Air Namibia’s much anticipated return to Ghana has been postponed. The postponement offlight operations in Ghana according to a press release from the company is due to “external factors; non-availability of departure slot at Kotoka airport.” As a result, the initial commencement flight originally scheduled for 22:05 hours on March 25, 2018 has been deferred to June 29, 2018 at 20:00 hours.
The airline’s return to the Ghanaian market was first announced by the Namibian High Commissioner to Ghana, His Excellency Charles Jasob, late last year at an event to launch the Ghana-Namibia Friendship Association. The High Commissioner recently at a meeting with Ghana’s Aviation Minister, Ms. Cecilia AbenaDapaah, reiterated the airline’s plans of making its first flight upon re-entry on March 25.
This date has however been changed owing to what the airline has described as factors external to its operations. At that meeting, the Minister promised to assist to make Air Namibia’s re-entry into the market as smooth as possible.
According to sources at the High Commission, Ghana Airports Company Limited and the Aviation Minister worked hard to assist the airline secure the slot but it remained impossible due to the current congestion around that time.
Air Namibia closed its operations in Ghana in 2014 after operating the Accra-Johannesburg-Windhoek route for five years. Operations were closed at the time because of low passenger numbers attributed mainly to the difficulty in securing Namibian visas.
Passengers were frustrated about the cumbersome process they had to undergo to get visa which entailed sending their documents Nigeria since there was then no High Commission in Ghana.
The High Commission explained that with the establishment of the Namibian High Commission in Ghana in 2015 and the subsequent development of stronger ties with Ghana which has culminated in the founding of the Ghana-Namibia Friendship Association, visa acquisition issues have now been addressed.
The re-entry into the Ghanaian market means the airline will combine with its flights to Lagos, Nigeria in a grand strategy to grow its business in the West African enclave.
According to the press release, days of operation namely Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will not change and the airline will use its Airbus A319 fleet which offers a seat configuration of 16 Business Class and 96 Economy Class seats.