Air Namibia to introduce new routes
The national carrier, Air Namibia plans to introduce new long-haul flights beginning next year as part of the airline’s future expansion plans.
Airline spokesperson Paul Nakawa told the Economist Thursday that plans are afoot to introduce new long haul flights to as yet unnamed destinations in the next twelve to 36 months to help expand the national flag carrier’s route network.
The announcement by Air Namibia comes at a time when the airline has been focused on expanding its route network in the sub-Saharan market while at the same time carrying out an extensive commercial research to assess the viability of the West African market.
Last year the airline briefly terminated service on the Windhoek-Accra route citing viability problems, but Nakawa said this week the airline has seen a slight increase in passenger volumes. In an effort to further help grow the passenger numbers, the airline has brought forward the departure time of flights from Windhoek to Accra to 11:00hrs from the current 16:50hrs starting this Friday 07 February.
The departure time of the return flight from Accra to Windhoek will, however, remain unchanged at 22:50 local time.
“The decision to change the flight departure time is part of our commitment to….offer services which best meets the needs of the market. On this note, we have seen demand for traffic between Namibia and other West African countries, in particular Lagos. We could not serve this market because initially we arrived in Accra after all flights to Lagos had left, and we could not connect. With the new arrival time in Accra, we are able to offer our passengers enough time to connect in good time to this destination. This option also offers a good connection to the middle east on Emirates and other airlines such as Turkish and European airlines,” Nakawa said.
Most of Air Namibia’s clients on the Windhoek/Accra route are business people from South Africa, West Africa, Namibia and the SADC Region. Nakawa said the earlier departure time means passengers from South Africa will now use Air Namibia’s morning flights to Windhoek to catch the flight to Accra.
“The waiting time at Windhoek for Cape Town passengers will be reduced to two hours from the current eight hours they currently spend in transit at Hosea Kutako. This change will also offer those passengers from Windhoek, Johannesburg or Cape Town to return the same day from Accra if their business requires short time to be spent in Ghana,” he said.