FlyNamibia withdraws FlyEtosha airline objection

February 22, 2023 1569

FlyNamibia has withdrawn its objection made a few weeks ago against the application of planned new airline , FlyEtosha, saying their earnest grievance was borne out as a standard procedure.

“For the management of FlyNamibia, such an objection was deemed standard operating procedure and we ourselves have endured many objections to our own applications in the past,” said Andre Compion, Managing Director of FlyNamibia.

FlyNamibia had submitted documents to the Transportation Commission of the Namibian Ministry of Works and Transport outlining the airline’s objection to the application for granting of a scheduled air transport service licence filed by William Aupapa Ekandjo, for a proposed new airline.
Among the arguments advanced by FlyNamibia was that it had doubts whether Fly Etosha would offer a safe, satisfactory, and reliable service, hence it was deemed a risk to the sector.

"It is practice and process in the aviation industry, as with most regulated industries in Namibia, for a proposed undertaking, such as the launch of a new airline, to be gazetted and thus allowing for public comment and/or objection," explained Compion.

Further adding that; “The Namibian law allows for stakeholders to make objections to applications as part of the governance process to ensure that the general public will receive a safe and reliable air service that complies with the requirements as stated in the Act.”

In further defence following a public uproar, Compion says, one of FlyNamibia and Westair Aviation values is to contribute towards the sustainable development of the Namibian aviation sector.

"Our intentions were never to pass judgement on the applicant nor to pre-empt any outcome, but purely to provide comment on the limitations of the application as it was gazetted in the Government Gazette nr 8013 of 24 January 2023. Having deemed our objection ‘business as usual’ within the aviation industry, we were surprised by the vehement negative response from the public and have reflected on our approach."

"Moreover we have taken into consideration the public sentiment towards our objection and being cognisant of the fact that the Namibian public are key stakeholders in our company, the FlyNamibia board has made the decision to reconsider its approach and to withdraw its objection to the Fly Etosha application, allowing the application to be duly and objectively evaluated by the Transportation Commission on its own merit," he stressed.

He said the airline and its shareholders welcome competition and believe that it has influence on good business practices and enhances customer choice.
“Moreover competition drives innovation, encourages businesses to improve their products and services, and promotes efficiency. We currently compete directly with a number of foreign airlines, including Airlink and South African Airways, and we foresee and welcome more competition on the horizon with the imminent arrival of other regional airlines, such as FlySafair, to Namibia,”Compion said.

The Fly Namibia MD said the airline, which is currently the country’s sole domestic airline following the voluntary liquidation of Air Namibia in February 2021 amid financial viability concerns, had committed towards the development of the aviation sector and the broader Namibian economy.

“The airline and its affiliate Westair Aviation has, in the last year, grown its staff complement from 70 to 360 individuals. We project this number to rise to over 400 by July 2023. All our aircraft are Namibian-owned, financed and all maintenance and support services are managed within Namibia,” he said.

With regards to trademarking of the name FlyNamibia, he said,”FlyNamibia launched the brand in November 2021 and subsequently changed the company name thereto after the requisite approvals from relevant governing bodies.”

FlyNamibia, under its previous brand FlyWestair, has been operational since June 2019, expanding its network of flights to include domestic routes from Eros Airport in Windhoek to Ondangwa, Rundu, Katima Mulilo, Oranjemund and now Walvis Bay, as well as a regional route from the Hosea Kutako International Airport to Cape Town.

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Last modified on Thursday, 23 February 2023 19:16