Windhoek – Air Namibia says the reduction of local flights’ fares by 20 per cent at the beginning of September is part of their strategy to attract more local travellers and have Namibians embrace air travel.
Air Namibia Manager for Corporate Communications Paul Nakawa told Nampa that the national airliner is committed to making air travel more affordable and have Namibians be more productive.
“Air transport is a modern way of travelling, as it is safe and faster, and improves the productivity of the nation. A trip that takes you between nine to eleven hours on the road, only takes 45 minutes via air. This means you reach your destination faster and fresher, which then helps you to be productive,” he said.
Air Namibia, he says, regards the Harambee Prosperity Plan as a guiding tool for operations because it seeks to ensure that all Namibians have access to national infrastructure and facilities.
By reducing the prices of local flights, the national airliner is also reducing pressure on the national roads, which are notorious for accidents that claim the lives of many Namibians and tourists.
Nakawa said developments such as airports upgrading and expanding all over the country will mean an increased frequency of flying and being able to use bigger planes on local routes.
Meanwhile, Namibia Airports Company (NAC) Spokesperson Dan Kamati said the NAC has attended to the infrastructure of several airports, including the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Ondangwa Airport’s runway, which was completed in August, while the taxiway and apron are being rehabilitated and upgraded.
Also completed by the NAC is the rehabilitation and upgrade of the Walvis Bay Airport runway, and the construction of passenger terminals in Ondangwa and Walvis Bay.
The NAC recently commissioned a new rescue and fire station at Windhoek’s Eros Airport to improve the capability of the fire and rescue services to respond efficiently to aircraft emergencies.
Katima Mulilo Airport is also experiencing a rehabilitation and upgrade of the runway due for completion next year.
“The critical role that airports play in National Development cannot be over emphasized. These projects and others demonstrate our commitment to make Namibia an international air transportation hub,” said Kamati, adding these projects are according to the National Development Plan 4 that stressed importance of infrastructure as the base of economic development.
With developing airport, more frequent flights and affordable fares, Nakawa said Namibians are already showing more interest in boarding a plane than getting into a car.
“We have more new customers and passengers using our services. We are just encouraging them to book early as this will be even cheaper for them.
“There is a phenomenal increase in the number of people flying locally now compared to a few months ago.”
He said Air Namibia will embark on a huge campaign to sensitise Namibians on the advantages of flying locally.
On the 22 August 2016, Air Namibia announced that flight frequencies and capacity in some local routes were to be increased. These routes were Windhoek-Ondangwa and the Windhoek-Rundu-Katima Mulilo route. – NAMPA