On Monday 24 June 2019, a new era in Namibian aviation will take flight with Westair Aviation’s first scheduled passenger flight after the company was granted Designated Carrier status by the Namibian Transport Commission.
This accreditation makes Westair Aviation an official scheduled passenger airline, with flights to various destinations within the country and the sub-region, under the brand name FlyWestair.
The first route to roll out will be three scheduled flights per week from Eros Airport in Windhoek to Oranjemund starting 24 June 2019.
As for additional routes, Westair is eligible to fly to various destinations in Namibia and the region and new destinations to be introduced include Cape Town (serviced from Oranjemund and Windhoek), Walvisbay, Ondangwa and Johannesburg. Local flights on these routes are planned to start from July 2019, with regional flights introduced from August 2019 subject to on service agreements being reached with authorities and service providers.
A private airline, Westair Aviation started out as an aircraft maintenance facility 52 years ago in 1967 but has since grown to become one of the most advanced aviation establishments in Namibia with a fleet of more than 30 aircraft and 70 pilots, able to conduct any aviation-related mission across Africa.
100% Namibian owned, Westair Aviation has earned the highest accolades in the industry servicing clients across all spheres of the economy including multinational mining companies, airlines, tourism destinations, governments, humanitarian organisations, cargo and logistics suppliers, ambulance service providers, tour operators, geophysical surveying companies, aerial mapping companies and a wide range of corporate VIP travellers.
Although scheduled flights to mining destinations were conducted by Westair Aviation for clients in the mining industry before, the decision to launch an official scheduled passenger airline for the public was fueled by opportunities in the market of which the Windhoek-Oranjemund presented the most immediate significance.
Wolfgang Grellmann, Chairman of Westair group announced the new development stating that: “The launch of FlyWestair is a natural evolution for Westair Aviation as a well established, fully integrated aviation services provider. We are on a continuous quest to improve the standard of aviation in Namibia. There is a definite need for a regular scheduled flight to Oranjemund. The Government of Namibia, whether through De Beers Marine Namibia or through NAMDEB, are investing a lot of resources to create a future for Oranjemund town beyond mining and easy, frequent access to the town is pivotal.”
“Economically it’s been proven time and again that accessibility is one of the biggest economic drivers for a town, a city – even a lodge. Given the economic gravity of companies operating from Oranjemund, there is definitely a need to increase the accessibility and flights to Oranjemund that will benefit the economy and industry for Oranjemund and the country at large.”
“Strategically, Ondangwa it is the most frequented destination in the country and the Namibian Government invested heavily in runway and airport infrastructure through the Namibia Airports Company. As a proudly Namibian airline, we are committed to service the majority of our population. When operational, it will also be possible to travel from Oranjemund to Ondangwa in one day.”
“We have the capability, we have proven to be a safe and reliable air carrier, we have the Embraer 145’s which is a comfortable, regional jet with fifty seat capacity, we have skilled personnel and resources, so for Westair, it was a natural progression going into scheduled services. We have a fully equipped aircraft maintenance facility at Eros Airport that has the ability to do heavy maintenance and line maintenance on regional jet aircraft. Through our subsidiary Signa Aviation Services, we have also created the local capacity to train pilots locally for our airline operations.”
Westair is a Flight Safety Foundation, BARS (Basic Aviation Risks Standard) approved service provider – a safety standard that was developed by the Flight Safety Foundation to create the benchmark for air operators. It’s specifically aligned for the needs of blue-chip organisations such as mining companies, oil and gas companies, big government agencies, and practically all travellers concerned with the status and safety of an air carrier.
Currently, Westair Aviation holds BARS “Gold” status, which means that the company has held this accreditation for longer than three consecutive years. This is one of the highest safety accreditations in the industry.
Whilst specialised aviation services will remain the primary focus of Westair Aviation’s business, the FlyWestair development will officially establish a second scheduled service operator in the country.
In terms of the implication thereof for the national airline, Grellmann said: “We’ve always worked very closely with Air Namibia and we have leased aircraft on an Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) basis to Air Namibia on a semi-permanent basis for the last eighteen months. This lease agreement came to an end on 31 May 2019. At the moment no one services the Eros – Oranjemund route so there is currently no option available for subcontractors to the mines, people visiting family, consultants and other who wants to visit Oranjemund or Rosh Pinah in the morning and fly out again the same day. FlyWestair’s entrance to the market will serve the local economy and support Air Namibia in developing the sector to make Namibia more competitive in a competitive industry dominated by foreign operators”.
The first FlyWestair flights to Oranjemund will launch on Monday 24 June 2019.
Ticket sales open on Wednesday 12 June 2019.
Flights can be booked through all major travel agencies, or directly through the Westair reservations office on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Customer booking number +264833390063
Contact Westair Aviation via their website at www.westair.com.na.