By Hilary Mare
THE Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Tourism Board Digu // Naobeb has expressed the optimism brought by Qatar Airways to the tourism industry highlighting that the airline will bring a vast network and also presents huge national growth opportunities for Namibia.
Addressing delegates at a press briefing following Qatar’s maiden flight into the country last week, //Naobeb stated that aviation dealt with more than 50 percent of international arrivals and 70 percent of all tourism receipts worldwide.
“Airlift is, therefore integral, not only to the success of our tourism industry, but to our investment and growth strategy as a nation. Increasing our annual passenger traffic exponentially year over year is a critical part of this. Ironically, because of the lack of air connectivity, African neighbours often become de facto long-haul destinations to each other. Clearly, there is also major potential for the development of a South-South corridor that reflects contemporary trade and other economic realities.
“So, thank you Qatar Airways for playing a significant role in this growth. Not only do they bring with them a vast network. This makes travel not only much smoother and more ideal for the passengers, but it increases the visibility of the flights through the different booking platforms,” he said.
Windhoek is the first city in Namibia to be served by Qatar Airways, which will fly to and from the destination four times a week with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The new route will connect passengers flying from Namibia to more than 150 global destinations via Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art hub and home, Hamad International Airport in Doha. Windhoek will be the 23rd destination in Africa served by the award-winning airline.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said: “We are delighted to extend our network within Africa by adding the premium leisure and business destination of Windhoek to our route map. Africa remains one of our key target areas for growth and we have identified Namibia as an important African nation to include in our expansion plans.
“With the launch of this service we look forward to strengthening our ties with the people of Namibia, who we are pleased to connect with more than 150 global destinations via our hub in Doha, while supporting the country’s growing tourism industry by flying in tourists from all around the world.”
Export businesses in Namibia will also benefit from the launch of the new route as Qatar Airways Cargo will offer 92 tonnes of belly-hold capacity per week on board the aircraft. This will offer businesses a prime opportunity to distribute goods across the airline’s network of more than 150 destinations.
The Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner operates a two-cabin configuration, comprising of 22 seats in business class and 232 seats in economy class. All seats include individual television screens. Passengers can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using on-board Wi- Fi and GSM service.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015