Creating incentives that promote air service development
The Namibia Airport Company joined forces with the City of Windhoek, Telecom Namibia, Paragon, Kalahari Sands Hotel, Namibia Tourism Board and Trans World Cargo to provide a package of incentives to help share the risk of starting up new routes and support capacity growth on existing routes while at the same time building charter airline and tour operator supported programmes, through various marketing support interventions.
Said Toska Sem, Strategic Executive: Business Strategy, “the Fly Windhoek booklet has been modelled on other successful European airport initiatives and will assist in promoting air service development in a move to deliver passenger traffic growth at Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport hub”.
Sem explained that the idea started in 2013 when stakeholders realised that Windhoek was a perfect low-cost city break destination which needed to be sold actively and where enormous opportunities existed to stimulate low cost passenger growth.
“Air transport access is a key driver for regional economic growth and not just the responsibility of airports alone, but one where all key stakeholders have to pull together. All of us at operational and regional level have to help convince airlines and tour operators to do business with Namibia and Windhoek is the model we wish to work with,” she said.
The NAC aims to take advantage of the rapid changes that are taking place across Africa, including the introduction of the long-range Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has the potential to connect Windhoek to even more African hub airports. This outcome would provide a significant boost to Namibia’s tourism and hospitality economy, and enable more people from outside Namibia to experience the delights Namibia has to offer the global tourism community. “Similarly, opportunities exist in the low-cost carrier airline segment, with airlines such as Fastjet currently remoulding aviation in Tanzania and Kenya,” she said.
The recent establishment of the FLY WINDHOEK dedicated route and air service development programme in May 2013 can be regarded as another strong signal of the NAC’s commitment to sustainable growth in route choice and passenger volumes. FLY WINDHOEK, in all aspects, complements NAC’s 2014-2017 strategy and will serve as the focal point of the company’s air service development strategy. We are thankful to stakeholders who joined us so we can work and benefit together as we take this initiative out to the Windhoek community and then beyond to airlines and the international tour operator and charter airline markets,” said Sem.
Currently HKIA handles approximately 815,000 passengers. They arrive and depart on a choice of 13 destinations in Namibia, wider Africa and Europe. Primary destinations include Johannesburg OR-Tambo (Air Namibia, BA/Comair, South African Airways and South African Express), Cape Town (Air Namibia and South African Express), Luanda (Air Namibia and TAAG Angola Airlines), Frankfurt, Harare, Victoria Falls and Maun.