oct 28, 2020


Gaborone - Botswana authorities have announced that the country is ready to receive private charter flights into the country's resort towns starting next month amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The private charter flights will be allowed at two ports of entry namely, Maun and Kasane International Airports, said a press statement from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism issued on Monday.

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The announcement further said the government is finalizing the required legislative framework to facilitate such air travel, which will include protocols for compliance, Xinhua reported.

With international tourists expected to start coming into the country, the ailing tourism industry is expected to revive its plunging operations.

Uncertainties still haunt the tourism industry and threaten to plunge the sector into an abyss. Statistics paints a gloomy picture of the tourism industry and Germany recently donated 4.8 million Euros to support the local tourism sector which has been adversely affected by Covid-19.

In addition, the tourism industry is also part of the government's Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan (ERTP) expected to ignite several sectors from the Covid-19 impacts.

The news comes as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) presented a new analysis showing the airline industry cannot slash costs sufficiently to neutralise severe cash burn to avoid bankruptcies and preserve jobs in 2021.

IATA has called for government relief measures to sustain airlines financially and avoid massive employment terminations. IATA also called for pre-flight Covid-19 testing to open borders and enable travel without quarantine.

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