AIR Namibia could introduce a scheduled flight from Accra, Ghana to London as from early 2019 once an agreement between the two countries has been signed.
The national airline’s board chairperson, Gerson Tjihenuna, together, with a delegation from Namibia, met with Ghana’s minister of aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, on Tuesday, where the possibility of operating a scheduled flight to Accra was discussed.
Tjihenuna said the national airline had the capacity to operate the Windhoek-Accra-London route, and that the United Kingdom had already granted traffic rights to Air Namibia to operate flights between Accra and London.
“That (operating the Accra-London route) will help us consolidate our position on the continent in terms of promoting intra-Africa travel, as well as linking the continent to Europe and bringing in an element of competition,” he said.
On his part, Adda welcomed the proposal, saying that the effort of the Ghanaian government was to make aviation one of the country’s key drivers of its national development efforts.
“Whatever we can do as partners to move people within the continent and outside the continent and bring them back will help propel development,” he stated.
The Ghanaian aviation minister added that the government intended to make Ghana a key player in the aviation industry, whereby flights would come through the country, and service required for any aircraft as well as other services needed would be provided to turn the country into a hub.
“I don’t think we have any difficulty in entering into this agreement and encouraging [Air Namibia] to come in,” he said.
Adda further expressed concern from the Ghanaian government’s side on the difficulties which come with travelling within the African continent.
“For you to go to Paris for a conference, you have to go around about three or four African countries before you end up in Paris. You would have to go down to Windhoek, and cross over to Botswana or any other country, rather than having to go straight to Europe and coming down again,” he observed.
Therefore, the agreement between the two countries would address these concerns, Adda stated.
Speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of the meeting on Tuesday, Tjihenuna said a proper feasibility study would be done to look at what is justifiable in working with Ghana, and to put in a formal request with the authorities in Ghana to operate the route.
He indicated that the Windhoek-Accra-London route would have the potential of carrying an estimated 209 000 passengers per annum, which was better than the Windhoek-Frankfurt route that carries approximately 120 000 passengers per annum. – Nampa