When the former Bechuanaland Protectorate achieved independence from Britain in 1966 and became the republic of Botswana, the concept of the new nation having its own airline was only a dream.
It would be more than twenty years before that dream became the reality of a national airline in the true sense.
But if it took a long time to turn plans into planes, the job was very well done. Today Air Botswana enjoys a wide reputation - quite disproportionate to its modest size - as a model, quality African airline.
After operating unprofitably for several years under different names, entirely dependent on Government support and outside expertise, the turning point came in April 1988 with the creation of Air Botswana Corporation as a parastatal entity under the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications.
This was the birth of the national carrier.
With a bold vision of the future and the full backing of its shareholder, the Government, Air Botswana embarked on concerted development. Within five years it had acquired a fleet of modern aircraft, built excellent engineering, operations and administration facilities, adopted the rigorous UK Civil Aviation Authority operating standards, installed an international computer reservations system, and implemented a comprehensive citizen development programme throughout the organisation.
It is doubtful whether any other national airline in the world has been built, almost from scratch, so rapidly.