Air Namibia gets last chance to settle debt

Time is running out for the national carrier, which has until 28 January to come up with a payment plan for its N$400 million debt.

03 December 2020 | Transport

OGONE TLHAGE







WINDHOEK

Liquidated Belgian firm Challenge Air has given Air Namibia until 28 January to come up with a payment plan for its N$400 million debt, failing which an application for its liquidation will proceed.

Lawyers representing Challenge Air and Air Namibia agreed that the payment plan would be completed in front of acting High Court Judge Esi Schimming-Chase.

Challenge Air had filed an urgent application in the High Court for Air Namibia’s provisional liquidation.

The action was instituted after Air Namibia failed to honour a settlement agreement for the payment of approximately N$400 million to Challenge Air for leasing a jet from the Belgian company in 1998.

This debt stems from a dispute about the rent and maintenance of a Boeing 767-33 AER.

Long time coming

In 2008, Challenge Air obtained a judgment from a German court which ordered Air Namibia to pay it US$6.5 million for unpaid rent, maintenance and insurance of the Boeing.

In another judgment in July 2011, Air Namibia was ordered to pay an additional US$13 million in interest on the outstanding debt.

Late last year, the Namibian government provided a guarantee of N$578 million to allow the national airline to borrow money from commercial banks and keep Challenge Air from attaching its Airbus A330-200 planes used on the Frankfurt route.

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