Tuesday, June 11, 2013

■ NAMIBIA: Theo Namases blames NAC for holding back Air Namibia.

Air NamibiaTheo Namases, the Managing Director of Air Namibia (SW), says a lack of collaboration between the airline and fellow parastatal, the Namibia Airport Company (NAC), is adversely affecting the former's operations.

Hosea Kutako Int'l Airport at dusk
Hosea Kutako Int'l Airport at dusk (lallis)
According to Ms Namases, the NAC, since Namibia's independence, has "failed" to develop modern airport facilities contradicting her airline's plans of developing Windhoek's Hosea Kutako International Airport into a regional and international hub despite the NAC being involved in the formulation of Air Namibia's turnaround plan.
Namases said the lack of action by NAC is frustrating given their plans and ambitions to increase the airline's route network and passenger numbers which has seen them buying and leasing four new Airbus A319-100 aircraft and four Embrear jets as part of a fleet modernisation programme.
Source [The Economist]

For its part, the NAC in February announced it was "in the process of setting up" its formal air service development initiative dubbed "FlyWindhoek", aimed at boosting passenger traffic at Windhoek's Hosea Kutako International Airport by bringing in more international tour operators and scheduled and charter airlines. At this point in time, the status of the initiative is uncertain.

On the issue of airport taxes, Ms Namases stated that despite the NAC levying some of the highest departure taxes in the region, amounting to USD595'000 (NAD6million) per month from the Namibian national carrier alone, facilities in most airports are out of date, with Hosea Kutako's departure lounge now proving far too small to accommodate a full compliment of passengers outbound on the airline's Frankfurt flights. Further to that, hefty airport transit levies rendered the Namibian market uncompetitive in the region, thereby discouraging badly needed tourism.