Air Namibia yesterday confirmed it will suspend its Windhoek to Luanda route effective Sunday, 9 February 2020. The national airline initially commenced operations from Windhoek to Luanda in 1992, which was initially two flights per week but was increased up to seven flights per week by 2014/15. This specific route was Air Namibia’s most profitable route from 1998 to 2015. However, the situation changed drastically when the Angolan economy weakened and passenger demand for air travel declined. To adapt to these economic changes, Air Namibia reduced the number of flights from seven to six per week from 2016/17, then to five – and by 2018/19, the number of flights was reduced to four per week.
This route was originally suspended from June to October 2019 due to viability reasons and services were re-instated in October 2019 to January 2020, which is considered the high season. Xavier Masule, Air Namibia’s Interim CEO, said “While recognising 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 are not expected to 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 to the rest of the world and to operate domestic flights.