Air Namibia, the national airline of the Republic of Namibia, will suspend its flight service between Windhoek and Luanda, effective February 9, 2020.
Air Namibia initially commenced operating to Luanda in 1992, shortly after independence. The route was initially served twice per week and through the years the numbers steadily went up to 7 flights per week by 2014/15.
The Windhoek – Luanda route has been Air Namibia’s most profitable route between 1998 and 2015.
The situation changed when the Angolan economy weakened and passenger demand for air travel declined. To adapt to these economic changes, from 2016/17 Air Namibia reduced the number of flights from 7 to 6 per week, then to 5 and by 2018/19 the number of flights was reduced to 4 per week. This route was suspended from June to October 2019 due to viability reasons; services were re-instated during October 2019 to January 2020 (high season).
Mr. Xavier Masule, Air Namibia’s Interim CEO, said:
“While recognizing that this was in the past Air Namibia’s most profitable route, the sad reality we face today is different. The route is loss-making to a level which is not sustainable, and there are no prospects of the situation changing in the foreseeable future.”
Passengers booked on affected flights will be re-protected and accommodated on flights operated by TAAG Angolan Airlines, and their travel itineraries will not be negatively affected.
The mandate of Air Namibia is to be a major contributor towards the attraction and promotion of tourism to Namibia by providing air transport between the Land of the Brave and the rest of the world, as well as operating flights within the boundaries of Namibia.