Earlier at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, the first Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Gaborone, Botswana, touched down. On arrival, Botswana vice president Slumber Tsogwane and transport and communications minister Thulagano Segokgo welcomed the flight.
The airline operates a three-time weekly service to Botswana’s capital city and is the only non-African airline to fly to the region. Chief Executive of the Qatar Airways Group, Akbar Al Baker, said: “I am delighted to add Gaborone to our global network of more than 160 destinations.” Qatar Airways is committed to expanding its network in Africa, and this new route–our 23rd continent destination –is another step towards achieving this goal.
“We are very proud to be the first Middle Eastern airline to fly to Botswana and look forward to taking tens of thousands of passengers to this wonderful country.” The inaugural flight is the ninth new destination of the year for Qatar Airways and the third in Africa during 2019, complementing the already popular routes to Mogadishu, Somalia and Rabat, Morocco.
The airline is fulfilling its pledge to expand across the continent with Luanda, Angola to follow in 2020. Kabo Phutietsile, acting Chief Executive Officer at the Botswana Civil Aviation Authority, added: “Qatar Airways ‘ new route is expected to improve the aviation industry in Botswana and create job opportunities and skills transfer for the aviation industry.
“This offers the country the opportunity to make full use of and benefit from the recently completed investments in infrastructure improvement.
“Qatar’s presence will further strengthen and develop the aviation and auxiliary industries. This allows other existing routes to boost connectivity between Botswana and Qatar. “Spin-offs will accelerate Botswana’s economy’s growth.” Botswana is internationally renowned for its unspoiled natural environment, including the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, making it popular with safaris.