Luanda — The interruption of Air Namibia's flights between Windhoek and Luanda, starting last Sunday, will cause embarrassment for businesspersons, as well as reduce trade, cultural and economic exchanges between the two countries and beyond.
The Namibian air carrier announced last Tuesday the indefinite interruption of the Windhoek-Luanda route, justifying that Angola has become an economically unviable market. Speaking to ANGOP, at the 4 de Fevereiro International Airport, passengers who arrived Saturday on the last flight of the Namibian airline stated that the measure will create many constraints, since Air Namibia was a viable alternative for the travel of many citizens to this country and vice versa. Angolan citizen Victória Ferraz, who periodically travels to this Atlantic country for business, expressed her sadness at the news, justifying that, in addition to practicing affordable prices in relation to other companies it is always another option for customers. "I travel frequently to Namibia for business and to visit relatives and, sometimes, I travel with Air Namibia. This measure will certainly create a lot of constraint for us traders, students and people who have regular medical consultations in this country ", she said. According to Nigerian businessman Mohamed Salin, who has worked in Angola for more than five years, Namibia, being a politically and economically stable state with open doors to neighbouring countries, has become a safe market, which is why he has invested in various business areas.
"Namibia has become my second home, where I travel frequently for business and leisure. Cancelling flights could create constraints on urgent travel and product outlets. I think the measure should be reviewed for the good of all", he stressed. The engineering student Mateus Alexandre highlighted air mobility as a factor of integration between peoples, as well as for the exchange of experiences between students from various countries. "I have already travelled to Namibia and vice versa with this airline to study and exchange experiences with students from other countries and I think it will be negative for mobility, which is increasingly wanted by the populations of both countries and beyond", he added. The Windhoek/Luanda route was, according to data from the Namibian state company, the most profitable at least between 2000 and 2015, but the reality has changed radically, so the company was forced to suspend the air connection between the two countries. The company started operating in the Angolan capital with two weekly flights in 1992, shortly after the country's independence on March 20, 1990, from the control of South Africa. In 2014 and 2015, the golden period of operations, it increased to seven frequencies to Luanda.
This Namibian aeronautical operator is going through a serious financial crisis, putting at risk the maintenance of its activity, which is being analyzed by the local government. And, due to the cessation of trips to Angola, TAAG (Angolan state-owned flag carrier) assumes the transport of its passengers. The announcement comes just five months after the company decided to reintroduce the route in October last year. The Windhoek-Luanda connection was suspended between June and September last year, also due to the lack of profitability, and became operational again between October and January 2020, during the high season.