The first flight of the Xi'an-Istanbul direct air route arrives at Xi'an Xianyang International Airport in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Dec. 30, 2019. Three round trips operated by Turkish Airlines are expected to be made between Xi'an and Istanbul, with inbound flights on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and outbound ones on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. (Xinhua/Shao Rui)

Namibia’s flagship airport, Hosea Kutako International Airport began operations on Friday with the first international arrival to Windhoek being the Ethiopian Airlines, which was carrying 43 passengers and 11 crew members.

Speaking at the welcoming arrival Namibia Airports Company Chairperson Leake Hangala said the arrival of the Ethiopian flight after a 6-month stoppage is a manifestation of the Namibian government’s commitment to revive the economic opportunities.

“It is also a concrete indication that airports are engines of economic growth, wealth and employment creation,” he added.
Hangala said with the gradual opening of Namibia’s borders, other airlines such as Air Namibia, the national carrier, Lufthansa, Qatar have already expressed their readiness to resume flight operations.

“This will positively increase passenger movements which will contribute meaningfully to the economic activities at the airport and the tourism industry in line with the objectives of the tourism revival initiative,” he said.

Speaking at the same occasion, area manager for Ethiopian Airways, Tsige Gebresilassie, said Windhoek is among the 62 destinations in Africa the airline has been serving.

“We are very much grateful to the government of Namibia for giving us permission to reinstate the passenger services and we prefer to keep our scheduled flights intact and hope the government will continue its support to create a conducive environment.

Since launching its first flight to Windhoek in 2016, Ethiopian Airways has been providing four weekly passenger services connecting Namibia to various countries in Africa and the rest of the world.

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