51 to be retrenched at Air Botswana
The national airliner, Air Botswana will soon retrench about 51 of its employees, as part of the ongoing downsizing exercise that started late 2016.
Minister of Transport and Communications, Kitso Mokaila has revealed that the airliner previously had 562 workers but that the target is to reduce the number to 350. He said that a target of 116 redundancies was set, which excluded the crew.
At that time, there were 40 pilots and 36 cabin attendants for a fleet of four aircraft, when ideally 16 pilots and 16 cabin attendants could suffice for the four-aircraft fleet. “102 applications were received for voluntary separation and 52 people were approved and left up to December 2016.
Phase 2 of the project has been started for completion by 31st March 2017 and at least 51 staff members will be retrenched,” said the Minister. The retrenchment will most likely affect the administration and support staff.
The airliner is currently being considered for privatisation and has already attracted 17 candidates to take it over. It is currently operating with four ATRs. The airliner has been having operational challenges due to losses incurred on the less-profitable routes as well as running with an ageing fleet.
Re-fleeting and the appointment of the substantive General Manager have been halted until the privatisation process is complete. Mokaila said they have engaged the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to help assess the 17 applications after which tendering process will begin.