Suspended West African air route gets new life lease
After a botched attempt in 2013 to operate the Windhoek-Accra route, Air Namibia announced this week that in line with their strategic plan, they will now add Lagos and Accra to their route network in March next year.
Air Namibia previously operated the flight connecting Windhoek and Accra, and the service was suspended four years ago.
According to a statement from the airline, the difference this time around is that they are combining Accra with Lagos, and now they also have traffic rights for passengers and cargo for travel between Lagos and Accra, which makes it a totally different and much bigger operation than before.
Air Namibia said that the routing for the two new destinations will be Windhoek-Lagos-Accra, and the return will be Accra-Lagos-Windhoek four times per week using the Airbus A319-100 aircraft.
Apart from providing direct connection from Namibia to West Africa, the operation will further transport passengers and cargo on the Lagos-Accra-Lagos route, using the fifth freedom traffic rights granted by the Ghanaian and Nigerian Governments, as contained in the existing Bilateral Air Service Agreements.
“Days of operation departing from Windhoek will be Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The operating schedule and flight timings allow smooth and convenient connections inbound and outbound to our regional flights, connecting West Africa via Windhoek to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Luanda, Harare, Lusaka, Vic Falls, Gaborone Walvis Bay and Durban,” Air Namibia added.
“This much needed service will give our passengers a better alternative travel option, and will reduce travel times between Namibia and West Africa by more than 60%. We are happy to introduce our Award Winning Service in this market and we are already receiving positive feedback on the launch of this new route. The operation fits within our existing capacity in terms of aircraft and crew, thereby improving the utilization rates of these resources while increasing revenue catchment opportunities. Especially as it means we are entering Africa’s largest regional air travel market,” said Advocate Mandi Samson, Air Namibia Acting Managing Director.
Furthermore, Xavier Masule, General Manager for Commercial Services at Air Namibia said; “We are grateful to the Namibian, Ghanaian and Nigerian governments for the commitment to promote easy access and the much needed improved levels of mobility on the continent, which will help promote intra-Africa trade and tourism flows”.