chieft
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Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:22 pm

Air Namibia has been saved again from the government by providing 1.1 Billion N$ (about 120 Mio USD) for 2013/14, allowing them to pay their bills.

Between 1999 and 2012 they gave them already 3.6 Billion N$, about 400 Mio USD.

Further, they'll get 2x new A330-200, leased from October and November 2013 on.

The government throws a lot of money in their national airline. The question is: Does their concept work this time? I have my doubts.

Unfortunately it is only in German available:

http://www.az.com.na/wirtschaft/air-...ia-ist-vorerst-gerettet.163820.php

http://www.az.com.na/wirtschaft/groer-airbus-fliegt-weiter.163821.php
Aircraft are marginal costs with wings.
 
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moo
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:30 pm

Quoting chieft (Thread starter):
The government throws a lot of money in their national airline. The question is: Does their concept work this time? I have my doubts.

I don't think its a case of "does it work", its the only airline that the Namibian government can control 100% and not be left high and dry on - having been to Namibia, they really do need internal infrastructure that doesn't rely on other African countries.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:12 pm

On another thread about a national airline, folks disagreed with the concept that a national airline is a necessary strategic asset.

While this might not be as vital in Europe as in Africa - it is still a major concern for a nation without a strong ground transportation infrastructure.

However, the reality is that for nations with relatively low populations - a national airline is not going to be able to run profitably.

The only option for such nations is to use their military as the operator of air transportation within their borders.

Frankly even with a subsidy 50 dollars per person per year - Namibia comes out ahead by having their own airline.
 
jfk777
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:19 pm

The problem with Namibia is its 5000 miles to FRA and that cost lots of $$$. This airline is a strategic national asset.
 
sw733
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:27 pm

Quoting chieft (Thread starter):
Further, they'll get 2x new A330-200, leased from October and November 2013 on.

That's great from an aesthetics standpoint, but is it really necessary? I don't know about that...

Quoting chieft (Thread starter):
The question is: Does their concept work this time?
Quoting moo (Reply 1):
having been to Namibia, they really do need internal infrastructure that doesn't rely on other African countries.

I do agree that we need an airline domestically, and with some international (read: regional) service. Do we need service all the way to FRA? I am not so sure about that.

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 3):
The problem with Namibia is its 5000 miles to FRA and that cost lots of $$$. This airline is a strategic national asset.

In reality, the airline could get away with sticking within Southern Africa and teaming up very closely with South African, BA or Lufthansa, or someone like that to get their passengers up to Europe. It's not ideal, but if push comes to shove...

However, Malev tried a version of that and we all know how Malev is doing these days...


Look, I am Namibian born and raised, and I want our country to have an airline that reaches every corner of the globe. With that being ridiculous, one destination in Europe is great. However, we don't NEED that one destination in Europe if we can team up with a carrier that has solid ties to South Africa...preferably one like LH or SA that goes to Germany.
 
chieft
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:39 pm

I think the FRA route is essential as Germany is one of the largest tourist providers for Namibia.

I also think, that it is worth into looking into partnerships in Europe, so that they can feed their flight from FRA.
WDH is well situated to become a small hub for the region.
Aircraft are marginal costs with wings.
 
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moo
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:42 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 2):
On another thread about a national airline, folks disagreed with the concept that a national airline is a necessary strategic asset.

There's a difference between a national airline and a national asset - the important thing is whether or not the airline falls under outside control or not, and that is what is being protected.

Namibia wants an international transportation service that isn't dependent on other countries to provide.

Quoting SW733 (Reply 4):
I do agree that we need an airline domestically, and with some international (read: regional) service. Do we need service all the way to FRA? I am not so sure about that.

I would say that service to FRA keeps the options open.

BTW, I spent a month travelling around your country in 2011, very nice it was as well  
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:44 pm

Quoting SW733 (Reply 4):

That's great from an aesthetics standpoint, but is it really necessary? I don't know about that...

I could see a case for propping up the internal and regional services but beyond that they're just throwing money away. They'd probably be better off maybe supporting AB to Germany and a handful of regional codeshares. Namibia has a small but relatively wealthy population, with strong resources, so I could see a business case for say a handful of DH4s connecting to codeshare partners beyond. 2 A330s however, are unecessary.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
rwsea
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:22 pm

Quoting chieft (Reply 5):
WDH is well situated to become a small hub for the region.

Except that it's a small city in a county with an extremely low population density, and other than SA, is surrounded by similar countries.

Namibia needs a national airline because of the distances involved from places like Walvis Bay and Lüderitz from Windhoek. With that said, I think that the FRA connection can easily be served through JNB or CPT.

Namibia is a great country and it needs good air service... but that service should be reliable and consistent rather than trying to overreach.
 
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moo
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:43 pm

Quoting rwsea (Reply 8):
Namibia needs a national airline because of the distances involved from places like Walvis Bay and Lüderitz from Windhoek.

