Maun International Airport has retained its status as the busiest airport in the country due to its status as a getaway to the Okavango Delta, latest research statistics reveal.
Data released by Statistics Botswana indicates that the airport was the busiest in Q2 2014 was with 61.3 percent of the total aircraft movements, 35.8 percent of which were recorded during the month of April, whereas the months of May and June contributed 32.9 percent and 31.3 percent of the total aircraft movements respectively.
This is the period during which travel to the region is on its peak owing to the stable animal movement perfect for safari drives and game viewing. Gaborone followed with 18.4 percent, where the months of April and May recorded 33.3 percent of aircraft movements; Ghanzi recorded the least number of aircraft movements contributing only 0.29 percent.
Compared to the preceding quarter, Q1 2014, which recorded a general decline in aircraft movements for all the airports, Q2 2014, all the airports recorded an increase in aircraft movements. Gaborone recorded an increase of 7.6 percent while Ghanzi recorded an increase of 44.4 percent.
According to Civil Aviation Authority Botswana, Maun International Airport is the second busiest airport in Botswana in terms of passenger traffic from Sir Seretse Khama International Airport and the base for tourist activities in the Okavango area and other parts of North West District. In terms of aircraft movements (majority of which are short-hop flights to and from airfields in the Delta) Maun International Airport is ranked top airport in Africa, i.e. excluding the number-one-ranked OR Tambo International, of South Africa. The airport functions as a hub for small single and twin-engine aircraft feeding mainline carriers.
The report indicates that in this quarter, the bulk of aircraft movements were domestic, making 77.9 percent, while international aircraft movements only accounted for 22.1 percent of total movements. In the scheduled arrivals 73.7 percent of those movements were international, similarly with scheduled departures, international movements constituted 74.3 percent. The trend is adverse in the non-scheduled arrivals and departures, where the bulk of the movements were domestic.
Gaborone’s Sir Seretse Khama International Airport however according to the report handled most international passengers. It handled mostly international traffic at 72.5 percent, while the other airports handled mostly domestic traffic, Maun (93.8 percent), Francistown (62.8 percent) and Kasane (78.4 percent).
Gaborone airport recorded a decrease of 0.6 percent in passenger movements. Ghanzi airport also recorded a decline of 11.0 percent, within period. When compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Ghanzi airport recorded a 42.0 percent drop in passenger movements.
Meanwhile, the report indicates that a total of 22,735 aircraft movements were recorded for Q2 2014, of which 77.9 percent of them were domestic movements. In the period under review, domestic aircraft movements increased by 42.9 percent whereas international aircraft movements increased by 20.1 percent when compared to the previous quarter, Q1 2014.