A report presented Wednesday by Air Namibia’s board says the airline’s contribution to the country’s economy is projected to grow rapidly in the coming years through expansion of services.

The report that was compiled by the UK-based Oxford Economics and presented in Windhoek during a stakeholders meeting says by 2020/21, the number of visitors transported to the country by Air Namibia is projected to exceed 230,000.

“As a result, the GDP contribution from visitor spending is expected to grow to nearly 1.7 billion Namibia dollars (129 million U.S. dollars), sustaining 7,700 jobs in the Namibian economy and raising over 440 million Namibia dollars (33 million U.S. dollars) in tax revenues (again measured in 2015/16 prices),” the report says.

In 2015/16, the report says, the airline’s contribution to the economy during the 2015/16 financial year was more than 700 million Namibia dollars (53 million U.S. dollars).

Apart from the direct contribution, Oxford Economics said Air Namibia also created 4,550 jobs and spent over 1 billion Namibia dollars (75.8 million dollars U.S. dollars) on goods and services supplied by local companies during the same period.

“These purchases supported activity in businesses throughout Namibia, as did the spending of wages by those employed by Air Namibia and by firms within its supply chains,” the report points out.

These benefits, the report further says, are not only retained within the aviation or tourism sectors, but rather ‘ripple out’ throughout the economy.

“Of the nine broad sectors in the Namibian economy, five of them enjoy activity in excess of 50 million Namibia dollars (3.8 million U.S. dollars) as a result of Air Namibia’s operations,” the report says.

During the 2015/16 financial year, according to the report, Air Namibia flew in an estimated 140, 000 visitors whose spending contributed 970 million Namibia dollars (73.5 million U.S. dollars) to the GDP and supported 4,400 jobs.

The report quantifies the airline’s economic contribution through its core contribution to the economy and captures the wider ‘catalytic’ economic impact it generates through the broader activity enabled and stimulated by its services. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh