WINDHOEK – LAGOS – ACCRA ROUTE ANNOUNCEMENT
Air Namibia is pleased to announce that in line with our strategic plan we will add Lagos and Accra to our route network effective 25 March 2018. This fits in with growing the business and increasing our footprint on the African Continent.
The routing for the two new destinations will be Windhoek-Lagos-Accra, and the return will be Accra-Lagos-Windhoek four times per week using the Airbus A319-100 aircraft. Apart from providing direct connection from Namibia to West Africa, the operation will further transport passengers and cargo on the Lagos-Accra-Lagos route, using the fifth freedom traffic rights granted by the Ghanaian and Nigerian Governments, as contained in the existing Bilateral Air Service Agreements.
Days of operation departing from Windhoek will be Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The operating schedule and flight timings allow smooth and convenient connections inbound and outbound to our regional flights, connecting West Africa via Windhoek to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Luanda, Harare, Lusaka, Vic Falls, Gaborone Walvis Bay and Durban.
“This much needed service will give our passengers a better alternative travel option, and will reduce travel times between Namibia and West Africa by more than 60%. We are happy to introduce our Award Winning Service in this market and we are already receiving positive feedback on the launch of this new route. The operation fits within our existing capacity in terms of aircraft and crew, thereby improving the utilization rates of these resources while increasing revenue catchment opportunities. Especially as it means we are entering Africa’s largest regional air travel market,” said Advocate Mandi Samson, Air Namibia Acting Managing Director
Xavier Masule, General Manager for Commercial Services at Air Namibia said; “We are grateful to the Namibian, Ghanaian and Nigerian Governments for the commitment to promote easy access and the much needed improved levels of mobility on the continent, which will help promote intra-Africa trade and tourism flows.”
Air Namibia committed to service delivery
Air Namibia Executive Committee (Exco) members signed performance agreements as a commitment to attain strategic objectives outlined in the national airline’s five year strategic plan for the period 2016/17 – 2020/21. The signing ceremony took place at Air Namibia Strategic Intent launch that took place on 19 April 2017 at the airline’s headquarters in Windhoek.
Advocate Mandi Samson, Acting Managing Director of Air Namibia described the launch of the strategic intent as a stepping stone in the right direction. She said; “The signing of departmental performance agreements reflects accountability in an effort to achieve identified strategic objectives.” “With our strategic plan, we have an effective tool to ensure that Air Namibia becomes a financially sustainable organisation, attractive to our shareholder, clients and employees, and accountable to the Namibian nation.”
Air Namibia is a year into the implementation of the five year strategic plan (2016/17 – 20120/21), driving the national airliner towards the journey of financial sustainability by providing exceptional customer service, ensuring impeccable operational effectiveness and efficiency, maintaining relevant and appropriate compliance, establishing and leveraging off synergistic strategic partnerships and nurturing a result based organisation culture.
Advocate Samson encouraged the national airline’s employees to redirect their efforts towards the strong accelerated delivery of the strategy. She advised; “I strongly believe that our strategic goals are achievable, but they can only be realised if we invest in our efforts and time, while working as a team with the big picture in minds.”
She concluded by saying; “My dream is for Air Namibia to achieve a point where its value is also reflected by a sound financial position. I wish to see Air Namibia as the premier choice for all travellers, when they wish to embark on their trips connecting to the Land of the Brave. To achieve this dream, we need to pull our efforts together in the same direction.”
Air Namibia’s mandate is to provide air transport service to promote tourism and encourage business investment in Namibia.
From a Refueller to Airport Station Controller
Air Namibia, the national carrier of Namibia would like to celebrate the life of Mr Martin Andreas, Air Namibia’s Station Controller at Ondangwa Airport. Martin has been devoted to Air Namibia for close to four decades, and leaves a stable station behind as he enters his retirement on Friday, 31 March 2017.
From humble beginnings, Martin joined Air Namibia (Namib Air at that time) on 10 February 1978 as a Refueller for aircraft at Eros Airport. He was responsible for quality control of aircraft fuel before refuelling the aircraft. “I had to make sure that the fuel is not mixed with water before refuelling. When fuel for aircraft has been transported, it needs to be stable for a while before refuelling, to ensure that dirt and unwanted substances remain at the bottom of the container, while clean oil emerges at the top,” he explained his entry position at the national airliner.
Three years later, in 1981, Martin was transferred to the workshop division, working as an Engineer Assistant. He was primarily responsible for maintenance of jet engines, replacement of jet tyres and greasing of jet bearings. He served in this position for two years, before he was reassigned back to be a Refueller. Apart from being a Refueller,
Martin was also responsible for training and mentoring new Refueller trainees mainly on how to test the quality of jet fuel before refuelling. He held this position for 4 years, from 1983 till early 1987.
