• April 19th, 2019
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A330-200s to cut costs

Features, Archived
Features, Archived

TOULOUSE, FranceThrough a new lease agreement with Intrepid Aviation, Air Namibia took delivery of the first of two new Airbus A330-200 aircraft, made in Toulouse, France, which is in line with its strategic cost-reduction measures. With 244 seats each the new A330-200 has 34 less seats compared to the now phased out A340-300 that has 278 seats. The latter was phased out after the lease agreement ended. The A330-200 brings monthly savings of N$8.5 million according to Air Namibia. Namibia’s Ambassador to France, Nangula Frieda Ithete, praised Air Namibia for its fleet upgrade programme during the aircraft delivery ceremony in Toulouse last week. “The government is aware of the volatility and complexity of the aviation industry and that’s why we are always prepared to invest more money in the national airline to ensure its sustainability,” said Ambassador Ithete. “We have seen in the last few years the visible, positive change in the operations of Air Namibia. This has also been aided by the continued peace and stability our country enjoys 23 years after independence, which makes Namibia the best tourist destination and a stable economy for investors,” she said. “I am also told that with the introduction of the two A330-200 aircraft, Air Namibia will realise a savings of up to N$510 million over 60 months on operating costs alone, which translates into N$8.5 million per month,” she said. Prior to the handover ceremony at the Airbus aircraft delivery centre, Theo Namases, the Managing Director of Air Namibia, told journalists that aircraft size matters and that big aircraft have lower costs per seat, adding “seats must be occupied” and “demand forecasting” is crucial. “Air Namibia believes that the decision to replace the aged A340-300s, which entered our fleet seven years ago, is a step in that direction and fits well in efforts to continually strive to improve operational efficiency, aligning the services of the airline to the needs of the market,” said Namases. According to her Air Namibia has the youngest fleet in the region and by December this year its average fleet age will be six years and by next year in December it would have an average fleet age of 7 years compared to the average fleet age of 18 in December 2010 and the average fleet age of 15 in December 2011. “Air Namibia is a relatively small airline, which endevours to grow and expand with a modern efficient fleet. We will have in our fleet, ten modern, young and efficient aircraft, which are tailor made to suit our customers’s needs,” she said. “The Windhoek-Frankfurt route, where we will deploy the latest A330-200s, caters mostly for tourists who wish to visit our beautiful country. The government of the Republic of Namibia, the board and management of Air Namibia collectively realise the needs of business travellers, hence the deployment of such sophisticated equipment, an aircraft that is built to meet the needs and expectations of our passengers,” elaborated the Air Namibia MD. Tourism in Namibia is a major industry, contributing N$7.2 billion to the country’s gross domestic product. Nearly one million travellers visit Namibia every year, with roughly one in three coming from South Africa, followed by Germany and then the United Kingdom, Italy and France. Namibia is among the prime tourist destinations in Africa and is known for its ecotourism that features the country’s extensive wildlife and scenic beauty. In 2010, Lonely Planet named Namibia the 5th best tourist destination in the world in terms of value. The fleet upgrade programme embarked upon by Air Namibia is in line with its business strategy as it introduces aircraft with a combination of low operating cost, high efficiency, flexibility, customer appeal and optimum performance. Erastus Hoveka the deputy chairperson of the Air Namibia Board, Christopher Buckley the Airbus Executive Vice President in Europe, Asia and the Pacific regions, Hadi Akoum the Vice President of Sales in Sub-Saharan Africa witnessed the handing over of the first of two Airbus A330-200 in Toulouse.   By Chrispin Inambao
New Era Reporter
2013-09-30 08:13:09 5 years ago

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