from ALFRED SHILONGO in Windhoek, Namibia
WINDHOEK, (CAJ News) – THE rebranding of FlyWestair to FlyNamibia is a boost to the Southern African country’s aviation and tourism industries and ultimately, the nation’s economy.
This is the responsibility the rebranded airline has taken upon itself in a country that is reeling from the collapse of the national flag carrier, Air Namibia, earlier this year.
After a period of challenges and dependence on handouts from state coffers, Air Namibia announced in February that it had terminated operations and entering voluntary liquidation.
The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the carrier’s situation.
The rebranding therefore to FlyNamibia, held at its Eros Airport hangar in the capital Windhoek, is relief to a country and industry that has not been spared the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Westair Aviation, the rebranded airline’s parent company, believes with the change in the corporate image, the airline “hopes to establish a carrier in Namibian and African skies that a nation can be proud of.”
According to the aviation company, FlyNamibia aims to be “a beacon that connects Namibia as a community with the rest of the world, and helps bring the world to Namibia so that we can showcase how unique and truly special we are as a destination.”
Heather Sibungo, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism underscored the importance of the aviation industry to the growth of tourism.
“Tourism is a priority in the Fifth National Development Plan,” she said.
This is the blueprint of the government of President Hage Geingob.
Tourism is hailed as the fastest growing sector in the economy in terms of contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and is the second largest contributor (around 14,5 percent) to Namibia’s GDP after mining.
Wolfgang Grellmann, the Westair chairperson, said at the event in Windhoek, “We have always been and will always aim to set the standard for aviation in Namibia.”
At the event, Westair launched a new bursary programme aimed at supporting 20 aviation professionals.
There was also the launch of the FlyNamibia Safaris, a route that will offer daily flights between Windhoek, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Etosha and later Victoria Falls, which Zimbabwe tourism capital.
Both schemes will commence in 2022.
FlyNamibia connects travellers between Windhoek, Katima Mulilo, Ondangwa, Rundu and the South African resort city of Cape Town.
– CAJ News