Airlink takeover of Air Botswana halted

The Government of Botswana has halted the planned takeover of national carrier Air Botswana by South Africa’s Airlink. Airlink had been named the preferred bidder in the privatization of Air Botswana by Botswana’s Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) in December 2006, and negotiations had been on-going since then. Under the plan, a new airline was to be established to replace Air Botswana, with Airlink holding 49.9% of the shares and the Government of Botswana the rest. The talks floundered partly over details of the proposed new airline (including the composition of its fleet and whether it would carry Botswana’s flag), but primarily because of opposition from the parliament and even within the cabinet. Both Airlink and Air Botswana operate BAe 146s.

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