Air Namibia ‘Not On the Same Page’ As Flyafrica

Air Namibia has hit back at the announcement of low-cost airlines embarking on regional routes saying it welcomes competition with open arms but cautions that as an airline that strives to offer five-star service it cannot be compared to ‘budget’ airlines that offer the bare minimum.

Namibia flyafrica, a member of the flyafrica.com family, recently announced the launch of flights between Johannesburg and Lusaka, Zambia with flights commencing on March 09, 2015. Namibia flyafrica.com also announced the launch of Windhoek to Cape Town flights from March 16, 2015. The airline has promised to remain Africa’s low fare airline with aertised one way fares to Lusaka starting from just N$699 and Windhoek to Cape Town from just N$899. This compares to a competing South African airline charging up to N$2 300 for the Johannesburg to Lusaka one way and N$1 700 for a Windhoek to Cape Town one way.

“Competition liberates the market, and the passengers will have a choice of which airline they would want to fly with. Our goal is to be a 5-star airline, and we have the best product and exceptional service that qualifies us to be that. Air Namibia has the youngest fleet in the African continent. We are a green airline too. After all service is the only differentiator in this industry and we command that in all aspects of our operations at Air Namibia. Welcome to Namibia flyafrica,” commented Air Namibia’s spokesman, Paul Nakawa.

Adding that it is premature to predict the impact flyafrica would have on the national airline’s operations, as the industry is considered fast and volatile, Nakawa said: “I don’t think we are on the same page. Product, equipment

(aircraft type) and service are the differentiators in this industry.”

“The enthusiasm for our low fares has exceeded all our expectations,” said Clifford Strydom, Chief Executive Officer of Namibia flyafrica.

“The existing carriers have charged too much for too long and their high fuel surcharges have not been reduced – even with the price of fuel at a four-year low. We want to know why? I am proud that flyafrica.com does not apply these unjust, cynical surcharges and we can offer great fares to our passengers.”

He added: “Johannesburg-Lusaka marks the entry of flyafrica.com into a new country, Zambia, and the expansion of flyafrica.com’s route network to eight destinations. The launch of the daily Windhoek-Cape Town flights means that the city now joins Johannesburg in the low fare revolution in South Africa with Windhoek sure to be just the first of many destinations flyafrica.com will serve from Cape Town.”

Two airlines are now operating under the flyafrica.com brand, namely Namibia flyafrica and Zimbabwe flyafrica.

“Namibia’s expansion is part of the rollout of the flyafrica.com business throughout Africa,” said Adrian Hamilton-Manns, Group CEO of flyafrica.com. “We are excited by what Namibia has achieved in such a short time. Our next expansion, by Zimbabwe flyafrica, will also be announced shortly. We are also working on the roll-out of the 3rd airline in the flyafrica.com family, and are sure that 2015 will be a very exciting year for all travellers in Africa who are tired of high fares and unjust charges.”

Upon enquiry from New Era, flyafrica explained that fares are quoted one way, excluding tax and the full amount inclusive of airport taxes is N$1 117.00, which consists of the base fare of N$899 and tax of N$218.

When asked how flyafrica is able to avoid charging fuel surcharges and yet still remain profitable, the airline responded: “Fuel surcharge is merely an additional revenue stream for the airline. Traditionally, fuel costs were incorporated into the airfare. Only since the early 2000’s have airlines presented fuel surcharge separately under ‘Taxes amp Surcharges’. flyafrica cost structures allow the airline to incorporate fuel cost into the airfare.”

Source : New Era