Market reaction blows up in Air Namibia’s face

Barely two months down the line after introducing a change in the point of departure of the flights to Rundu and Katima Mulilo from Eros to Hosea Kutako International Airport, the national airline, Air Namibia, has dropped that strategy and has reverted back to the old point of departures for the flights.

On 29 March, Air Namibia moved the point of departure from Eros Airport to Hosea Kutako International Airport for Rundu and Katima Mlilo citing it as purely a business decision aimed at minimising aircraft positioning costs and increasing the availability of scheduled commercial flights. However, in a substantial about-face, earlier this week, the airline announced that effective 31 May 2015, its flights to Rundu and Katima Mulilo are to change the point of departure from Hosea Kutako International Airport to Eros Airport again.
Reached for comment, Air Namibia spokesperson Paulus Nakawa said, “An airline, like any other business organization, provides products and services for selling to its customers. In our case, the schedule (which comprises flight departure and arrival times, as well as destinations served) is our product offering.”
“When you place a product in the market, there are many considerations you take into account, including market / consumer reactions. You need to study the market and position yourself appropriately in order to enhance potential revenue and customer satisfaction levels,” he added.
“Many businesses come up with products which are quite good in terms of quality and cost, it happens that the market could react differently, which will compel you to re-consider. Ultimately it is about meeting customer requirements and needs. Unfortunately our customer base and needs are diverse, we cannot satisfy everyone, so compromises have to happen,” he elaborated.
Meanwhile according to the airline, as a consequence and to accommodate this change of airports, the Ondangwa midday flights that depart from Eros airport at 11h00 a.m. local time (SW103 and SW104) operating on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays are to be withdrawn from the schedule/operations from the 31 of May.
The departure times of the flights from Eros to Rundu and Katima Mulilo will be at 10:15 a.m. local time. The days of operation are set to remain the same and affected passengers will be accommodated on alternative flights and Air Namibia is requesting all affected passengers to contact Air Namibia offices which are close to them, to confirm new and revised itineraries.