A Switzerland registered company, Adromeda Aviation that belongs to a consultant who was working for International Air Transport Association (IATA) which was engaged to assist with the privatisation of the embattled Air Botswana also benefitted from Air Botswana at the time when IATA was doing consultancy for the national airline.
The Patriot on Sunday has unearthed information on how Air Botswana paid thousands of pula to a Swiss company belonging to Hanspeter Baserga who was deployed at Air Botswana as IATA consultant. The Patriot on Sunday is in possession ofdocuments showing that Andromeda benefited at the time when both Air Botswana and IATA entered into Consultancy Service Agreement for the Business Support with IATA in 2017, which expired in December 2018.
The consultancy service agreement titled “Amendment agreement” was signed by IATA, Regional Vice President Africa and the Middle East, Muhammad Ali Allbark and Air Botswana General Manager, Agnes Khunwana. According to the agreement, IATA Consulting was engaged to assist the Privatisation Commission to select a best fit investor that aligns with the government strategic intent for the air transport sector at the time.
Among other things, IATA was to provide recommendations regarding fleet evaluation and support Air Botswana in the fleet transaction process which includes the negotiations to purchase a fleet of used or new turboprop aircraft, the sale of existing fleet of ATR aircraft, the negotiation to lease a regional jet aircraft, the phase-in management of any additional aircraft and the phaseout management of existing ATR aircraft.
Information passed to this publication shows that Andromeda Aviation had made a good fortune from Air Botswana at the time while the national airline was paying IATA for services that he was engaged for. The national airline could not shed more light on the services that the company was offering despite that the owner was also engaged by IATA.
In one of the transactions, it shows that Air Botswana coughed up to more than P72 000 towards Andromeda in December 2018 at the time when Air Botswana and IATA contract was coming to an end.
According to Hanspeter Baserga Linkedin account he is the managing Director for a Switzerland company Andromeda Aviation and he is also a consultant for IATA. Baserga’s account also states that Andromeda Aviation carry a number of aviation related activities such as Aircraft Evaluation,Aircraft Acquisition,Aircraft Financing, Aviation related Project Management and Aircraft Remarketing among others.
Air Botswana and IATA were cagey with the information relating to Andromeda Aviation. It is not clear what services Air Botswana was paying towards the company despite that Air Botswana was also paying IATA at the time, but the airline confirm to have paid Andromeda Aviation.
Air Botswana, Spokesperson Kefilwe Kebafetotse was not at liberty to disclose the services that Andromeda Aviation was paid for while the owner was also doing consultancy services for IATA.
She could not state the services and amount that was paid to a Switzeland based company safe to say the specifics of the contractual obligations remain confidential between the two parties.
Kebafetotse said Air Botswana and IATA agreement allowed Baserga’s company, Andromeda to do business with Air Botswana when quizzed whether the contract provided that his company can provide services while he was also doing work for Air Botswana.
In a contract between Air Botswana and IATA there is nowhere where it state that IATA consultant can also do private business with Air Botswana through his company while working for IATA.
Kebafetotse said the decision to engage Bersega’s company while he was working for IATA did not amount to conflict of interest. “No, because declaration and consent was sought from concerned parties”.
Despite promising to answer the questions on the matter, IATA did not want to be drawn to discuss the issue when quizzed about the involvement of their consultant in private business with Air Botswana. IATA Corporate Communications Assistant Manager, Kalliopi Lazari said, “We have forwarded your request to our subject matter experts. Please allow us some time to check with our colleagues on the issue”.
In his second response, Lazari said he was unable to respond to issues relating to IATA consultant who was making personal transaction through his business, Andromeda while he was deployed by IATA to Air Botswana. “I am afraid we won’t be able to respond to these questions, as we are not allowed to discuss commercial agreements with third parties. We suggest you to contact Air Botswana directly. We are sorry we won’t be able to assist in the end,” said Lazari.
Efforts to reach Baserga through his phone was futile as he kept hanging his phone when reached. When reached through WhatsApp about his company involvement with Air Botswana while he was still a consultant for Air Botswana he could not respondent despite that it showed that he read the message. Eventually he could not be reached as the number used to try to reach him through WhatsApp was blocked.
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.