Air Nam denies operational hiccups

The airline says its current challenges are normal practice.

31 May 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia says current operational challenges are all due to the economic slowdown experienced by all government institutions, but insists that it is business as usual.

The airline does not deny that it has failed to pay over the pension fund contributions of 700 employees to its pension fund administrator, Alexander Forbes, over the last two months. The outstanding payments amount to between N$3 million and N$4 million.

It also has not denied information received from insiders that it has ceased paying subsistence and travel (S&T) allowances to its pilots.

“These are difficult and challenging times, not only for Air Namibia but the whole country. Government is also having challenges, including pressure from the drought we are experiencing,” was all that Air Namibia's manager of corporate communications, Paul Nakawa, would say when asked.

He added: “Like any other organisation we do once in a while delay payments to some of our suppliers due to timing differences between when we get cash from our customers and when we are expected to pay our suppliers. In the end we do pay, even if payments are made late.”



Trouble with planes

Insiders claim that the airline is also struggling to keep its planes in the air. They claim that only five of the ten planes in Air Namibia's fleet are currently operational while the rest are grounded because of technical issues.

Nakawa said seven of the ten aircraft were currently “serviceable”.

He said two A319's and one Embraer ERJ 135 were undergoing scheduled heavy maintenance checks. Nakawa said one A319 underwent a C-check in Cyprus and has been out of service.

A C-check is performed every 20 to 24 months, or after a specific number of flight hours as defined by the manufacturer. This is a maintenance check more extensive than a B-check, requiring a large majority of the aircraft's components to be inspected.

The delay in the repairs, Nakawa said, was due to the availability of unique parts which have a long delivery time.

He added that the work on the A319 was now complete and that the aircraft was expected to be returned as soon as it was signed off.

Nakawa said another A319 underwent a check in Johannesburg. There was a delay because a replacement part had to be sourced.

“In between we had one or two more aircraft grounded for short periods of time (one to three days) when we experienced component failures. These are attended to and the aircraft enter service as soon as the faults get fixed. This is a continuous and normal practice,” Nakawa said.

He denied that one A319, considered to be a “no-flight item” because of technical faults, remained in operation.

“We operate in accordance with regulations and the safety of our passengers, employees and the general public and as such we cannot be compromised under any circumstances. The information received from your source is untrue and malicious,” Nakawa said.

Nakawa also denied the claim by insiders that the Embraer currently in the hangar was being used for spare parts. Air Namibia rents its Embraer aircraft, and is not the owner of these planes.

The insiders further claimed that only one A330 is currently being used to operate the Windhoek-Frankfurt route because the window of the other A330 is damaged.

Nakawa acknowledged the damaged window. He said a new window was sourced from Europe and had to be installed in Johannesburg, but this plane was still serviceable and was due to resume normal operation on Monday, 27 May.

The insiders further claimed that Engen, Air Namibia's fuel supplier, refused to refuel its aircraft at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) on 23 May because of non-payment.

“Air Namibia operations are not disrupted. We have a good business relationship with Engen; they value us as an important client of theirs, and between us and them it is business as usual,” Nakawa said.

CATHERINE SASMAN

Similar News

 

Okapale komatukodhila taka lukilwa Ya Toivo

4 hours ago | Transport

Otaku ka tulwa oshihongwathano shomukondjelimanguluko gwaNamibia, Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo pokapale koondhila kaNdangwa.Shoka otashi ka ningwa nale nehangano lyoNamibia Airports Company (NAC) otali...

Airport will get Ya Toivo statue

1 day - 21 August 2019 | Transport

A statue of the late anti-apartheid stalwart Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo will be erected at the airport in Ondangwa at a later stage.In the...

Ya Toivo family not happy

3 days ago - 19 August 2019 | Transport

Shali Kamati, the nephew of the late anti-apartheid stalwart Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo, has expressed his disappointment after government failed to erect a statue...

TransNamib moves manganese

1 week ago - 15 August 2019 | Transport

TransNamib has announced that it moved the first shipment of manganese ore for the South African company, TradePort Namibia, from Ariamsvlei to the port of...

Taxi union wants answers from Geingob

1 week ago - 12 August 2019 | Transport

The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) announced last week that it will hold demonstrations starting on 20 August, while it is adamant that President...

Ehangano lyaanataxi lya hala omayamukulo okuza kuGeingob

1 week ago - 12 August 2019 | Transport

Ehangano lyoNamibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) olya tseyitha kutya otali ka ninga ehololomadhilaadhilo okutameka momasiku 20 gaAguste omanga lya hala okupewa omayamukulo okuza kOmupresidende...

Taxi union renews court threat

2 weeks ago - 07 August 2019 | Transport

The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) is threatening to move forward with a lawsuit against government for failing to reduce “unconstitutional and unjust traffic...

NAC to announce airport tender soon

2 weeks ago - 07 August 2019 | Transport

The successful bidder for the expansion of Hosea Kutako International Airport is expected to be announced next week, Namibian Sun has learned from a reliable...

Ondangwa 'ghost town' fears

2 weeks ago - 06 August 2019 | Transport

ILENI NANDJATO The Ondangwa town council has objected to the proposed Ondangwa-Oshakati bypass project, amid fears that the...

Ondangwa Airport renaming on the cards

2 weeks ago - 05 August 2019 | Transport

Following cabinet approval, the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) is in the process of renaming Ondangwa Airport after the late political stalwart Herman Andimba Toivo Ya...

Latest News

N$600m down the drain

4 hours ago | Justice

Any hopes of Namibia recovering the over N$600 million lost in the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) scandal have been dashed. Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa confirmed...

Infighting hinders progress

4 hours ago | Columns

Our traditional leaders, with all due respect, have been hogging the headlines for some time now, and mostly for the wrong reasons. Unnecessary infighting among...

Companies fail on health, safety

4 hours ago | Health

The majority of companies inspected by the labour ministry in the first quarter of this year were not in compliance with occupational health and safety...

Namibians dread worsening droughts

4 hours ago | Disasters

While Namibia is battling one of its worst droughts in history a mere 38% of Namibians say that droughts in the country have not become...

Olufuko launched tomorrow

4 hours ago | Cultural

The Olufuko Annual Cultural Festival has attracted 69 girls who have already registered with the organising committee to undergo initiation during this year's festival.The 2019...

Bolster fight against hepatitis E

4 hours ago | Health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has again urged Namibia to boost its response to the protracted hepatitis E outbreak which has claimed the lives of...

NEPC financial woes due to...

4 hours ago | Government

Cash-strapped state-owned New Era Publications Corporation (NEPC)'s acting CEO Benjamin Jakobs has attributed the corporation's failure to account for N$33.5 million to employees' poor work...

Okapale komatukodhila taka lukilwa Ya...

4 hours ago | Transport

Otaku ka tulwa oshihongwathano shomukondjelimanguluko gwaNamibia, Herman Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo pokapale koondhila kaNdangwa.Shoka otashi ka ningwa nale nehangano lyoNamibia Airports Company (NAC) otali...

Pedalling buzz

4 hours ago | Sports

At least 100 cyclists are expected to take part in the first-ever Oshana Cycle Challenge, which will take place on Saturday. The first-of-its-kind challenge will...

Load More