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Air Namibia

Air Namibia
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1978 (1978)
Secondary hubs
Frequent-flyer program Reward$
Fleet size 10
Destinations 15
Company slogan Carrying the spirit of Namibia[1]
Parent company Government of Namibia (100%)
Headquarters Windhoek, Namibia
Key people

Air Namibia (Pty) Limited, which trades as Air Namibia,[3] is the national airline of Namibia,[4] headquartered in Windhoek.[5] It operates scheduled domestic, regional, and international passenger and cargo services, having its international hub in Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport and a domestic hub at the smaller Windhoek Eros Airport.

As of December 2013, the carrier is wholly owned by the Namibian government.[6] Air Namibia is a member of both the International Air Transport Association and the African Airlines Association.


  • History 1
  • Destinations 2
    • Codeshare agreements 2.1
  • Fleet 3
    • Current 3.1
    • Retired 3.2
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • Bibliography 7
  • External links 8


The origins of the airline trace back to November 1946 (1946-11), when South West Air Transport (SWAT) was established. Using Ryan Navion equipment, this carrier started operations in 1949 linking Windhoek with Grootfontein.[nb 1] Charter and cargo flights were also undertaken. In 1950, the company started feeder services for South African Airways. By 1958, a fleet of seven Ryan Navions and one de Havilland Dragon Rapide served a route network that included Grootfontein, Tsumeb, Otjiwarongo, Outjo, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.[8] On 26 March 1959,[9] SWAT merged with Oryx Aviation —a small passenger airline established three years earlier[10]— to form South West Airways (Afrikaans: Suidwes Lugdiens).[11][12] IATA membership was gained later that year.[13]

Two Cessna 205s were purchased, entering the fleet in December 1962 (1962-12) and eventually replacing the Navions.[8] Namibair, set up as a charter airline in 1963, became a subsidiary company of Suidwes Lugdiens in 1966.[14] In 1969, Safmarine acquired a 50% stake in Suidwes,[14] eventually boosting its participation to 85%.[15] At February 1970 (1970-02), the Suidwes fleet comprised four Aztecs, one Beaver, two Cherokees, one Cessna 182, one Cessna 205, one Cessna 206, one Cessna 402, three DC-3s and five Twin Comanches; at this time the carrier had 45 employees.[16] A Fairchild-Hiller FH-227 was acquired in 1974, and a Convair 580 was later incorporated into the fleet to perform charter flights carrying miners to their jobs in Grootfontein and Tsumeb.[8]

Suidwes merged into Namib Air on 1 December 1978.[7][8] The South-West African government became the major shareholder in 1982.[17] Following the creation of the South-West Africa National Transport Corporation in 1986, Namib Air took over all air transport operations in the country.[18] The airline was designated as the country's flag carrier in 1987.[7][18] That year, two 19-seater Beech 1900s were bought. In 1988, the company was incorporated into the Namibian state-owned holding company Transnamib.[10] On 6 August 1989, a Boeing 737-200 leased from South African Airways that flew the Windhoek–Johannesburg route inaugurated the carrier's jet era.[19][20] In October the same year, a third Beech 1900 was incorporated into the fleet.[10]

An Air Namibia Boeing 747-400 departs Frankfurt Airport in 2001.

Services to Lusaka and Luanda were launched in 1990 and 1991, respectively.[10] Following the independence of the country, the company was re-christened again, adopting the current name of Air Namibia in October 1991 (1991-10).[7] The early 1990s also saw the launch of long-haul services to Europe: the Windhoek–Frankfurt route started being flown in 1991 twice a week using a Boeing 747SP, and London was included into the route network in 1992,[17] with a non-stop flight.[21] In 1993, services to Frankfurt, which were served twice-weekly, were also extended to London.[21] Air Namibia was re-absorbed into the Namibian government after an injection of US$3,700,000 ($5,353,593 in 2016) in 1998, following the precarious cash position it was led into by TransNamib.[22]

By April 2000 (2000-04), employment was 418. At this time, Air Namibia operated a Boeing 727-100, two Boeing 737-200 Advanced, one Boeing 747-400 Combi and three Raytheon Beech C that served Cape Town, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London, Luanda, Luderitz, Lusaka, Maun, Mokuti Lodge, Mpacha, Ondangwa, Oranjemund, Swakopmund, Victoria Falls, Walvis Bay and Windhoek.[23] That year, the airline joined the African Airlines Association.[24]


As of October 2013, the route network comprised 16 destinations and 17 airports in eight different countries in Africa and Europe, with eight of these destinations being domestic ones.[25] Much of Air Namibia's capacity is deployed on services to South Africa, with Windhoek–Johannesburg and Windhoek–Cape Town being the largest regional routes, as of August 2013.[26]

Codeshare agreements

As of July 2013, Air Namibia has codeshare agreements with the following airlines, which are the current operators on the routes specified:


An Air Namibia Airbus A340-300 at Frankfurt Airport in 2013.

Air Namibia acquired a new Boeing 747-400 Combi in April 1999 (1999-04) with financial aid from the U.S. Export Import Bank.[30] Named Welwitschia, the aircraft was handed over by the manufacturer in October that year.[31] The new machine, which had been previously ordered by Asiana but was later cancelled, came to replace the carrier's Boeing 747SP,[32] and was retired in 2004.[33] That year, the carrier started flying the MD-11.[34]

The first of three Embraer ERJ 135s the airline leased from Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne, intended to replace the Beechcraft 1900D park,[35] was received in February 2011 (2011-02);[36] likewise, the first of two leased Airbus A319-100s entered the fleet in October the same year.[33] Intended as a replacement for the Boeing 737 fleet,[33] the company ordered another two Airbus A319s in February 2012 (2012-02), in a deal worth US$90 million;[37][38] in July the same year, the carrier signed an agreement for the lease of two Airbus A330-200s, aimed at replacing the Airbus A340-300s.[39] Of the last two A319s ordered, the first one was incorporated into the fleet in early January 2013 (2013-01).[40]

In September 2013 (2013-09),[41] Air Namibia took delivery of its first Airbus A330-200 in Toulouse.[42][43]


An Air Namibia Airbus A330-200 at Frankfurt Airport in 2014.

As of August 2014, the Air Namibia fleet consists of the following aircraft:[44]


An Air Namibia McDonnell Douglas MD-11 takes off from Zurich Airport in 2005.

The company previously operated the following equipment:[46]

See also


  1. ^ Also reported to having started operations in 1948.[7]


  1. ^
  2. ^ The Namibian, 30 June 2015Air Namibia, Namases part ways.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c d
  8. ^ a b c d e f Guttery (1998), p. 136.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g
  10. ^ a b c d Guttery (1998), p. 135.
  11. ^ a b c
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b Guttery (1998), p. 134.
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^  Archived 9 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ a b
  33. ^ a b c d
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^
  36. ^ a b
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ a b
  41. ^  Archived 11 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^  Archived 9 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^ a b
  49. ^
  50. ^


External links

  • Air Namibia Official website
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