Three years later after the suspension of its operations into Gaborone, Air Namibia has announced that it will add two new destinations to a new route network, Windhoek – Gaborone – Durban, South Africa.
The company announced late last week that both destinations will initially be serviced four times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, using the Embraer ERJ 135 Regional Jets effective 30th October 2016,
In June 2013, the Namibian High Commission who was then based in Gaborone Charles Josob expressed confidence that Air Namibia has taken the decision to quit Gaborone on the basis of calculations that they have made about the viability of the operations.
“We cannot prescribe to Air Namibia to keep a route open, which would have financial implication for them,” said Josob three years back.
Still in 2013, Counsellor Josob observed that a direct route facilitates many things including trade and tourism because it provide easy and timesaving access because the two capitals. He added that the fact that it saves time and is convenient gives an easy choice to visitors and business people alike to use the airline.
“The decision is an economic decision without a doubt. The figures tell their story. The occupancy as I understood it though high in terms of percentage was not allowing the airline to recover cost,” Josob stated at the time.
Meanwhile, Air Namibia said it will be also offering a service for traffic between Gaborone and Durban, using the 5th freedom traffic rights it was granted. The company also stated that the two destinations represent the first set of new destinations to be added to its route network, as contained in Air Namibia’s five (5) year Route Network and Schedule Development Plan. Other destinations are said to be added during the next five years will be announced as and when the required Governmental approvals have been granted.
Corporate Communications Manager at Air Namibia Paul Nakawa is of the view that this forms part of the process to optimize their domestic and regional operations, aimed at improving aircraft and crew utilization, which will ultimately lower our fixed cost per unit, as well as strengthening their business through enhanced levels of connectivity.
“We believe that the market will welcome this much needed service, as it will result in eliminating transit stops, and offer short journey times for travel between Windhoek and Gaborone, as well as between Windhoek and Durban”, said Nakawa.