National carrier Air Namibia received the first of two new Airbus A319s on January 4, which arrived at Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport. The new aircraft will replace the airline’s leased Boeing 737s.
The first aircraft was handed over to Air Namibia on December 13 at the Airbus facility in Hamburg, Germany, before being ferried to Namibia. The new aircraft join Air Namibia’s two other leased A319s, as well as two A340s and four Embraer ERJ 135s. It will receive two A330-200s leased from ACMI Intrepid in October 2013 to replace the A340s.
“We are delighted to welcome Air Namibia as a new Airbus customer,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “With its superior performance, economics, passenger cabin comfort and quick turn-around times, the A319 is the best possible aircraft for carriers like Air Namibia which are committed to optimising costs while ensuring a great flight experience for their passengers.”
The Head of Corporate Communications at Air Namibia, Paulus Nakawa told Namibia’s The Economist that the Airbus aircraft was chosen for operational commonality with the rest of the fleet. “This was designed and developed to allow airlines to use the same pool of pilots, cabin crew and maintenance engineers. In turn, this delivers greater operational flexibility and results in significant cost savings.
“With its superior performance, economics, passenger cabin comfort and quick turn-around times, the A319 is the best possible aircraft for carriers like Air Namibia committed to optimising costs while ensuring a great flight experience for passengers,” he said.
Air Namibia has configured the A319 with 16 business class seats and 96 economy class seats.
Pic: Linden Birns.