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Open Skies concept creates opportunities

Namibia and Ethiopia chose to be in the forefront of Africa air transportation growth when they launched their first Addis Ababa-Gaborone-Windhoek route last week in Windhoek.
Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, James Sankwasa at the occasion of the Ethiopian Airlines inaugural flight to Windhoek said the timing of the launch on the new route could hardly be better.
“We value the unparalleled efforts by the Namibian government to ensure that the continent implements the January 2015 decision of the AU heads of state with regards to the establishment of The Single African Air Transport Market by 2017. This endeavour is in Honour of the Yamoussukro Decision for the liberalization of skies, and the establishment of a Single African Air Transport Market within the continent,” he said.
According to Sankwasa this new route as witnessed over the last two weeks will give an additional lift to trade and tourists and continue the momentum towards closer ties.
“It will enhance a stronger relationship from trade, finance, tourism and cultural exchanges. The government has adopted a liberal aviation policy, welcoming all countries to establish air connectivity with Windhoek and foreign airlines to operate at our airport. Our liberal aviation policy encourages competition and excellence in services and reduced air tickets ,” he added.
Namibia Airports Company (NAC) Acting CEO, Mr Courage Silombela at the event said the development will unlock new possibilities and opportunities to stakeholders in the aviation industry and beyond.
“Airports are a critical gateway to any country’s economy and the arrival of Ethiopian Airlines will surely go a long way in strengthening our economy directly and indirectly,” he added. Meanwhile, late last month NAC welcomed Qatar’s arrival to Namibia and now Ethiopian Airlines has joined the fry, while KLM Royal Dutch is expected to join the list of the world class airlines to service the Windhoek route.

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SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.

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