By Hilary Mare
IN addition to the frequency and capacity increases, flagship airline Air Namibia has revised fares and ticket prices on domestic routes downwards, by an aggregate of 20 percent, a move that has been commended by the business community as noble and responsive to national prosperity chase.
This reduction in fares will ensure that all fees payable on domestic routes, including taxes, will be below N$3 990, return.
Representing the business community Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) northern branch chairperson Tomas Iindji said that negotiations had been going on since 2013 and business was delighted that Air Namibia had finally come to the party and upped its game amid competitors invading the air space.
“We are now happy to hear that our call was listened by Air Namibia. This is very good news indeed. Thumbs up to Air Namibia and we believe now their new turnaround strategies are working and the fact that the new competitors are coming … is heading their effectiveness and affordable pricing model. We welcome the move from Air Namibia,” he said.
Apart from increasing flight frequencies and capacity on some of its domestic routes, Air Namibia will effective October 30, add two new destinations to its route network. The two routes are Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana and Durban in South Africa.
“The decision taken to increase flight frequencies and capacity on domestic routes is in line with our strategic objective of making air travel affordable, and this is just the beginning of it all. As opportunities for fixed cost reduction from increased aircraft utilisation are realised, the more the benefit in cost reduction will be passed onto the end users, our esteemed flying public,” says Paul Nakawa, corporate communications manager of Air Namibia.
On the new international destinations, both destinations will initially be serviced four times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, using the Embraer ERJ 135 regional jets.
The routing will be Windhoek – Gaborone – Durban and returns, Durban – Gaborone – Windhoek.
The two destinations represent the first set of new destinations to be added to its route network, as contained in Air Namibia’s five-year Route Network and Schedule Development Plan. Other destinations to be added during the next five years will be announced as and when the required Governmental approvals have been granted.
“This forms part of the process to optimise our domestic and regional operations, aimed at improving aircraft and crew utilisation, which will ultimately lower our fixed cost per unit, as well as strengthening our business through enhanced levels of connectivity.
We believe that the market will welcome this much needed service, as it will result in eliminating transit stops, and offer short journey times for travel between Windhoek and Gaborone, as well as between Windhoek and Durban,” said Nakawa.
Locally, Ondangwa will launch an additional flight frequency on the Eros – Ondangwa route on Mondays, from the current two flights per day to three flights per day. The airline will also launch an additional flight frequency on Saturdays, from the current single flight per day to two flights.
As for Rundu/Katima Mulilo, flights to Rundu and Katima Mulilo will be separated, meaning that flights to Rundu will no longer go via Katima Mulilo, and flights to Katima Mulilo will no longer go via Rundu. Air Namibia will introduce direct and non-stop flights between Eros and Rundu, three times per week to be operated on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The new service of direct and non-stop flights between Eros and Katima Mulilo will remain on four flights per week, to be operated on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
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