Ethiopian airways launch inaugural flight into Maun

Francinah Baaitse
RIBBON CUTTING: Official launch of the Addis Ababa to Maun air route

Maun is the most profitable airport in Botswana- Lesaso

Maun Airport is leading other airports in the country in terms of financial profit, Deputy Minister of Education and Skills Development, Aubrey Lesaso has said.

Speaking at the inaugural flight of Ethiopian Airways into Maun on Monday this week (June 10, 2024), Lesaso noted that Maun is leading all other three international airports in Botswana in profitability, “ The airport we are gathered at today has of recent years grown to be the busiest of the aerodromes in Botswana-in the number of aircraft landings, we are hopeful that the Airport will soon lead in the number of passengers arrivals. It is the leading financially profitable airport in Botswana,”said the minister.

Other international airports in the country include Sir Seretse Khama International (SSKI) Airport in Gaborone, PG Matante International Airport in the second city; Francistown and Kasane international Airport in the country’s tourism hub, Kasane.

According to Lesaso the inaugural Ethiopian Airlines direct flight from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to Maun in Botswana will create a major boost of Botswana’s economy from its mainstay diamonds, “It will indeed increase trade and tourism not only into the beautiful and pristine Okavango Delta, but the entire country.“

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Ethiopian airways launch inaugural flight into Maun
Maun International Airport

The flight operates three days a week, Monday, Wednesdays and Saturdays and the Minister is hopeful that the numbers of arrivals will move to daily very soon.

Lesaso further noted that Botswana skies remain one of the safest as the country’s compliance rating is above the world average of 80.1 percent with Maun and SKKI international Airports having been certified among the four international airports.

He added that Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) is continuously looking at ways of improving the infrastructure at Maun airport and is considering improving the strength of its runway to enable it to handle landing of bigger aeroplanes such as Boeing 747, “The Authority has recently engaged consultants to look into the suitability and long-term sustainability of the current airport considering the growth of passenger movement into the area. Other initiatives are plans to build VVIP lounge to facilitate the VVIP passengers coming to our shores.”

Announcing the direct flights from Addis Ababa to Maun, the Airline’s Group CEO, Mesfin Tasew noted that the expansion of their route deeps their presence in Botswana as Maun is the second destination of Ethiopian airways in Botswana after Gaborone which has been operating since 2016.

Later in the evening at a cocktail dinner organised by the Airline at Maun Lodge, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Dumizweni Mthimkhulu also expressed gratitude at the arrival of Ethiopian airways in Maun saying Maun as a destination offers visitors an authentic African experience like no other, “The launch of this route opens opportunity for travellers to discover the magic of Maun and the wider Okavango region. Maun holds a special place in Botswana’s tourism landscape as the gateway to the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most sought after wilderness destinations. With its pristine landscapes, abundant wildlife and rich cultural heritage.”

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Mthimkhulu further stated that his Ministry through Botswana Tourism Organisation has partnered with Ethiopian Airlines on a promotion campaign that will propel awareness about travels between Addis Ababa and Maun.

First scheduled flight into Maun was in 1937 and Botswana Aviation Research indicates that by 1937 Airfields were already established at Francistown, Maun, Palapye, Gaborone and Gantsi and by1950 Francistown-Maun Air Service was allowed on a fortnightly frequency.

Now Maun is among the busiest airports in the SADC region and continue to register new flights with the latest being Fly Namibia which is scheduled to launch a direct flight from Windhoek to Maun from the July, 3rd, 2024 and will also fly three times a week; Wednesdays , Fridays and Sundays

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