Windhoek — An expected slowdown in corporate travellers during the festive season still saw Air Namibia achieve an average load factor of 73 percent on all its flights, domestically, regionally and internationally, which the national carrier describes as a satisfactory performance. Air Namibia's most popular domestic destinations during the festive season were Ondangwa and Walvis Bay.
During the festive season Air Namibia's worst performing flights were the ones for December 24 (63 percent load factor), December 25 (68 percent load factor) and December 31 (58 percent load factor).
"The utilization was satisfactory given our known market characteristics. Namibia is primarily a leisure destination and normally experiences less corporate travellers during the festive season. We therefore, in line with industry practice, reduce flights over this period. The reduction in flights is done at least nine months prior to the festive season and all stakeholders are informed well on time," explained Paul Nakawa, Air Namibia's manager for corporate communications.
Air Namibia introduced three weekly flights between Ondangwa and Walvis Bay at the end of November last year and the route has since performed well with an average load factor of 51 percent from Ondangwa to Walvis Bay while flights in the opposite direction, from Walvis Bay to Ondangwa, reached an average load factor of 83 percent. Combined results indicate that Air Namibia achieved an average load factor of 67 percent on this new route. "Given the relative short period after launch and absence of corporate travel, it certainly is a great achievement," said Nakawa.
Without any major challenges or incidents, Air Namibia's operations yielded a 94 percent dispatch reliability during the past festive season.
"We call upon the public to continue supporting the national airline. We should start doing things differently. Let 2018 be your year of travel and adventure. If you have limited days to travel and want to spend quality time with your family, or visit your business associates at their destinations, then you should consider travelling by air. Let's reduce pressure on our roads and start utilising airline services," Nakawa added.
The national airline's introduction of the new north-to-coast route opened up new travel possibilities and opportunities, as it enabled travellers to fly between Ondangwa and Johannesburg, as well as between Ondangwa and Cape Town, both via Walvis Bay. The new route also offered a new opportunity for transportation between Walvis Bay/Swakopmund to the northern parts of the country, and was anticipated to contribute to a reduction of road congestion with a flying time of only 60 minutes.