Namibia’s national airline said it has suspended its Windhoek-Lagos-Accra route to mitigate commercial risks incurred after the Nigerian High commission stopped issuing visas to Namibians intent on visiting Nigeria.
The suspension became effective on Friday after the Air Namibia launched the route at the end of June 2018.
In a statement, the airline said that Air Namibia decided to suspend this route for an indefinite period in order to mitigate safety, noncompliance and commercial risks.
According to Air Namibia, the load and passenger performance of the route dropped from 55 percent attained from June 2018 to January 2019 to between 35 percent and 38 percent during February to April 2019. The Nigerian High Commission stopped issuing visas to Namibians in February this year.
The airline said affected passengers will be assisted by accommodating them on flights operated by partner airlines at Air Namibia’s cost.
According to the statement, the Nigerian High Commission decision was motivated by allegations that Nigerians were ill-treated by the Namibian border control officials at Hosea Kutako International Airport when arriving or transiting through Windhoek.
“There are messages circulating in Nigeria about Namibia being anti-Nigeria, with travellers being urged to avoid visiting Namibia, as well as to avoid using Windhoek as a transit point when travelling to South Africa,” the statement said.
According to the statement efforts to consult various stakeholders to mitigate the diplomatic standoff were futile.