Flyafrica blames delays on Air Namibia upset
The new low-cost pan-African airline, f lyafrica, looks set to f i nal l y t a ke off bet ween Windhoek and Johannesburg, and Windhoek and Lusaka, Zambia, at the end of June, after regulators blocked its initial plans to offer f lights from February.
The airline, which already offers various routes including Johannesburg to Harare from less than R1 300, and Johannesburg to Victoria Falls for less than R1 000, initially got the go-ahead for Namibian f lights in November.
f lyafrica sold thousands of tickets at rock-bottom prices, many of which were snapped up by f irst-time f lyers. But days before take-off, the Namibian regulatory authorities put the brakes on and scuppered these plans. The launch date was pushed forward to 2 March and then to 16 March − and now to the end of June.
While passengers were compensated either with refunds or promises of free f lights, fury and disappointment were made plain on social media.
Tickets for t he JohannesburgWindhoek route was set to go on sale on 5 May, but was this time delayed by the South African authorities who demanded further paperwork from the airline.
Adrian Hamilton-Manns, CEO of f lyafrica, l ays the blame for his airline’s f inancially destructive delays on Air Namibia, saying that “they do not want to upset the cosy pricing duopoly they have” on the lucrative J oha n ne s bu r g-Windhoek r oute .