Air Namibia board promises major changes

12 April 2019 | Transport

The newly appointed Air Namibia board says it realises that “robust” short-and long-term changes are needed to turn around the troubled airline.

After recent announcements of leadership changes and interim arrangements at Air Namibia, the board issued a statement clarifying the next steps that will be taken.

“We realise that there is steady interest in the future of the national airline. And rightly so, as Air Namibia is one of Namibia's once-beloved jewels that we would all love to see sparkling again as a symbol of our national pride,” said board chair Dee Sauls-Deckenbrock.

The board has appointed interim leaders from within the company and has held talks with the government about its turnaround plans.

Xavier Masule is the new interim CEO, focusing on the day-to-day business. Masule holds a B. Comm (Accounting) and an MBA degree. He has over 19 years of aviation industry experience and is certified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as an aviation management professional.

The board appointed Ingrid Cupido to serve as the airline's statutory senior accountable manager (SAM), responsible for aviation regulatory compliance.

The board said Cupido is a seasoned legal professional in the aviation sector and was nominated for accreditation by the Namibian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“We have also appointed Wimpie van Vuuren as acting general manager: commercial services. Van Vuuren has more than 26 years of commercial experience in the aviation industry, both locally and internationally, and previously successfully ran the Air Namibia Frankfurt station,” said the board.

The board said it recognised that safety, stability and business continuity were non-negotiable.

“Therefore, these interim arrangements have been made in order to allow incumbent post holders to focus on fixing the core operations in their respective posts, as well as to enable management to prioritise their efforts to address and improve performance in critical performance areas.”

ELLANIE SMIT

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