Windhoek — Air Namibia will launch a flight to Lusaka, Zambia from 25 October, the airline said this week.

The airline said it will operate five weekly flights between Windhoek and Lusaka, via Johannesburg. In addition to traffic between Namibia and Zambia, the airline will also offer flights for traffic between Johannesburg and Lusaka.

"We are also pleased to announce at the same time that we will be improving our service offering by providing an early morning departure at 08:10 from Windhoek to Johannesburg and an evening departure at 18:30 from Johannesburg to Windhoek.

This service improves the offering to Windhoek-based business and leisure travellers who can now travel to Johannesburg and return the same day, affording them a full business day.

The same service option is available to Johannesburg originating business and leisure travellers," the airline said. Air Namibia said the Lusaka route marks the beginning of its aggressive regional routes expansion to protect revenues that have come under immense pressure since the onset of the global financial crisis as well as claiming its rightful share in the long-standing battle for control of the continent's airspace.

"The introduction of the Lusaka route is in line with Air Namibia's business plan adopted in 2007 to consolidate and rationalise the existing route network. The airline aims to attain meaningful growth through optimisation and participation in the "open skies" initiative on the African continent.

The new route is also part of the contribution by Air Namibia to the realisation of the SADC vision of contributing towards regional economic growth," Air Namibia said.

The sector between Johannesburg and Lusaka will be done in cooperation with Zambezi Airlines. Air Namibia will operate five flights per week with Zambezi Airlines as a marketing carrier or code partner while Air Namibia will code share on Zambezi Airlines on Tuesdays and Thursdays