By: Ndinelao Shingenge
Airlink South Africa and FlyNamibia on Thursday in Windhoek signed a collaborative form to join forces between the two airlines.
The joint venture between the two airlines aims to alter the ownership, organisational structure, and future operations of FlyNamibia.
During a press conference, the two revealed that there would be new investors in FlyNamibia, which Westair will facilitate.
“In order for airlines to operate and distribute their inventory through computerised reservation systems that collectively form with global distribution systems that take the inventory and allow it to be sold anywhere in the world, FlyNamibia will become a franchisee of the invincible intellectual property,” said Airlink chief executive officer Rodger Foster.
Foster explained that Airlink would strategically be positioned to attain the economies of scale necessary to make it economically feasible to connect and serve Namibia’s smaller towns and cities.
“This helps South Africa and Namibia to achieve the long-term goals of making Hosea Kutako International Airport the main base and connecting hub,” he said.
In addition, the South African Airlink is acquiring a 40 per cent strategic equity holding in the Windhoek-based FlyNamibia.
According to FlyNamibia managing director Andre Compton, the agreement will offer safe, dependable, effective, efficient, and cheap air transportation with top-notch service levels adding that Airlink and FlyNamibia will promote Namibia’s national transport policy vision.
Compton said it also aligns with the goals for key advancement outlined in Namibia’s second Harambee Prosperity plan by increasing productivity in economic sectors and creating sectors and complementing growth engines.
“To realise its full economic potential, Namibia will depend increasingly upon air connectivity to move people and goods between markets,” said Compton.
He further stated that by joining hands with Airlink and becoming part of its global network, FlyNamibia would be better able to serve foreign and local tourists and businesses.
The airline FlyNamibia flights will be changed following the implementation of the amendments at no additional cost or inconvenience to clients.
It will also increase capability and advanced aviation knowledge and generate both direct and indirect employment possibilities.
After receiving carrier status from the Namibian Transport Commission, FlyNamibia launched its scheduled passenger operations and independently provided domestic and regional flights in June 2019.
Westair Aviation, founded in 1967 as an aircraft repair facility but has since grown into Namibia’s most seasoned aviation company, is the parent company of FlyNamibia.
Airlink was established in 1992 and is an independent, privately-owned, premier airline; and continues to be the most on-time domestic airline, with its growing fleet of more than 60 modern jetliners achieving a 95.14 per cent average on-time for the year.
Airlink is an International Air Transport Association (IATA) member and accredited under its safety audit programme.