24 January 2013

Namibia: Air Nam Reduces Flights

Photo: Fastjet
An artist's impression of a Fastjet Airbus.

Windhoek — The financially struggling national airline, Air Namibia, on Friday notified its only shareholder, the State, as well as key stakeholders and the nation at large it is reducing the frequency of its flights as part of its "rationalisation process".

The flight changes, which come into effect as of January 27, will see the number of flights to Frankfurt, Germany, reduced to four frequencies per week while flights from Windhoek to Cape Town and Windhoek to Johannesburg have been reduced from three to two flights per day.

Air Namibia's spokesperson, Paul Nakawa, says the frequency reduction will remain in place until at least June 24 this year.

The regional Windhoek to Maun to Victoria Falls flight, which usually operates on Monday mornings, will also be shifted to Tuesday mornings as a result of the Frankfurt frequency reduction.

In addition, the Lusaka flight on Wednesday mornings will now be shifted to the afternoon.

Nakawa added that the two Airbus A340-300 aircraft used by the airline to service the Windhoek to Frankfurt route will come to an end in mid-2013.

"Air Namibia further wishes to advise that as per industry practice, the airline is obliged to execute heavy maintenance work on these aircraft in order to meet the 'return conditions' of the aircraft lease agreements. This implies that, the aircraft will be withdrawn from service one at a time, to facilitate the stated maintenance activities," explained Nakawa.

The Airbus A340-300 will be replaced by brand new state-of-the-art Airbus A330- 200 aircraft expected to enter the airline's fleet from October 2013, in line with the national carrier's fleet renewal programme.

In other Air Namibia news, the company's new A319-100 aircraft was scheduled to make its first commercial flight to Walvis Bay yesterday morning. The aircraft, which was acquired at Air Namibia specifications, will offer regional travellers more comfort and reduced cabin noise levels as this equipment is cost efficient with high levels of dispatch reliability which is the core of Air Namibia's fleet going forward.

"The equipment is one of the two aircraft purchased by Air Namibia as part of its fleet rejuvenation programme, in Hamburg-Germany, and the remaining aircraft will join our fleet soon," he said.

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