Air Namibia (SW, Windhoek Int'l) suspended its Windhoek Int'l-Lagos-Accra service indefinitely on May 24, its only flights to West Africa, amid a diplomatic spat between Namibia and Nigeria.

Namibia’s national airline said in a statement that it suspended the four-times-weekly route, which launched in late June 2018, due to risks over its commercial viability after the Nigerian High Commission stopped issuing visas to Namibians in February.

The visa ban could be linked to allegations that Nigerians were regularly ill-treated by Namibian border control officials when arriving at or transiting through Windhoek, said Wimpie van Vuuren, the airline's acting general manager for commercial services said in the statement.

Air Namibia had consulted various stakeholders to mitigate the diplomatic standoff but all efforts proved futile, he said.

He added that the decision was compounded by a falling load factor, which dropped from an average of 55% in the first seven months to between 35% and 38% in February-April 2019 following the visa ban.

"In addition, there are messages circulating in Nigeria about Namibia being 'anti-Nigeria', with travellers being urged to avoid visiting Namibia as well as avoid using Windhoek as a transit point when travelling to South Africa," van Vuuren said.

A source in Abuja told the Nigerian newspaper Punch that diplomats at both ends were working to resolve the situation, saying: “There are some diplomatic issues that need to be resolved with the Namibian authorities. The issue has nothing to do with the high commission in Nigeria but with the high commission and immigration in Namibia.”