AIR NAMIBIA HONORS ITS CABIN CREW AT A RECENT GRADUATION CEREMONY
Windhoek, Monday 25th August 2014;The Acting Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Air Namibia, Rene Gsponer applauded the 15 cabin crew (flight attendants) at their recent graduation ceremony held at the Safari Court Hotel following their successful completion of a comprehensive Portuguese Language Proficiency programme. The airline subjected its cabin crew to master Portuguese as a foreign language to enhance communication for the purpose of Portuguese-speaking customer needs while on-board of Air Namibia routes.
“It gives me great pleasure to be amongst a group of happy cabin crew who have, through perseverance and commitment to this learning and development programme achieved high levels of professional and personal success. You were conferred with your well-deserved certificates underwritten by the reputable Polytechnic of Namibia. This is the kind of commitment we need in Air Namibia to take this business from great to even GREATER,” remarked Mr Gsponer.
He confirmed that the cabin crew have all complied with the course requirements, especially the written, the acoustic and oral proficiency of the Portuguese Language which positioned them better to engage and serve passengers from the basis of their mother-tongue. Gsponer quoted the great Nelson Mandela and said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”, applauding the Organisation Development (OD) Department of Air Namibia for commissioning the Polytechnic of Namibia to offer the Portuguese Language Proficiency programme.
“Air Namibia competes in a highly competitive market and space where the consumers of air travel are well educated in the high-end market. Our consumers are shopping around service providers and they have two key 2 indicators which drive their buying and commercial decisions, and these are: service, first and then cost. The added skills to our cabin crew to converse with passengers in Portuguese will, without a doubt, increase positive customer opinion which will result in higher demand for Air Namibia services’’, commented Mr Gsponer.
He further remarked that Namibia’s neighbouring country Angola had a fully-fledged Angolan Embassy in Namibia. “The Embassy is an important business and political link between Namibia and the Republic of Angola; and now that the Angolan Embassy is aware that Air Namibia’s cabin crew have undergone and successfully completed the Portuguese Language Proficiency programme; this will, without any doubt, have spin-off effects increasing our Namibia-Angolan routes with Portuguese-speaking passengers,” said Mr Gsponer.
“Gauging from your personal and professional attitudes you have displayed throughout this course; and the feedback we as management have received from your course coordinators and the colleagues in OD, I can clearly see a bright future for all of us at Air Namibia. The beauty of all is that you have not demanded for a salary increase or promotion upon completion of the Portuguese Language Proficiency course; instead you have seen the opportunity for Air Namibia to intensify its business growth and become the market leader sooner or later”; assuring cabin crew that Air Namibia has a very bright future in the airline industry”. Commented Mr Gsponer
The Acting MD further said that management was working around the clock to roll-out a turn-around strategy to heal and nurse the grievous harm cause to the Air Namibia brand. “I feel strongly that your achievement in completing this Portuguese Language Proficiency programme is one of plenty of positive initiatives we need to embark upon and that we will share these small milestones with the Namibian public, hoping that we can instil pride and confidence in air-travel consumers to make Air Namibia their preferred airline, in the region,” Air Namibia’s Acting Managing Director, Rene Gsponer concluded.
Speaking on behalf of the graduating cabin crew, Ms Laurencia Endjala, expressed their sincere appreciation and profound vote of thanks to Air Namibia for enabling them to articulate in Portuguese as a foreign language. “This is particularly important for us as we engage with passengers from all backgrounds and we encounter quite a number of Portuguese speaking passengers and this will enable us to increase our service delivery needs”, she said.
Air Namibia plans to roll-out the same programme to all frontline staff at reservations and ticketing agents, check-in agents, customer care and all 3 essential sections with employees who have direct and indirect contact with clients.
ISSUED BY (CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT)
Contact Person: Paul Homateni Nakawa
Head: Corporate Communications
Tel: +264 61 2996298
Fax: +264 61 2996195
Cell: +264 811464926