Air Nam planes seized

Air Namibia's regional routes are once again crippled due to three of four of its A319 aircraft seized for outstanding maintenance bills.

10 June 2019 | Transport

Only one of Air Namibia's four Airbus A319 aircraft is operational at the moment, with the remaining three having been seized in South Africa and Cyprus because of unpaid debts.

As a result, the national airline cannot keep up its regional flight schedule. As from 3 June, Air Namibia has suspended all flights between Windhoek and Luanda and reduced the number of daily flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town.

This is contained in a confidential letter seen by Namibian Sun, addressed to the ministry of works and transport's executive director, Willem Goeiemann, by Air Namibia interim CEO Xavier Masule.

The letter, dated 29 May, asks for government assistance to help pay at least N$20 million of the money owed to South African Airways Technical (SAAT).

According to Masule, the three aircraft underwent mandatory maintenance checks in South Africa and Cyprus and were seized there because of unpaid debt.

Masule informed Goeiemann that the aircraft V5-ANN is currently with South African Airways Technical (SAAT) undergoing a scheduled maintenance check. The maintenance work was completed on 7 June, but SAAT indicated the aircraft would not be released pending settlement of the account.

The aircraft V5-ANK is currently in Cyprus and the maintenance work was done but the aircraft will only be released once payment of N$5.1 million is received.

“Payment request is at ministry of finance at the moment, with a note that it will be paid this coming Friday. Once released from Cyprus, the aircraft will be flown to Johannesburg for an engine change to be done by SAAT before the aircraft can resume commercial flights,” Masule writes.

“SAAT indicated they will not perform the required work prior to the account status being clear. The V5-ANM aircraft is due to undergo a maintenance check from 3 June 2019, and has to be grounded on that day. SAAT will not accept the aircraft in their hangar for maintenance while our account in their books shows current status.

“The risk associated with this arrangement is one where if the aircraft should on any day develop a technical problem, the entire regional operation will be shut down (all flights to JNB and CPT). The further risk relates to fact that SAAT is the maintenance service provider on this fleet, and they might not be in a position to attend to the aircraft - as is the case with our other A319 aircraft.”





Namibian Sun could not obtain comment from Goeiemann or the Air Namibia head of corporate communication, Paul Nakawa, yesterday. Goeiemann directed Namibian Sun to Nakawa who undertook to provide full information today.

In the letter to Goeiemann, Masule writes that during April 2019, a payment of N$19 million was made to SAAT, and a further N$6.9 million was paid to them by 31 May 2019.

“SAAT will be in a position to reconsider and allow provision of required services if we make another substantial payment for minimum N$20 million with commitment on how the balance will be settled. The information shared herein is for noting, and also seeking assistance to speedy facilitation of payment of a further N$20 million payment towards SAAT during first week of June 2019,” Masule said.

Masule said on the Windhoek–Luanda route the airline would transfer passengers to TAAG Angolan Airlines using a revived codeshare agreement.

On the Windhoek–Johannesburg route there will be only one flight rotation per day instead of three.

On the Windhoek–Cape Town route there will be two flight rotations per day, one operated using an Embraer ERJ aircraft and the other using an Airbus A319 flying via Walvis Bay.

ILENI NANDJATO

Similar News

 

Okapale komatukodhila taka lukilwa Ya Toivo

1 day - 22 August 2019 | 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

2 days ago - 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

4 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

Soldier charged with shebeen burglaries

15 hours ago | Crime

A member of the Namibia Defence Force has been arrested in connection with burglaries at six shebeens at Okakango location in Ondangwa.Operation Kalahari members have...

Letting the big fish swim

15 hours ago | Columns

Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa has opened a Pandora's Box, following her revelations this week that any hopes of Namibia recovering the over N$600 million lost in...

Swapo threatened with court action

15 hours ago | Politics

Five Swapo members have threatened to take the party to court if their demand for the re-run of the Otjiwarongo district renewal of mandate process...

Dumpsite scramble

15 hours ago | Environment

Several municipalities are moving fast to comply with the ministry of environment's new regulations, which require towns to obtain environmental clearance certificates for their dumpsites.So...

Khomas elects Swapo 'pot' contenders

15 hours ago | Politics

The Swapo leadership in the Khomas Region have elected businesswoman Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun and 30-year-old City of Windhoek councillor Ian Subasubani to stand as National Assembly...

Land acquisition fund deemed unnecessary

15 hours ago | Agriculture

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts Committee questioned the existence of the Land Acquisition and Development Fund because government already has a finance system...

Certified royalty

15 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

King Tee Dee, formerly known as The Dogg, is an artist who has come full circle. After many years spent dominating the music scene by...

Battling creative exhaustion

15 hours ago | Columns

We have all heard this advice before - we can't continue to be productive and creative if we exhaust ourselves, or if we fail to...

The Fashion Soireè returns

15 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Hosted by three of Namibia's fashion darlings; Reinhard Mahalie, Jay Aeron and Rumano Fabrishh, The Fashion Soireè is the first of its kind in Namibia.More...

Load More