Air Namibia suspends flight to Ghana, Nigeria, here’s why

Air Namibia, the national carrier of Namibia has suspended its operations on the Windhoek – Lagos – Accra route following an ongoing diplomatic impasse between Namibia and Nigeria.

Air Namibia
  • Air Namibia has suspended flight to Ghana, Nigeria.
  • The Namibian High Commissioner to Ghana said the suspension is due to an ongoing diplomatic impasse between Namibia and Nigeria.
  • But he said the company is considering alternative solutions to have the airline back.

This will be the second time the airline is suspending its operations after its first exit in 2014.

The Namibian High Commissioner to Ghana, Charles Jacob made the announcement on Friday in Accra, when he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda.

Why the Suspension

The suspension of the flight operations was due to the refusal of the Nigerian High Commission in Windhoek to grant visas to Namibians, said the passenger numbers did not add up again since the route was Windhoek-Lagos-Accra.

The High Commissioner said because of the refusal of Nigeria to issue visas to Namibians since March this year, the Airline was running at a loss on the Windhoek-Lagos-Accra route.

How the impasse affected the airline

According to the Namibian High Commissioner to Ghana, the ongoing impasse hugely affected passenger numbers hence the decision to suspend operations.

“The numbers did not add up and the load factors did not come up from March. This was largely due to a third-party influence where the ambassador refused to issue visas to Namibians going to Nigeria and this affected passenger numbers causing the airline to run at a loss,” he said.

He added that although the airline had been operating at 50% for a while, the development caused a breakdown in operations.

Background

The first time the Airline exited the Ghanaian market was in 2014 due to the absence of a visa-issuing office in Ghana which led to a decline in passenger volumes.

However, in February 2018, the airline made a return with a Windhoek – Lagos – Accra route having set up a consulate office in Accra.

But barely a year since its return the Airline has announced yet another suspension of its operations due to the ongoing diplomatic feud between Namibia and Nigeria.

Solution

The Commissioner, however, noted that they will be considering alternative solutions to have the airline back. He noted one option included getting first freedom right for Windhoek-Accra-London route.

Minister for Aviation, Kofi Adda’s response

Responding to the issue, the Minister for Aviation Kofi Adda stated that his office may grant Air Namibia the fifth freedom rights after careful consideration.

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