The main people going to Walvis Bay are South African holiday makers going fishing, and the main people going to Lüderitz are miners - there ain't much else going on in either location that desperately needs an internal service.

Interestingly enough, Walvis Bay to Lüderitz is drive-able in a day - I've done it.

Quoting rwsea (Reply 8):
With that said, I think that the FRA connection can easily be served through JNB or CPT.

And then Namibia becomes dependent on its friend to the south for long haul, which is my point.

These routes might indeed remain a loss making service for ever, but they keep options open for the Namibian government.
 
Flyer732
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:58 pm

Another issue for them, is outside of the markets they already serve in the region, there are none others that warrant expansion to. The route to ACC is being discontinued, due to very very poor performance.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 7):
Namibia has a small but relatively wealthy population, with strong resources

Not quite, I'm living here now, and the average income is about US$4,850 a year. The normal person here will never travel by air, and those that do are few and far between. The news paper the other day had an article about Air Namibia and stated that their recent cuts do nothing but hurt the tourism industry because the majority of passengers that the airline carries are tourists.

Keep in mind too that the Air Namibia domestic market is fairly limited when you compare it to the likes of Wilderness Air, Scenic Air, Wings Over Africa and the others.
 
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OA260
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:30 pm

There is also a press release here :

Windhoek, 06 March 2013: The Frankfurt – Windhoek route is Air Namibia’s single largest operation, in terms of revenue and ‘Available Seat Kilometres’. The importance of this route goes beyond Air Namibia.

http://www.airnamibia.com.na/travel-industry-release
 
fraapproach
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:42 pm

With Namibia being a top tourist destination SW is IMHO very important for the country. Many of the tourists travelling to Namibia choose the SW flight from FRA. Considering the frequent strikes at SA and the fact that WDH is not and will probably never be served by a middle eastern carrier simply because of the lack of traffic I believe it is reasonable for Namibia to have their own airline. Probably SW contributes more to the Namibian economy than it costs. If they improve their ops e.g.(avoid the long layovers in FRA) they may be able to improve their financial performance. The A330s are probably a step in the right direction.

I flew them two years ago on the long haul and some short hauls. The long hauls were all in all just acceptable. The short hauls were fantastic. They were actually on 737-200 operated by a South African carrier called star aviation (decent food, plenty of space, frendly crew).

[Edited 2013-03-06 10:59:02]
 
speedbird128
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:11 am

Quoting fraapproach (Reply 12):
avoid the long layovers in FRA

BA, SA, SR, LH, VS all have those same long layovers in JNB (and SA in LHR). Apparently people don't like daytime EU Africa flights, so they elect to have a 10 hour downtime (VS were always having their plane washed at JNB on the stopover). I have noticed that SW have been arrriving in FRA late evening, so maybe they have been doing it - I don't know. I'd reckon a primarily tourist flight wouldn't mind the daytime flight I think. SA stopped it years ago - I remember a Sunday Times (south african newspaper) having a long article about their last daytime LHR flight.

Quoting fraapproach (Reply 12):
They were actually on 737-200 operated by a South African carrier called star aviation

I have noticed SW have A319's now - not sure of their comfort or service levels though.

PS: Any idea why is the SW343 parked at the new T3 parking bays in storage? I see it 1 or 2 bays up from the 787 every day when I drive to work.
A306, A313, A319, A320, A321, A332, A343, A345, A346 A388, AC90, B06, B722, B732, B733, B735, B738, B744, B762, B772, B7
 
fraapproach
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:33 am

Two of the three SW A 319s are ex Air Berlin birds.

When I flew SW to WDH in 2011 I wondered whether it makes sense for SW to have their own pilots on the A340s from a financial point of view. Wouldn´t it be an alternative for them to hire LH pilots for them on the FRA-WDH-FRA flights? This could result in cost savings as LH has a huge pool of A340 pilots. From an ops perspective this seems quite feasible to me.

[Edited 2013-03-06 23:40:29]
 
fraapproach
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:43 am

Quoting Speedbird128 (Reply 13):
Any idea why is the SW343 parked at the new T3 parking bays in storage?

One of the newspaper articles linked in the first post says that SW currently only has four weekly flights FRA-WDH. They will resume daily flights in April. The four weekly flights can be done with one frame. I assume the parked A340 will resume service in April.
 
speedbird128
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:26 am

Quoting fraapproach (Reply 14):
From an ops perspective this seems quite feasible to me

I agree, I would like to see SW team up with LH rather than other subsaharan carriers - it makes sense.
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2travel2know2
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:28 pm

Is WDH a hub?
If SW had a hub operation at WDH, it could well connect Europe (4 weekly FRA and thrice weekly LON) with Southern Africa (JNB, CPT, DUR, HRE, LAD, MPM).
LAD conneting traffic alone (if flown with wide-body) could even provide a sizeable chunk to cover the European routes operational expenses.
Joining Star Alliance and setting eyes on flights to SAO could also do wonders for SW.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:51 am

Quoting rwsea (Reply 8):
I think that the FRA connection can easily be served through JNB or CPT.

