Air Namibia resumes flights to Zimbabwe

30 October 2018 | Transport

Air Namibia has resumed its flights to Zimbabwe that were cancelled because of a lawsuit in which a Zimbabwean family is suing the airline for US$1 million.

Air Namibia spokesman Paul Nakawa says flights to Harare and Victoria Falls resumed on Sunday.

Flights from Windhoek to Harare are on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, whereas the Windhoek to Victoria Falls route is operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Nakawa says the resumption follows a Zimbabwe High Court ruling lifting the attachment of Air Namibia property or aircraft in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean family filed a US$1 million lawsuit for inconvenience suffered after they were allegedly deported after having been detained for two days by Air Namibia officials in Windhoek last year.

The applicants in the matter are Chenjerai, Fadzai, Rutendo and Tadiwanashe Mawumba and Juliana Magombedze.

They applied to the Zimbabwean court to attach Air Namibia property in Zimbabwe.

Nakawa said the family was to travel to Turkey and Air Namibia denied them boarding for travelling through Germany on advice received from the German border police. On 27 June this year the High Court of Zimbabwe made an ex parte order for the attachment of Air Namibia property or aircraft in Zimbabwe without notifying the parties.

“An attempt of attachment took place on 5 October, which was successfully avoided by Air Namibia, specifically on the basis of the fact that the aircraft in terms of which the attachment was to take place did not belong to Air Namibia,” said Nakawa. As a result Air Namibia suspended its flights to Harare and Victoria Falls on 8 October.

From 6 to 27 October, the airline diverted its flights between Hosea Kutako International Airport and Victoria Falls to Livingstone in Zambia. Nakawa said Air Namibia subsequently obtained alternative legal counsel who arranged for the matter to be heard by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe.

An application to this effect was heard on 23 October in which Air Namibia was granted an extension of time in which to file an appeal and condonation was equally granted to Air Namibia to file its opposing papers by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe.

The Supreme Court made the order with costs against the passengers who were denied boarding. The order has the effect of staying the previous ex parte order that had facilitated the attachment of the Air Namibia aircraft.

“We are confident that this matter will come to a conclusion soon and trust that Air Namibia can count on your continued support, as we continue to offer the most professional and pleasant experience for our passengers,” said Nakawa.



ELLANIE SMIT

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