Air Namibia

Air Namibia
Air Namibia
Founded 1978 (1978)
Secondary hubs
  • Windhoek Eros Airport
Frequent-flyer program Reward$
Fleet size 9 (+1 order)
Destinations 15
Company slogan Carrying the spirit of Namibia
Parent company Government of Namibia (100%)
Headquarters Windhoek, Namibia
Key people

Air Namibia is the national airline of Namibia, headquartered in Windhoek.[2] It operates scheduled domestic, regional, and international passenger and cargo services under IATA airline designator SW and ICAO airline designator NMB.[3] Its international hub is Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport, with a domestic hub at the smaller Windhoek Eros Airport. The carrier is wholly owned by the Namibian government.[4] Air Namibia is a member of both the International Air Transport Association and the African Airlines Association.



The origins of the airline trace back to 1946, when South West Air Transport was established, starting operations in 1948.[3] On 26 March 1959, it merged with Oryx Aviation to form South West Airways (Afrikaans: Suidwes Lugdiens).[5][6][7] IATA membership was gained later that year.[8]

Namibair was set up in 1963 as a charter airline, becoming a subsidiary company of Suidwes Lugdiens in 1966.[9] Safmarine acquired a 50% stake in Suidwes in 1969, eventually boosting its participation to 85%.[9] Both companies were merged into Namib Air in 1978.[3][6]

The South-West African government became the major shareholder in 1982.[10] Following the creation of the South-West Africa National Transport Corporation in 1986, Namib Air took over all air transport operations in the country.[11] The airline was designated as the country's flag carrier in 1987.[3][11]

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.[12][13]

The company was re-christened again to the current name of Air Namibia in October 1991, after the independence of the country.[3] 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.[10]

It was re-absorbed into the Namibian government after a cash injection in 1998, following the precarious cash position it was led to by the Namibian state-owned holding company TransNamib.[14]

The airline joined the African Airlines Association in 2000.[15]


As of November 2011, the route network comprises 15 destinations and 16 airports in 7 different countries in Africa and Europe; seven of these destinations are domestic ones.[16]


An Air Namibia Airbus A340-300 at Zurich Airport. (2006)

As of September 2011, the Air Namibia fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Air Namibia Fleet'[17][18]
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A319-100 2 1 16 96 112[19] Two existing aircraft leased from BH Air and Air Berlin; aircraft on order to be leased from Air Berlin[citation needed]
Airbus A340-300 2 44 234 278 Leased from Lufthansa[20]
Boeing 737-500 2 20 88 108
Embraer ERJ 135 3 37 37 Leased from Régional[21]
Total 9 1


The company previously operated the following equipment:

See also


  1. ^ "Air Namibia – Executive Profile". Air Namibia. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Air Namibia – Contact Us". Air Namibia. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Directory: world airlines – Air Namibia [SW] (NMB)" (pdf). Flight International: 70. 16 March 2004 – 22 March 2004. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Air Namibia – Shareholder". Air Namibia. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "World airline directory – Namib Air" (pdf). Flight International: 98. 30 March 1985. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Commuter airlines directory – Namib Air" (pdf). Flight International: 1411. 7 November 1981. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "AIR TRANSPORT – Air Malawi General Manager" (pdf). Flight International: 996. 15 June 1967. Retrieved 17 August 2011. "Mr G. T. van Rooyen has been appointed general manager of Air Malawi. He was formerly general manager of Suidwes Lugdiens, the South-West African carrier. After war service as a pilot with the South African Air Force, Mr Van Rooyen entered civil aviation in 1946 as a pilot with South West Air Transport and was appointed manager in 1948 and managing director in 1952. In 1959 he became general manager of Suidwes Lugdiens on its creation by the merger of South West and Oryx Aviation." 
  8. ^ "BREVITIES" (pdf). Flight: 95. 28 August 1959. Retrieved 17 August 2011. "Suidwes Lugdiens (Edms) Beperke—South West Airways (Pty.) Ltd. of Windhoek, South Africa, have been admitted as the tenth associate member of I.A.T.A." 
  9. ^ a b "World airlines – Suidwes Lugdiens (Eiendoms) Beperk" (pdf). Flight International: 43. 18 May 1972. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "About us – History | Air Namibia". Air Namibia. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c "World Airline Directory – Namib Air" (pdf). Flight International: 106. 1 April 1989. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "Namib Air plans US flights" (pdf). Flight International: 11. 2 September 1989. Retrieved 17 August 2011. "SAA recently leased a Boeing 737 to Namib Air for its first jet flights between Windhoek, Johannesburg, and Cape Town." 
  13. ^ a b "World Airline Directory – Namib Air" (pdf). Flight International: 113. 14 March 1990 – 20 March 1990. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Hilka Birns (9 December 1998). "Government saves Air Namibia". Flight International (Cape Town). Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  15. ^ "AFRAA Current members – Air Namibia". AFRAA. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  16. ^ "Flight Schedule". Air Namibia. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "Air Namibia – Fleet". Air Namibia. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  18. ^ Air Namibia Fleet
  19. ^ "Air Namibia’s fleet renewal process continues". TravelDailyNews. 23 September 2011.’s-fleet-renewal-process-continues. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Ex-Lufthansa widebodies join Air Namibia". Flight International. 6 December 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  21. ^ "Aircraft News". Air Transport World. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2011. "ECC Leasing arranged the lease of three Embraer ERJ-135s operated by Air France subsidiary Regional to Air Namibia. The aircraft are intended to replace some of the African airline's turboprops and are slated for delivery in March." 
  22. ^ a b Günter Endres (1 January 2003). "Air Namibia updates fleet as privatisation nears". Airline Business. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  23. ^ a b Stewart Penney (31 March 1999). "Good business". Flight International. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  24. ^ a b c d Hilka Birns (26 March 2002). "Air Namibia works new strategy". Flight International. Retrieved 26 March 2002. 
  25. ^ a b "Air Namibia maintains plans to replace its 747SP, despite heavy financial losses". Flight International. 26 November 1997. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  26. ^ a b "Air Namibia ponders 747SP replacements". Flight International. 2 July 1997. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  27. ^ a b "Namibia boosts cargo with 747 Combi". Flight International. 3 November 1999. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  28. ^ a b "Air Namibia leases SAA 747SP". Flight International. 19 May 1999. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  29. ^ a b Chris Yates (4 March 1998). "Air Namibia replaces costly 747 with 767-300ER". Flight International. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
  30. ^ "Other News – 08/25/2006". Air Transport World. 28 August 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2011. "Air Namibia will take delivery of a second A340-300 in September and phase out its last MD-11." 

External links

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