‘NAC was losing N$41m monthly’

By Hilary Mare

OWING to Covid-19 and the collapse of passenger movement at airports, the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) has seen its revenues and cash inflows reduce by 96 percent, averaging N$41 million per month.

This was said by NAC board chairperson, Leake Hangala at the Ethiopian Airlines resumption flight last week at Hosea Kutako International Airport.

“On the part of NAC, Covid-19 resulted in a total collapse of passenger movements at NAC airports. This has negatively impacted NAC’s revenue streams of both aeronautical and non–aeronautical revenue since airport business heavily depends on passenger movements.

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The aforesaid has resulted into a complete erosion of revenue at NAC. Equally important, it is worth to note that the impact of Covid-19 also resulted in the direct shedding of employment in the travel and tourism industry.”

Hangala went on to say that with the gradual opening of Namibian borders, other airlines such as Air Namibia, the national carrier, Lufthansa and Qatar have already expressed their readiness to resume with flight operations at NAC’s flagship airport.

“This will positively increase passenger movements which will contribute meaningfully to the economic activities at the airport and the tourism industry in line with the objectives of the tourism revival initiative.

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“We would like to reassure the flying public that your safety is very close to our hearts and that is why we have put in place vigorous and appropriate measures to ensure adherence to Covid-19 protocols. These measures speak to among others, the mandatory wearing of masks, hand sanitising, social distancing and increased hygiene.

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In order to avoid inconveniences, we are calling upon all our esteemed passengers to arrive at least three hours earlier at the airport,” he said.

At the airport, the congestion alleviation project is ongoing and is at an advanced stage.

The completion of the facility will positively impact on the terminal capacity as it will to allow for increased passenger movement at the at the airport facilities.

“I would like to commend the support of all stakeholders for their fruitful contribution and support which have culminated in the realisation of the tourism revival initiative. I would however like to emphasise that there is still a great need for continued collaboration between and amongst stakeholders in order to ensure the smooth and unhindered facilitation of passengers at our airports.

“Lastly, I would like to thank the Ethiopian Airline for the resumption of flight operations and the regard for Namibia as a preferred tourist destination.

Our continued relationship and collaboration will help us to achieve our objective of Namibia becoming a logistic hub,” concluded Hangala.