More airlines could mean cheaper air fares: Kauta

01 Sep 2016 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 01 SEP (NAMPA) – The arrival of three new airlines in Namibia could create competition which may drive flight ticket prices down.
The airlines are Qatar Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines.
Speaking at a media briefing here on Thursday, newly appointed Chairperson of the Namibia Airports Company board, Rogers Kauta said customers will now have more of a choice of which airline they want to use, and this might drive prices down.
“It might increase traffic as Southern African Development Community (SADC) customers can use the Hosea Kutako International Airport as a transport hub to Europe,” Kauta said.
Qatar Airways will fly between Doha and Windhoek four times per week while KLM will have three flights per week between Amsterdam to Windhoek and Ethiopian Airlines, three flights per week between Addis Ababa and Windhoek.
“The arrival of the new airlines is made possible by the international cooperation efforts of our government which signed and effectively implemented bilateral agreements with the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Netherlands and Federal Republic of Ethiopia,” he said.
The launch of air services between countries starts with the respective governments signing Bilateral Air Services Agreements. Each country then designates an airline to benefit from the agreement and provide air services between the two countries.
Kauta said the authority for the three airlines to exercise traffic rights to and from Namibia was accepted by the government in line with the agreements signed by respective countries, but not authorised by NAC.
“As NAC, we stand to play our role of airport services provider and State vehicle for implementation of these national policies,” he clarified.
Kauta said the benefits to be had from these new routes include increased tourist flows; increased demand for travel for both business and leisure purposes; and economic growth and employment creation.
He said the NAC also stands to benefit from these arrivals, as it has adopted an expansion and growth strategy which entails increasing aeronautical traffic and non-aeronautical revenue.
“This means we will continue to encourage and support the government's efforts for new routes in order to deliver on the Namibian aspiration to position Namibia as a logistics hub in implementing the Harambee Prosperity Plan and national development goals,” he said.
The NAC held Thursday’s briefing after it received numerous enquiries from the media regarding the arrival of the airlines in Namibia.