Air Namibia suspends their operations to Accra
Mr Wimpie Van Vuuren, Senior Management: Marketing & Sales at Air Namibia, announced that in order to improve financial performance, a decision has been made to suspend Air Namibia’s operations to Accra. Air Namibia will officially stop flying to Accra on 26 June 2014.
Mr Van Vuuren said the route was from Accra-Johannesburg-Windhoek.
It commenced in November 2009, but with the new cabinet-approved business plan, the routing was changed to Accra-Windhoek.
Air Namibia hoped that the introduction of a direct service would help grow traffic levels between the two cities, even though there is limited traffic numbers on the route.
Mr Van Vuuren also added that part of the reason for the failure to grow the market fast enough was the fact that there was no visa-issuing office in Ghana, but there has been one set up in the offices of Air Namibia in Ghana.
It became apparent, however, that even though visas could be issued and obtained, traffic levels did not increase. Mr Van Vuuren emphasised that even though operations to Accra have been suspended, they will continue to be active in the Ghana market with sales visits and maintaining contact with the travel trade.
He was skeptical about the route being resumed this year, yet he remained optimistic that it may be introduced again in the near future.
Mr Paulus Nakawa, Head: Cooperate Communications, said during the announcement that it was not a mistake for Air Namibia to fly this route to Ghana, it’s just not the right time. Air Namibia will continue its presence in the western region through partner airlines such as SAA and Kenya Airways, and passengers who are booked on Air Namibia flights beyond the termination date will be taken care of through partner airlines. In the past, Air Namibia has also suspended routes from Windhoek to London and Windhoek to Gaborone. The Windhoek-London route was suspended because of low passenger numbers and because of illegal immigrants taking that flight, for which Air Namibia was held liable.
The Windhoek-Gaborone route had also been suspended because of low passenger numbers, this being too costly for Air Namibia. After upgrading their fleet in mid 2013, the Air Namibia fleet consists of four Embraer 135-LRs, four Airbus A319s and two Airbus A330-200s.
The mandate of Air Namibia is to be a major contributor towards the attraction and promotion of tourism to Namibia by providing air transport services between Namibia and other countries, as well as by operating flights within the boundaries of Namibia.