At just past six-o-clock in the morning yesterday the first commercial European flight arrived in Windhoek after the international travel ban was implemented in March this year. The Eurowings flight, LH5434, was the first direct flight connection to resume operation between Europe and Namibia since the official reopening of borders on 1 September 2020. To signify the importance of the occasion, the Eurowings Airbus A330-300 aircraft was welcomed at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, with a ceremonial water salute.
The flight departed Frankfurt on Saturday night at 20h00 and signals the restart of the non-stop scheduled Frankfurt-Windhoek service, which is an important step to enable European leisure and business travellers to travel in safety and comfort to Namibia.
“Namibia is an important market for the Lufthansa Group and we are pleased to demonstrate our commitment to this market and our support in the restart of the much needed tourism sector by being the first European airline to resume operations in Namibia. Reinstating a nonstop route between Frankfurt and Windhoek offers German and other leisure visitors from around the globe access to Namibia’s renowned wildlife experience amongst other tourist attractions, while providing an effective connection for business travellers looking to commute between Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek, and one of Europe’s major financial hubs, Frankfurt,” said André Schulz, General Manager for Lufthansa Group, Southern Africa & East Africa.
“We are delighted that Eurowings as a German airline will resume direct flights from Germany to Windhoek after several months of involuntary break,” Chargée d’Affaires a.i. at the German Embassy in Windhoek Ellen Gölz said. “We hope that the connection contributes to bringing back some normality to travellers between our two countries.”
Echoing this sentiment, tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta added: “After many months in the fight against the global pandemic, we are delighted to welcome international guests to Namibia again. The re-launch of the Lufthansa Group’s direct flights from Europe is very important for our country and supports our international tourism revival initiative. The Namibian tourism industry, which in my understanding has prepared its services according to professional health & safety protocols and guidelines, offers travellers a safe and secure environment for their relaxed Namibia holiday. Namibia is ready!”
Going forward, Eurowings will commence operating three, direct weekly flights on the Windhoek-Frankfurt route, taking place every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday departing Windhoek at 08h20 and arriving in Frankfurt on the same day at 18h50. Frankfurt is the biggest hub within the Lufthansa Group and offers a vast variety of connecting destinations.
“Germany is part of Namibia’s top source markets for tourists, and we are pleased that Eurowings is resuming its operations, thanks to the rich historical and bilateral relations between Namibia and Germany. We are looking forward to a stronger bond between Namibia Airports Company (NAC) and the Lufthansa Group,” added Bisey /Uirab, the NAC CEO.
For those travelling to Germany, Lufthansa and its partners offer Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests at walk-in testing centres within Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg airports. Results are delivered within a few hours and passengers can register online beforehand prior to arrival.