NAC introduces new routes ÔÇªamidst infrastructure challenges
The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) has introduced three new flight routes amidst challenges with infrastructure limitations, an executive member of the company, Toska Sem, told The Villager.
According to Sem, the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA), has exceeded its capacity and the management has developed strategies to manage the increased traffic movement to sustain slot allocation.
This comes in the wake of NAC announcing in September the imminent arrival of three world class airlines, namely Qatar Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines.
After the maiden Qatar flight to the country on 28 September, Ethiopian Airlines flew in on 6 October as Namibia’s connection to the rest of the world continues in style.
“The infrastructure limitation remains one of the main challenges facing the Namibia Airports Company with introduction of new airlines. As we all know Hosea Kutako International Airport has exceeded its capacity and we have developed strategies to manage the increased traffic movement sustainably through slot allocation. However, this does not take away the need to develop the new passenger terminal for Hosea Kutako,” said Sem.
She further told this publication that the NAC had already upgraded its other outlying airports in Ondangwa and Walvis Bay that will operate as feeder airports to the hub as part of its turnaround strategy.
The completion of these upgrades will demand an immediate attention to and consequent upgrading of NAC’s flagship airport, the HKIA, The Villager understands.
She added that the introduction of the new routes by the three major international airlines is contributing significantly towards employment creation.
Although no detailed surveys have been done at this stage the service providers at the airport in the key areas of baggage handling and security services, to mention but a few, have to substantially increase their personnel on the ground in order to meet the service required for the new airlines.
Meanwhile, The Villager has it on good authority that the new airlines have already employed local personnel as part of the airport operation team.
NAC maintains that the new routes presents massive opportunities for economic development, while they not only improve connections with mature destinations, but allows Namibia to tap into new markets that are also served by these airlines.
The newly introduced routes are set to further enhance Namibia’s attractiveness as a global destination and transform the country into an international business center and logistic hub in pursuit of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) and national development goals.
The Villager understands that Windhoek is the first city to be served by Qatar Airways, which will fly to and from the destination four times a week with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The new route will connect passengers flying from Namibia to more than 150 global destinations via Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art hub and home Hamad International Airport in Doha. Windhoek will be the 23rd destination in Africa served by the award winning airline.
The Qatar Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner operates a two-cabin configuration, comprising of 22 seats in business class and 232 seats in economy class. All seats include individual television screens, with economy class customers benefitting from a screen 10.6 inches wide, offering the latest in-flight entertainment comprised of up to 3,000 options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more.
Passengers can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi and GSM services.