Namibia’s national flag carrier Air Namibia will lease three ERJ 135 jets, which will replace the airline’s turboprops when deliveries begin later this month.
The aircraft, configured in a 37-seat layout, will be operated from Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport, as well as Eros Airport, located in the capital city Windhoek. They will be dedicated to domestic flights.
Air Namibia is in the process of upgrading its fleet, particularly for its domestic and regional route network. It currently operates four 19-seat Beechcraft 1900D which the Embraer ERJ 135s will replace. The first aircraft will be delivered on 14 February and the second on April 14, and the 3rd in June 2011, and will help to fulfil demand to popular destinations like OND Ondangwa, MUB Maun or VFA Victoria Falls.
Xavier Masule, general manager of commercial services at Air Namibia, said the idea is a new business focus on domestic routes. As part of the carrier’s new business model for the domestic market, Air Namibia is “focusing on routes where there is potential for heavy traffic.”
The decision to phase out the Beechcraft in June is in line with the decision to increase profitability in the region and on domestic routes. Masule said, “some of our domestic routes have outgrown the Beechcraft 1900”.
The regional jets are being leased from Air France subsidiary Regional – Compagnie Aerienne Europeenne. The deal was organised by ECC Leasing Company Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Embraer, in accordance with the exclusive Remarketing Mandate awarded to ECC by Air France Regional.
ECC Leasing Company Limited was incorporated in Dublin, Ireland, in September 2002 to manage and remarket Embraer’s pre-owned aircraft. To date, ECC has managed a total of 86 aircraft, 36 of which it leased and 36 of which it sold to airlines, corporations, and government entities in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Asia. ECC Leasing handles Embraer aircraft that may be acquired through trade-ins and provides remarketing services for third parties in connection with its sales campaigns.
“We are very pleased to welcome Air Namibia to the growing family of African operators choosing to acquire pre-owned Embraer aircraft,” said Mark Dunnachie, managing director, ECC Leasing Company Ltd.
“The fact that the aircraft are being sourced from ECC, through a mandate from Air France Regional, reinforces our reference position as the leading source in the market for pre-owned Embraer aircraft,” he added.
“We are eager to introduce our first ERJ 145 jet, as we wish to bring modern, reliable aircraft to service the growing requirements of the Namibian domestic and inter-regional services,” said Ben Dahwa, General Manager, Technical Operations, Air Namibia. “These regional jets, with an undeniably high level of comfort, will replace our oldest turboprops, improving reliability and quality of service.”
Air Namibia’s fleet will soon consist of nine aircraft – two Airbus A340s, four Boeing 737s and three Embraer ERJ 135s.