Ostrich-egg basket for Easter?August 14, 2012
Those yellow flowersAugust 14, 2012
Text Marita van Rooyen
“It’s very important to have air-transport linkages, as people need mobility to expand their opportunities. An increased airflow thus also opens up the country to more possibilities. Namibia has everything, but we have to introduce our country to the world by making it more accessible through air travel,” says General Manager for Commercial Services at Air Namibia, Xavier Masule.
From 15 May 2012 Air Namibia will be expanding its routes from Hosea Kutako International Airport to Gaborone in Botswana, Harare in Zimbabwe, and Ondjiva in Angola. Xavier explains: “Any business that does not grow, will die. By expanding our business, we’ll also be able to fulfil our mandate.”
Air Namibia is a business and like every business, it has its main objectives for achieving success. In this case, the company strives to make a positive contribution to the socioeconomic development of Namibia, to achieve commercial success and financial selfsustainability. “In order to fulfil our mandate, we revised our business plan in 2011.” At the heart of this new plan lies growth and expansion, and this is where the new routes fit in.
The birth of new routes
In October 2011 Air Namibia introduced flights to Accra and Lusaka. This year sees the introduction of three new routes in the SADC region. “We are constantly busy with market research and we’ll see how these markets develop to the point where it is sustainable and economically viable to introduce direct routes. We identify opportunities and follow them where we see fit.”
Gaborone is an inviting destination for nature lovers and craft collectors alike, with the Gaborone Game Reserve right on the city’s edge and a wide selection of local crafters within the city’s perimeters. The Game Reserve serves as a welcome escape from the city, with designated picnic sites, a bird and game hide, and a wide network of roads. But as the administrative centre and business hub of Botswana, Gaborone also offers ample opportunities for investors and business seekers.
Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, is the major gateway for flights into the country. It’s a modern city with numerous parks and gardens, including the 68-hectare National Botanic Garden. Places worth visiting are the National Gallery, Queen Victoria Museum, and the Chapungu Sculpture Park that can be seen as you exit the airport. Traditional souvenirs such as baskets, food and clothing can be found at the open market at Mbare, while Kopje, a granite hill rising above the south-west corner of the city, is a great place to go for sunset views of the city.
The option to do business in the southern parts of Angola is an additional attraction for Air Namibia flyers. Ondjiva, the administrative capital of the Cunene Province, is situated 42 kilometres from the Namibian border and acts as a gateway into the country. “It’s a vibrant, developing city, with a need to connect beyond borders.”
“We have now increased our accessibility between Namibia and the rest of SADC and Africa, proudly linking our nation to the world.” Air Namibia also flies to Maun in Botswana, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and Luanda in Angola, and with its flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town, now offers two entry points in each country. The national carrier also flies to Accra in Ghana and Frankfurt in Germany, and offers domestic flights to Walvis Bay, Lüderitz, Oranjemund, Ondangwa, Rundu, Katima Mulilo and Eros Airport in Windhoek.
“Our imperative is to optimise on ‘beyond traffic’. In other words, air traffic that would previously have flown over Namibia now makes a pit stop at Hosea Kutako International Airport, allowing the option of lingering longer and exploring our horizons. Namibia is a connection and feeder point for the region and beyond. Our route network is designed to optimise on providing air linkages to a vast class of travellers. The fares between Windhoek and the new destinations are set to offer the best value money can buy, and are simply irresistible.”
The new destinations will be serviced by the Embraer ER J135 regional jets and will be direct, non-stop flights. “Expand your market and make use of personal connections in Gaborone, Harare and Ondjiva. Become an investor; see what our neighbours have to offer in terms of business and leisure. The world is a mere booking away.”
This article appeared in the April 2012 edition of FLAMINGO Magazine.