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SA, Namibia sign aviation pact

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South Africa and Namibia have signed a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) to strengthen the already existing civil aviation relations between the two countries.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters and Namibia’s Minister of Works and Transport, Alpheus !Naruseb, signed the agreement on Thursday in Pretoria.

“Our air service arrangements are liberal, with our designated airlines allowed to, among others, operate an unlimited number of flights per week per side for passenger services, unlimited overnight express cargo with an aircraft weight that does not exceed 5,700kg and the exercise of fifth freedom traffic rights at intra-African points,” Minister Peters said.

The fifth freedom allows an airline to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as a part of services connecting the airline’s own country.

The designated airlines for South Africa include South African Airways, South African Express, South African Airlink, Comair and Fly Blue Crane. The designated airlines for Namibia are Air Namibia, Nomad Aviation and Westair Aviation.

“Our bilateral relationship is strategic for both our countries from a fiscal and import/export perspective and the economic nature of our relationship is interdependence, which is the reason that as South Africa, we value our relations.

“It is South Africa’s position that Africa needs to consolidate its own air transport market and industry in order to remain relevant and the individual African member states need to support the regional economic communities’ initiatives,” Minister Peters said.

South African Airways operates 20 flights per week on the Johannesburg–Windhoek route, making it three flights a day. South African Express operates nine flights per week on the Johannesburg–Walvis Bay route and six flights per week on the Cape Town–Walvis Bay route.

South African Airlink operates 11 flights per week on the Cape Town–Windhoek route, while Comair operates seven flights on the Johannesburg–Windhoek route.

Air Namibia operates 21 flights per week on the Windhoek–Johannesburg route, 14 flights on the Windhoek–Cape Town route and seven flights per week on the Walvis Bay–Cape Town route.