Air Namibia, the national carrier of the Republic of Namibia, has begun direct flight from Windhoek, the Namibian capital, to Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub, as well as Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
The airline also has a return flight from Accra to Lagos, and then to Windhoek.
The flight, which runs on Mondays, Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, uses the airline’s Airbus A319-100 aircraft.
The airline’s sources said the development was the culmination of many years of negotiations between Nigeria and Namibia, spearheaded by the Nigerian High Commission in Windhoek.
Besides providing a direct connection from Namibia to West Africa, the airline said it also conveys passengers and cargo on the Lagos-Accra-Lagos route, using the fifth freedom traffic rights granted by the Nigerian and Ghanaian governments, as contained in the existing Bilateral Air Service Agreements. Nigerian passengers can now fly to Accra on Air Namibia, departing from Lagos.
A statement by the Nigeria High Commission in Windhoek said the operating schedule and flight timings allow smooth and convenient connections inbound and outbound of Air Namibia regional flights, connecting Nigeria via Windhoek to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Luanda, Harare, Lusaka, Victoria Falls, Gaborone, Walvis Bay and Durban.
“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.
“The operation fits within our existing capacity in terms of aircraft and crew, thereby improving the utilization rates of these resources… especially as it means we are entering Africa’s largest regional air travel market,” said Advocate Mandi Samson, Air Namibia’s Acting Managing Director.
To facilitate travel from Lagos, the Namibian government is making arrangement for visas to be issued in Lagos with the assistance of the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Namibia to Nigeria, Dr. Chuma Anosike.
The High Commission of Namibia in Abuja is the only place where visas can be issued.
The Nigerian High Commission in Windhoek handles visas for Namibians intending to travel to Nigeria.
Citizens from both countries need visas, but holders of diplomatic and official passports are exempted.