17 Mar 2016 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 17 MAR (NAMPA) Air Namibia does not see it as a threat for Qatar Airways to introduce direct flights between Windhoek and Doha in Qatar.
Air Namibia welcomes any airline that wishes to operate inbound and outbound flights in Namibia, Air Namibia Manager for Corporate Communication Paul Nakawa told Nampa on enquiry Thursday.
Qatar Airways' Group Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker recently announced that the route between Windhoek and Doha will be part of 14 new world destinations the airline will service as of 28 September 2016.
Doha is the capital city of the peninsular Persian (Arabian) Gulf country, Qatar and is a regular stopover in flights connected over the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.
Nakawa noted that Namibia is a free market country and any operator can fly in and out of Namibia as per its business model.
Competition in any form is not always a threat in this industry, however it means, creating a level playing field.
We saw this coming way back, as the trends in the industry have shown that a lot of European, Middle-Eastern and even United States of America-based airlines have been announcing landmark entries into the African market, and increasing frequencies where they previously operated a small number of aircraft only.
He said the introduction of direct flights between Windhoek and Doha is a sign that there is potential business for air transport in Africa.
Nakawa observed that there are many other operators flying in and out of Namibia through the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA), and Air Namibia has been collaborating with them in many aspects of their service delivery.
No airline can operate in isolation, so we look forward to a good business relationship with Qatar Airways, and we will monitor the development as time goes.
Nakawa said the decision for an international airline to operate in Namibia is a sign that the country is progressive, adding that Qatar Airways direct flight between Windhoek and Doha would give consumers more options and make the market more competitive.
The link between Doha and Windhoek is one of six African routes that Qatar Airways wants to introduce this year. The other African routes are Doha and Marrakech in Morocco; Doha-Seychelles; Doha to Douala in Cameroon; Doha to Libreville in Gabon; and Doha to Lusaka in Zambia.