Namibia would probably lose a large percentage of its European visitors (mainly from Germany) if WDH lost its nonstop FRA service. And other carriers aren't going to give as much priority to promoting Namibia or negotiating net fares and tour packages with German tour operators which I believe generate most of SW's longhaul traffic.
 
Wingtips56
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:23 am

Quoting moo (Reply 9):
And then Namibia becomes dependent on its friend to the south for long haul, which is my point.

These routes might indeed remain a loss making service for ever, but they keep options open for the Namibian government.

  
I agree. With a state-supported airline, Namibia can keep it's flightlines open. Service by other, non-subsidized airlines would be contingent on profitability, and that appears to be low, from some of these posts. They could be marooned without a raft.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines
 
speedbird128
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:32 am

Quoting 2travel2know2 (Reply 17):

Is WDH a hub?

When I last worked in JNB, the only SW flights I handled into South Africa were WDH-JNB and WDH-CPT. I don't think they have demand for DUR

Quoting fraapproach (Reply 15):
parked A340

I would have thought parking it for some months would be financially beneficial to let it stand in WDH...
A306, A313, A319, A320, A321, A332, A343, A345, A346 A388, AC90, B06, B722, B732, B733, B735, B738, B744, B762, B772, B7
 
2travel2know2
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:44 pm

Quoting Speedbird128 (Reply 20):
When I last worked in JNB, the only SW flights I handled into South Africa were WDH-JNB and WDH-CPT. I don't think they have demand for DUR

But are those mostly made up of P2P O/D or connecting traffic?
If an airline is too focused in P2P O/D traffic, as in this case SW FRA and other flights, then it'll be quite hard to keep the service indefinitely without major government subventions.
Sure Namibia may not have the local O/D to support quite a number of routes but WDH has the position to work as a hub in South West Africa and thus support some extra destinations (connectivity).
BTW ¿How many frequencies is SW allowed to fly into LAD?
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speedbird128
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:02 pm

Quoting 2travel2know2 (Reply 21):
But are those mostly made up of P2P O/D

I'd have to say O&D, because if anybody from JNB or CPT would want to get to FRA (and even MUN), they have multiple direct non-stop services. I wouldn't want to fly JNB-WDH-FRA when I can jump on a 380 and fly direct...

SW would have a real hard time breaking into the 1-stop enigma that the middle east has created (EY/EK/QR and also TK).
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fraapproach
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:35 pm

I flew SW on FRA-WDH; WDH-WVS-CPT; CPT-WDH-FRA in Jan/Feb 2011 which is just after peak season. On the long hauls about 70 seats were taken (A340-300 !) in coach and business combined. Everyone in coach had his own row to lay down. On the short hauls the planes were one third empty either. I spoke to one of the gate agents in WDH and she said the long haul is full from Sep-mid Jan and reasonably filled from May to Sep. Looks like they indeed have an O&D problem which is bad because they can't fix it with connecting traffic as hardly anybody chooses to fly via WDH.

So, what can they do? On the long haul downsize to one plane with a service every second day and wetlease in a second plane during peak season. Second option: Try to fill the long haul all year by teaming up with most likely LH as a feeder or establishing WDH as a niche hub in southern africa. I believe the latter could even work if SW ops prove to be reliable /attractive enough for tour operators and the odd businessman or .WDH is a tiny airport with few traffic, i.e. no delays from congestion, weather, no running around endless terminals.

For the shorthaul service I believe even the A319 and the 737-500 are oversized. To me the E170-195 familie seems promising as they offer better economics, size and bellycargo is probaly rather negligible for SW.

Any ideas?

I wish them all the best. They are on of very few reasobale airlines in Africa.
 
2travel2know2
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RE: Air Namibia Saved - Again

Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:00 am

Quoting fraapproach (Reply 23):
Looks like they indeed have an O&D problem which is bad because they can't fix it with connecting traffic as hardly anybody chooses to fly via WDH.

SW should learn a thing or 2 from FI and CM in setting a hub on a very low O/D demand airport.
True JNB, CPT and to a comparatively lesser extend HRE, LAD, LUN have good connectivity with Europe and the presence of the Gulf airlines but

Quote:
WDH is a tiny airport with few traffic, i.e. no delays from congestion, weather, no running around endless terminals.

which may translate in a point in favour of flying via WDH.

Quote:
For the short-haul service I believe even the A319 and the 737-500 are oversized. To me the E170-195 familie seems promising as they offer better economics, size and bellycargo is probably rather negligible for SW.

If SW wants to keep and potentially increase its customer base in LAD, LAD (it's 6 per week now?) should be flown with wide body A330, rest of the routes are fine w/ E175 or E190.
I'm not on CM's payroll.