A highlight in his career that Martin will always keep close to his heart was when he was appointed as Petrol Station Manager for fuelling jetliners’ in mid-October 1987.
This appointment meant that he had to be transferred to Oshakati in Oshana region. “I was very delighted with this appointment, as I was entrusted with more responsibilities that are very critical to the daily management of the national airline. It was also a great opportunity to reunite with my family in the north,” he proudly said.
It was in April 1994 when Martin was appointed as the Station Manager for Ondangwa Airport, after the airliners offices moved from Oshakati to Ondangwa earlier that year. He served in this position up until his retirement. His day to day work is to oversee the smooth running of the station, making sure that flights depart on the scheduled time and daily work, including managing staff under his wing.
As Martin reflects on 39 years of his time at Air Namibia, he recalls various developments that took place at the national airline. “I have seen Air Namibia growing from small company to a bigger and better company over the years,” he narrated. He continued, “When I started in 1978, the company was known as South West Airways, and later renamed Namib Air the very same year. Following Namibia’s independence in 1990, Namib Air was renamed Air Namibia.” In the early years, Air Namibia only had 4 small aircrafts: a 5 seater, 8 seater, 22 seater and the biggest being a 55 seater aircraft. Today, Air Namibia boasts a fleet of 10 aircrafts operating nationally, regionally and internationally.”
Advocate Mandi Samson, Air Namibia’s Acting Managing Director described Martin as a humble leader who serves customers with a sense of humility, selflessness and commitment. “Martin’s attention to detail, while keeping the broader picture in mind, has been invaluable. His willingness to put in extra time and effort to complete tasks within deadlines has demonstrated commitment to achieve excellence.”
During his career, he acquired valuable skills in the aviation field through countless training courses and workshops. Martin narrates, “For 39 years I worked at Air
Namibia, I have gone through multiple training courses; from Airport operation training to ground handling, aircraft loading and other supervisory trainings.” “Although I have been empowered over the years, I am a firm believer that information needs to be shared for the smooth running of the business. To that effect, I have been able to successfully impart the experience, knowledge and skills I have gained over the years to my colleagues,” he specified.
Joining the aviation industry at a youthful age of 21 and spending most of his lifetime at Air Namibia, Martin said that he will always be grateful and indebted to Air Namibia for being part of his life. Filled with mixed feelings, he said: “Although this employment has occupied most of my life, it has empowered me to be a responsible manager, mentor and friend. I have acquired business acumen skills, invaluable experience and of course, I have been able to provide for my family. In a nutshell, this opportunity has made me a better person in life.”
In his final words, Martin said: “I will miss my Air Namibia family, more especially my colleagues at Ondangwa, and the friends I have made over the years. But closer to the heart, I will miss the beautiful landing and taking off of our aircraft.” “As I go on
retirement, I would like to wish the company all the best with its current and future plans.”
Adv. Samson extended words of appreciation to Mr Martin on behalf of the national airline; “Air Namibia would like to extend our best wishes to Martin in his new endeavours. Martin will be greatly missed by the passengers and colleagues alike. We have all benefited from his hands on proactive approach and management style. Air Namibia wishes Martin a happy retirement.”
Air Namibia expands on its Windhoek – Gaborone – Durban routes
Barely six months after introducing the Windhoek – Gaborone – Durban flights, Air Namibia is proud to announce that the route has been performing well and the national airliner plans to increase capacity on this route.
Effective 26 March 2017, Air Namibia will now service the Windhoek-Gaborone- Durban route with Airbus A319 which offers 112 seats, with 16 seats for business class and 96 seats for economy class. Airbus A319 replaces Embraer ERJ 135 which only offered 37 economy seats on that route.
Mr Xavier Masule, Air Namibia’s General Manager for Commercial Services described this development as a strategic move in the right direction. “We are proud of this development because it reflects growth and sustainability. The increment in capacity for the two destinations will meet the growing demand of passengers flying with Air Namibia, while setting new standards for comfort on single-aisle jetliners,” he proudly said.
Air Namibia will continue to service the destination to Gaborone and Durban four times per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, using the Airbus A319. Apart from offering more seats and business class, the Airbus A319 also provides a fresh new look, more space in the overhead compartments, more leg room and cargo. Due to the bigger capacity, baggage allowance has increased from one piece (1 of 23kg) to two pieces of 23 kg in economy class and two pieces of 32kg for business class passengers.
As part of welcoming the Airbus A319 to the Windhoek – Gaborone – Durban route, Air Namibia will have return promo fare specials for our passengers travelling on that route. A return ticket from Windhoek to Durban via Gaborone will start from N$ 3,600 in economy class and N$ 5,900 in business class. The same fare structure applies to the Windhoek – Gaborone – Windhoek route.