Air Namibia, flag carrier for the southern Africa nation of Namibia, has purchased a new 747-400 Combi, The Boeing Company confirmed today. The airplane will be delivered in October 1999.
During a press briefing with local Namibian media today, Paul Bride, sales director - Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group, said Air Namibia's acquisition is an important milestone in the airline's development.
"Air Namibia has formulated a strategy for commercial success that adds large-capacity cargo service to world-class passenger service. Expanded cargo capacity will allow Air Namibia to serve the transportation requirements of the important Namibian fishing industry. Air Namibia has selected the ideal airplane to implement this new business plan," Bride said. "The 747-400 Combi is the only airplane that provides the required cargo and passenger capacity, and does so at the lowest operating costs."
The 747-400 Combi for Air Namibia will carry 284 passengers in a three-class configuration and carry up to 40 tonnes of cargo. General Electric engines will power the airplane on its routes to and from Europe, flying primarily between Windhoek and Frankfurt.
The 747-400 Combi has been used successfully by airlines around the world to serve their long-range passenger and cargo requirements. The Combi has a large side-cargo door behind the left wing, which provides access to the main deck cargo area. The Combi main deck cargo facility allows an airline to carry cargo much like a freighter airplane, while retaining the full passenger comfort of the airplane most travelers prefer - the Boeing 747-400. Another reason for the Combi's popularity is that it can be scheduled through an airport with the same turnaround time as any other passenger 747. Cargo operations do not interfere with passenger service. The 747-400 Combi incorporates additional fire protection, a two-crew digital flight deck, advanced engines, wingtip extensions with winglets and new interiors.
The combined passenger and cargo carrying capabilities of the 747-400 Combi will generate greater revenue for Air Namibia than other aircraft in the marketplace. Maximizing service to the combined passenger and cargo markets opens the door to a new era of commercial success at Air Namibia.
Air Namibia will receive the financial benefits of a 747-400 Combi aircraft available from inventory at a very competitive price. In fact, the annual cost of owning and operating this new airplane will be less than that of a comparable used airplane.
Boeing will also support Air Namibia's introduction of the 747-400 Combi with a comprehensive package of customer services including staff, flight crew and maintenance training, technical assistance and local field service support. This package is designed to assist Air Namibia in achieving the high level of customer satisfaction it is targeting to ensure its commercial success.