Namibian national carrier, Air Namibia has marked its inaugural entry into Nigeria with connecting flights from Windhoek to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) , Lagos .
The airline, which starts with four times a week flights said successful opening of the Lagos route was the actualisation of long term plan to connect many countries in West Africa to southern Africa and other parts of the continent.
Welcoming the airline to Lagos, the High Commissioner of Namibia to Nigeria, Dr . Peingeondjabi Titus Shipoh , expressed excitement to see the country ‘s national airline berth in Lagos.
Shipoh said Nigeria and Namibia share a long history of solidarity and cooperation , dating back to the years of struggle for the decolonisation of Southern Africa , disclosing that Nigeria played a pivotal role in campaigning for Namibia ‘ s decolonisation.
“Today, the political struggle is on and we continue to enjoy peace and stability. However, the fight for economic emancipation of Africa remains to be won. Africa is now the new economic frontier.
Africa needs to deepen intra -Africa trade to facilitate integration and derive tangible benefits from globalisation,” he said.
The High Commissioner said the role of transport and logistics sector has become extremely important for the African continent.
Shipoh added: “I am applauding Air Namibia for taking advantage of the opening of African skies.
This is an opening of new and more dynamic chapter in furthering and consolidating relationship between Nigeria and Namibia.
This route will enable cooperation in all sectors; facilitate entry of Namibian investors to this strategic market.
“Air Namibia’s venture into the ECOWAS market is to establish a win -win cooperation to exploit available business opportunities, add value to the natural resources that both our countries are endowed with,” he said .
The General Manager of APG, the General Sales Agent (GSA) of Air Namibia , Chike Ohiagu , said there has been positive response to the flight of the airline to Nigeria with huge requests for Air Namibia ‘ flight tickets .
Ohiagu said: “There is deluge of requests. It is a good sign that Air Namibia has come here to stay.
Our duty is to sell tickets and make money for Air Namibia.
In the next two weeks, there would be a forum where travel agents will be invited and we talk about Air Namibia and the product we have and the projections for the next few years,” Ohiagu said.
The Nigerian High Commission in the Republic of Namibia, who was represented by Uwem Johnson, said that there is huge potential market for the airline in Nigeria and expressed the hope that in few months the airline would have daily flight from Windhoek to Lagos.