Air Namibia, flag carrier for the southern Africa nation of Namibia, today took delivery of its first Boeing 747-400 Combi named "Welwitschia."
Jaafar bin Ahmad, chief executive officer for Air Namibia believes the 747-400 Combi is the only airplane that can satisfy the company's business strategy of combining large-capacity cargo service with its passenger service.
"The expanded cargo capacity will allow us to serve the transportation requirements of the important Namibian fishing industry without comprising our services to the passengers," bin Ahmad said.
The milestone event was attended by Honorable Hage Geingob, Prime Minister of Namibia; Honorable Nangolo Mbumba, Minister of Finance, Namibia; Petrus Damaseb, chairman of Air Namibia; and Jaafar bin Ahmad, chief executive officer, Air Namibia. Tobias Bright, Boeing vice president of Aircraft Trading represented The Boeing Company.
"With lower operating costs than any jetliner in the world and with the greatest combined passenger and cargo carrying capabilities, the 747-400 Combi will generate more revenue for Air Namibia than other airplanes in the marketplace," Bright said.
The 747-400 Combi for Air Namibia will carry 284 passengers in a three-class configuration and carry up to 40 tons of cargo. General Electric engines will power the airplane on its routes to and from Europe, flying primarily between Windhoek, Africa and Frankfurt, Germany. Financing for Air Namibia's airplane has been organized under the auspices of the U.S. Export Import Bank.
The 747-400 Combi has been used successfully by airlines around the world to serve their long-range passenger and cargo requirements; Air Namibia's 747-400 Combi is the 60th to be delivered. The Combi's 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.
Known as the "Queen of the Skies," the Boeing 747 ranks as the world's largest and fastest subsonic commercial jetliner. With 1,306 airplanes ordered and 1,229 deliveries, the 747 is the best-selling twin-aisle jetliner in the industry.