Head of Corporate Communications at the NAC, Mia Davids made this announcement in a media statement issued on Tuesday.
She said the ‘Fly Windhoek’ programme will be modelled on other successful European airport initiatives where stakeholders have joined forces to provide incentives to help share the risks of a start-up of new routes, support capacity growth on existing routes and build charter airline or tour operator supported programmes through various marketing support interventions.
According to Davids, the NAC wants to take advantage of the rapid changes that are emerging across African and international aviation.
She made reference to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner that has now entered airline fleets, which opens up new possibilities for Windhoek to be connected to other African hubs.
“Some of the major European tour-operator led charter airlines will start to introduce the Dreamliner into their fleets over the near term,” Davids stated.
She said this opens up the opportunity to bring direct charter services to Windhoek, which would provide a significant boost to the country’s tourism and hospitality economy.
Commenting on the programme, General Manager of Commercial Services at the NAC, Toska Sem was quoted as saying that there a widespread consensus is rapidly building to liberalise air transport access across African states.
“It is also a good time to remind the international airline community that Namibia is a signatory to the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) on the Liberalisation of Air Transport Markets in Africa and is open for aviation business,” she said.
The agreement commits its 44 signatory countries to deregulate air services, and promote regional air markets open to transnational competition.
Sem explained that the NAC is already seeing the emergence of new low-cost airlines coming into the African market, such as the recently launched Fastjet that is transforming aviation in Tanzania and Kenya.
She said that Windhoek is a perfect low-cost city break destination which needs to be actively sold and where enormous opportunities exist to stimulate low-cost passenger growth.
“Air transport access is a key driver for regional economic growth and where the successful procurement of new airline services is not just the responsibility of airports alone, but one where all key stakeholders have to come together to present their collective pull factors. The service provision we can all provide together, both at an airport operational level and also at a regional level, to help convince airlines and tour operators to do business with Namibia, and Windhoek is the model we have to work towards,” Sem added.