AIR Namibia says it has a huge responsibility to take care of its two new aeroplanes, bought by Government, and to utilise it optimally to enhance the effectiveness and reliability of the airline.
At the same time the purchasing of aircraft for Air Namibia is in line with its business plan which was approved by Cabinet about two years ago.
The first Airbus A319 landed at the Hosea Kutako International Airport on Friday, while the second one, still in the assembling plant, is expected to be in Namibia by the beginning of February.
The price of the Airbus A319 is US$80 million (N$685 million) each, but according to the general manager of commercial services, Xavier Masule, the airline negotiated for a better price. He said there is an agreement that the amount should not be released.
Air Namibia's managing director Theo Namases, who received the plane in the presence of the media, officials of the airline and one of the directors, Tim Ekandjo, said she is convinced that the arrival of the aircraft will enhance operations in terms of effectiveness and reliability.
The aircraft has 112 seats of which 96 are earmarked for economy class and 16 for business class and also has three toilets.
"Normally these planes have 126 seats but we have taken care of the comfort of the passengers and one row of seats was removed. But despite that, the planes are comparing well with what the market offers," said Namases.
The leasing contract of two 737-500 Boeings is expiring at the end of this month and these will then be returned to their destination of origin.
"Now we have to see to it that the number of passengers on the planes and tourism to Namibia grow and we have to strengthen our new routes in Africa, which includes Windhoek to Gaberone, Lusaka, Harare and Accra.
We have also partnered with the Kenyan Airways," said Masule.
In terms of the airline's business plan serious efforts have to be made to decrease its losses within a measurable period and this can be done by increasing the number of flights and passengers.