Friday, June 22, 2012

► NAMIBIA: Air Namibia to get A330s; aims to become profitable by 2016.

Air NamibiaNamibian national carrier Air Namibia (SW) is "to soon get rid of" its ageing Airbus A340s and replace them with newer Airbus A330s in an effort to modernize and thus bring the quality and standards of the airline up to a globally competitive level - along the lines of Dubai-based mega-carrier, Emirates.

Speaking at a meeting between Air Namibia, an Emirates' delegation, the Namibian Minister of Trade and Industry Minister Dr Hage Geingob and officials from the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) held in Windhoek, Namibia recently, Air Namibia's Managing Director Theo Namases stated:

"We want to benchmark with the best airlines in the world such the Emirates Airline; we want to grow our airline, not only to extend international routes, but also to generate revenue" 

Air Namibia's Route Map
Air Namibia's Route Network
Emirates' Senior Vice-President for Commercial Operations in Africa, Jean-Luc Grillet, did state however, that the Emirates Airline Group at present has no intentions of establishing a route to Namibia, but the group is looking forward to cooperating commercially with the Namibian carrier.

Currently, Air Namibia operates  two Airbus A319s, two Airbus A340-300s, one Boeing 737-200, two Boeing 737-500s, three Embraer ERJ 135s and a further two Airbus A319s on order with delivery scheduled for December of this year.

Since 1998, Air Namibia has been struggling to get back into the black, after a disastrous experience with a Boeing 747-400M, which saw the airline struggling to meet the aircraft's high operating costs.

Over the next three years, the Namibian Government, the owners of Air Namibia, will inject Nam$1.191billion (USD$140million) into the airline in the hopes of turning it to an independent profitable entity by 2016.

Air Namibia 747
Air Namibia's problematic 747-400M (Brian McMorrow)