Operating a small national airline in Africa is hard work. There are issues around corruption, high operating costs, aircraft procurement, volatility of local currencies against the US dollar, infrastructure, misreporting of Africa as if it's a single entity in the Western press, small fleets with long haul routes and competition from foreign airlines. Profitability is hard to come by. Air Namibia has never made a profit but its keeps trying and keeps flying.
Air Namibia can actually trace its history all the way back to 1946, though it was only following independence that the carrier gained its present name. By this time the airline was part of the government owned holding company Transnamib. With independence the pride and economic necessity of long-haul services no doubt seemed impossible to ignore and the airline leveraged its relationship with SAA to lease a Boeing 747SP for a twice weekly service to Frankfurt. Given the nation's relationship with Germany (it used to be German South-West Africa) this was a natural destination though it was joined in 1992 by a weekly London service. Eventually all three flights operated to both London and Frankfurt. Four SAA 747SPs were operated at various times during the 1990s, though there were never more than two at any one time, but the airline was struggling financially. Following a government cash injection of $3.7 million ownerhip passed back to the Namibian government proper.
"Northbound flights will leave Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings, arriving London Gatwick the next morning. Return services will leave from the North Terminal Gatwick Airport London on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings, arriving Windhoek the next morning. The inaugural northbound service will be operated on Saturday 2nd July.
Depart: Windhoek - 18h40
Arrive: London - 04h55
Depart: London - 21h30
Arrive: Windhoek - 07h45"
1999, April. Air Namibia Acquires Boeing 747-400 Combi. Boeing media
2005. Air Namibia Getting 2nd MD-11. Airliners.net
2005, June. Air Nam leases A343s. PPruNe.org
2006, August. Air Namibia takes leave of MD11 aircraft. The Namibian
2013, January. Air Namibia: A bum investment. Windhoek Observer
2013, August. Air Namibia slowly moves to profitability, halfway through a five-year turnaround plan. CAPA
2013, September. Air Namibia takes delivery of its first Airbus A330. Airbus.com
2014, November. Air Namibia records profit for four consecutive months – at last. New Era
2016, June. African airlines to lose N$8 billion in 2016….Air Namibia needs bold decisions to improve profitability. New Era