South African private-sector domestic and regional airline Airlink has announced that it will launch direct flights between Johannesburg and Windhoek (the capital of Namibia) on October 26. This follows the commencement, earlier this week, of flights between Cape Town and Windhoek and between Johannesburg and the Namibian port city of Walvis Bay.
“We can’t wait to re-establish this important connection between South Africa’s and Namibia’s main economic hubs and enable all-important trade, business and tourism between what are two very closely connected markets,” highlighted Airlink CEO Rodger Foster. Air travel between the two countries was halted owing to lockdowns that were intended to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.
The resumption of the route “follows the relaxation of South Africa’s intra-Africa travel restrictions and Namibian Aeronautical Authorities' acknowledging Airlink’s traffic rights and designation on the route,” said the company in its statement. It will be a daily service, starting out with one flight each way, every day, but the number of flights will be increased in the coming months.
The restored service will be operated by Airlink’s flagship aircraft, the Embraer E190 airliner. However, the planned later additional flights, at lower demand times of the day (early morning and evening), will likely be operated by the airline’s smaller Embraer ERJ135 regional airliners.
On the E190, even in economy class passengers have a choice between a window seat or an aisle seat, as there are no middle seats. Economy class passengers have a free check-in luggage allowance of 20 kg with an additional 15 kg allowance for sporting equipment. The check-in luggage allowance for business class is 30 kg.
The Johannesburg-Windhoek service will provide seamless connections with Airlink’s services from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Johannesburg to Durban. It will also allow connections with the airline’s other domestic South African destinations, such as Bloemfontein, East London, George, Hoedspruit, Kimberley, Mthatha, Nelspruit, Pietermaritzburg, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Skukuza and Upington.
Passengers must comply with South African and Namibian biosecurity regulations. The maintenance of the health and security of both its passengers and personnel is a high priority, assures Airlink. The restoration of the Johannesburg-Windhoek route is the latest step in the airline’s re-establishment of air connectivity throughout Southern Africa.