Windhoek — Air Namibia will again fly to Accra, Ghana, only this time around the national airline will add Lagos, Nigeria, as a connection route between Windhoek and Accra.
The route will start in March next year and the airline says the reason it is going back to West Africa is because its business plan "fits in with growing the business and increasing our footprint on the African continent".
Air Namibia previously operated a direct flight between Windhoek and Accra, but the service was suspended in 2013.
Now Air Namibia is hoping to have good traffic and generate good revenue from the combination of passengers and cargo moving between Lagos and Accra. It is also hoping to feed that traffic to Southern Africa destinations through Windhoek. "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.
"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," said the airline in a statement.
Days of operation departing from Windhoek will be Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The route 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.
Apart from providing a 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.
"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," said Xavier Masule, general manager for commercial services at Air Namibia.
"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 percent. 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," said Samson.