Airlink return prices seems to hover just under R5000! If not bothered too much on time and don't mind waiting a couple of hours in Windhoek, Air Namibia offers better fares from Jo'Burg, around R3700 return via WDH. From Cape Town the SW price via WDH is also just under R5000, so would still be cheaper than via JNB on SA...and definately quicker, short transit in WDH.
To be honest, I never had a issue with Air Bots either. In fact, they helped me out a lot.
I also had to deal with the passengers from their flights on a day to day basis. Air Bots being late or losing bags happened a lot. Threw a spanner into the works at least twice a month. And it could take a week sometimes to get back onto schedule.
Thanks for taking the time to put up all this info on Maun!!! I've got an instructors rating and 300TT. Due to debt, I'll only have enough to spend a week in Maun. Which I now know is pointless if guys are spending 3+ months and still have no luck... I enjoy instructing but there's just something about flying a C208 over the delta thats pulling toward Maun like a freight train. If anyone had to give a minimum amount of TT that would give me a good advantage what would it be?
Byron, since you're SA based, you've got advantage. Keep the instructing job, get the time in. The more hours, the more marketable compared to the hordres of 200hr pilots streaming in.
As it's been said here (and I'm just intersted observer, no direct experience of Botswana), it's about showing your face, networking etc. Save up more cash and in half year or so, when the hiring season is about to start or starts, you'd be there for couple weeks. Then even if you leave back for instructing job after taking unpaid leave etc, they'd know you and that you're happy to jump on bus or flight if they got spot.
Nearing 1000h TT, you should be able to score the 208 job. The minimums were mentioned somewhere here on PPRuNe.
There is also a 1yr minimum in the delta before you go on the Caravan. Only way you will get direct entry onto the van is if you have either significant experience on the caravan already, or have been flying in the delta with another company.
On a different subject, found out something interesting with the Airlink flights to Maun. They have been told that the only way they will be allowed to fly there is if their flights are more expensive than Air Botswana.
Does Air Bots really think that price is everything to do with flying? A lot of these clients are flying in from around the world to stay in super expensive camps. They will fork out more for better service both in the air and on the ground. All they need to do is be reliable and on time, and they will start taking business away from Air Bots.
And some of their hostesses might even get invited into the camps as guests to be savaged by cheetahs in the night? Mind you though, when some cool cat flew for AB and night stopped at the Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka, it was quite common to be awakened at strange hours of the night by the klanging of the telephone and to be told by the night porter, before you'd had time to do more than grunt, that a man was on his way up to your room. These were night fee paying passengers. The hotel reception was always extraordinarily inept at distinguishing between flight and cabin crew room numbers. But then of course, those were some of the more difficult days for AB. One of the F27s came back from Britain after a refit. There were five new studs on each side of the cabin over the wing emergency exits. This was intended so that in the dark or in a smoke filled cabin, the attendant could just slide her hand down the baggage bins until she came upon the studs and thus identify the position of the emergency exit. Blow me down if the girls all didn't think these neat little mirror things so that they could titivate their make up halfway down the cabin. That was in the days when the chief stewardess reputedly failed her cabin safety check and, having been grounded, was reinstated on the basis of a telephone call from her boyfriend, a man of significant influence. Ops normal one supposes and as nothing compared to the exploits of Air Botswana's one and only bomber pilot. Air Link and Air Botswana on a head to head is a fairly mind bogglingly adventurous thought. On the one hand, not on time and not quite reliable and on the other hand rather prone to what has euphemistically been described as a spot of bad luck? What a crashingly difficult decision for the punter to have to make? No more scurrilous surmises today though. Well, perhaps one as it's May 5th in Minneapolis. Whatever did happen to that piece of work that was once described as a nasty one who moved from a somewhat senior position in AB to a similar position in an airline of a country just across the Caprivi?
Yes Air Link has to be equal or greater in price than Air Bots but I doubt that is going to make any difference in keeping Air bots competitive once Air Link arrive.
However over the last month Air Botswana have arrived on time and with all the guests bags, so perhaps they are starting to shake things up now that Air Link will be sharing the route. But I doubt it.
To the poster who was thinking of arriving for a week in June I doubt that will do you much good, peak season would have begun and most companies need to train the pilots they have already hired. I would suggest you save a little cash and come later in the year (Oct-Nov) and plan on staying for 6 weeks minimum.
Hello all. Can anyone who currently has knowledge of the work visa requirements confirm if pilots will only get work permits issued with a minimum of 1000hrs tt, or can this be waived dependent on the individual flying companies. So far I have been informed of the 1000hrs tt req't by safari air. Thanks for any replys.
As you will see from looking back over the Maun forums, the bizarre world of work permits in Maun goes in unpredictable waves. There was a very deep trough in recent months, so many companies introduced arbitrary hour minimas in a bid to increase the chances of their prospective candidates successfully acquiring work permits. It has now become common for companies to ask for 500, 800 or even 1000 hours.
In the last month or so, we seem to have been climbing out of the aforementioned trough, as more work permits have been issued, but the problem still remains that there is no clear guidance from the Ministry of Labour & Home Affairs. If they do have defined requirements or a set quota of permits, then they don't make these known publicly and it all seems to change regularly anyway so the whole thing remains a bit of a lottery.
Last edited by flyingscotsman86; 17th May 2012 at 01:49.
You Do NOT need 1000hrs to get hired or get work permits, however the more hours the better and still no promises that once you get hired that you will receive the permits, but the company that hires you will do its best to make sure that your work permits come thru.
Things are starting to look a little better at the moment with some companies receiving word that 2x300hr pilots have been approved by the government. If you get hired its most likely you will get work permits(eventually).
Can anyone confirm if u Uk class one medical should be renewed prior to travelling to Africa for a pilot job, or will a separate medical be required once a job offer is accepted, say for instance if Botswana was my intended destination.
not necessarily. I know that in Nam for instance, you are not required to get a foreign medical unless you're applying for the commercial license of Nam. Otherwise you work on a validation. a validation 'validates' your license and its privileges. Since your medical keeps your license valid, your medical is automatically validated with your license.
So to keep your license valid for as long as possible without renewing your medical, then yes, i'd recommend that you update your medical before heading out.
Last edited by ImaginedByGod; 7th Jun 2012 at 22:02.
Ok thanks, so just so i have this right, i currently fly in the uk using class 2 privelages which are automatically issued on back of a class 1 medical. As i dont fly commercially, the class 1 is not required, the class 1 is expired. So, you are saying i should renew the uk class 1 prior to leaving for Africa as opposed to just paying for a class 1 with a converted licence. Hope that dosent sound too confusing. Thanks again