News & Industry Affairs/Africa news

Air Namibia's West Africa route opens the intra-African sky


July 6, 2018. AASA news. Namibia's national carrier, Air Namibia has launched new flights to Ghana and Nigeria. With Windhoek as the hub, and Lagos and Accra the destinations, the new route opens up intra-Africa travel and trade between Southern Africa and West African countries. 


Flights are available four times a week (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday departing from Windhoek), providing inbound and outbound connections to West Africa via Windhoek to and from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Luanda, Harare, Lusaka, Vic Falls, Gaborone, Walvis Bay, Durban and beyond. The route includes direct flights from Windhoek-Lagos-Accra, and return flights via Accra-Lagos-Windhoek.


The new route will also transport passengers and cargo from Lagos-Accra-Lagos, made possible by the fifth freedom traffic rights granted to Air Namibia by the Ghanaian and Nigerian Governments, as contained in the existing Bilateral Air Service Agreements.  

The decision to launch flights into West Africa is in line with Air Namibia’s mandate and purpose for existence – creating air transport linkages to promote intra-Africa connectivity and regional integration.
Mandi Samson, Air Namibia's Acting Managing Director

Article sources: dailyguideafrica.com/air-namibia-commences-flights-to-lagos-accra/allafrica.com/stories/201807060071.html; guardian.ng/air-namibia-debuts-lagos-operation-to-deepen-intra-african-trade/; and wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_transport_agreement 

What are Freedoms of the Air?

The Freedoms of the Air are a set of commercial aviation rights granting a country's airlines the privilege to enter and land in another country's airspace, formulated as a result of disagreements over the extent of aviation liberalisation in the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944, known as the Chicago Convention.

The Chicago Convention was intended to prepare a framework within which civil air transport could develop (not military or other state activities whether in a piloted or drone craft). It introduced nine Freedoms of the Air for those states that have adopted the Convention and enter into bilateral treaties that may grant any of the following rights or privileges for scheduled international air services:

First Freedom of the Air / First Freedom Right - the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State or States to fly across its territory without landing.

Second Freedom of the Air / Second Freedom Right - the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State or States to land in its territory for non-traffic purposes.

Third Freedom of The Air / Third Freedom Right - the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State to put down, in the territory of the first State, traffic coming from the home State of the carrier.

Fourth Freedom of The Air / Fourth Freedom Right - the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State to take on, in the territory of the first State, traffic destined for the home State of the carrier.

Fifth Freedom of The Air / Fifth Freedom Right - the right or privilege, in respect of scheduled international air services, granted by one State to another State to put down and to take on, in the territory of the first State, traffic coming from or destined to a third State.

ICAO characterises all "Freedoms" beyond the Fifth as "so-called" because only the first five "Freedoms" have been officially recognised as such by international treaty. To read more about the sixth to ninth Freedom of the Air agreements, visit the ICAO page here.

Sources: icao.int/Pages/freedomsAir.aspxwikipedia.org/wiki/Open_skies
wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Convention_on_International_Civil_Aviation and 
wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedoms_of_the_air

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