Airline in talks over N$350m debt

Facing the seizure of its assets, Air Namibia is negotiating with the bankrupt Challenge Air SA to make payments in the millions of dollars.

12 March 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia says it is negotiating with Belgian aviation firm Challenge Air SA over the possible payment of over N$350 million for an aircraft it had leased in 1998.

The Munich Regional Appeal Court in July 2015 ruled on several payments Air Namibia had to make in respect of monies owed to Challenge Air, totalling, at today's exchange rate, in the region of N$350 million, with an added daily payment of US$1 335 in respect of unpaid maintenance.

“During recent weeks, Air Namibia has been in direct engagement with Challenge Air through their legally appointed and recognised European receiver to determine viable options to resolve the situation as rapidly and effectively as possible,” the Air Namibia board said in a statement.

The board said the airline was right when it refused to engage with local Challenge Air representative Wilhelm Shali.

“The Namibian courts have not officially recognised any local liquidator for Challenge Air and the question as to the validity of the arbitral award remains sub judice. Therefore, Air Namibia will not acknowledge, engage or negotiate with any Namibian individuals or companies purporting to be official representatives of Challenge Air in Namibia,” the board said.

It is unfortunate that certain individuals have chosen to create incorrect perceptions about the facts in this matter, thereby attempting to unduly influence Air Namibia for their personal gain, and to engage underhandedly to pre-empt the outcome before the Namibian High Court has pronounced itself on the matter.”

Challenge Air's lawyers, Clerens Legal Partners, which instructed Belgian attorney Anicet Baum to act on its behalf, warned Air Namibia's management that it would not be engaging any of the airline's legal representatives if Shali or law firm Sisa Namandje Incorporated were not part of the process.

“To be even more clear and explicit, at the risk of overly repeating ourselves, Mr Anicet Baum, sole challenger of Challenge Air SA, is formal that he nor any lawyer representing him as sole receiver, does not want to negotiate with Mr (Johan) Durnez who has been given power of attorney by Air Namibia and that negotiations have never started with Mr Durnez (sic),” Clerens Legal Partners said in a letter.

The lawyers warned Air Namibia that its refusal to engage Shali or Sisa Namandje Incorporated would see it “execute” (lay claim to monies and property).

“We want to make it very clear that, as already indicated and confirmed to you by our previous letters, all negotiations with respect to this matter must be conducted through Mr Wilhelm Shali and Sisa Namandje Incorporated who have full authority thereto.

“If you prefer not to negotiate under the aforementioned conditions, we will just continue to execute in Germany, Europe and the whole world if necessary, so as to enforce the rights of our client, Mr Baum, pursuant to the final and binding arbitral awards and court orders,” Clerens Legal Partners added.

Shali, has described the situation as unfortunate.

“Air Namibia is fully aware that the judgment in Munich is valid and is being executed. I do not understand why they are quiet as if it is business as usual, when even Challenge Air informs them that we have the mandate to resolve the issues,” Shali said.

Air Namibia had, according to him, been asked to amicably solve the matter.

“We are willing to come to the table, as we have always been. Let them come and we see ways and means to resolve the issues. Of course, if they choose not to engage in discussions then they are the ones responsible for the mess they are putting our national airline in; it's sad,” he said.





OGONE TLHAGE

Similar News

 

'We are not going to worship Geingob'

5 days ago - 15 March 2019 | Transport

President Hage Geingob has come under heavy fire from taxi boss Werner Januarie after State House cancelled a meeting with Namibian Transport and Taxi Union...

Two NAC execs off the hook

5 days ago - 15 March 2019 | Transport

Two executive managers at the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) appear to have been vindicated following the conclusion of disciplinary processes into alleged corruptive practices at...

World turns on Boeing

6 days ago - 14 March 2019 | Transport

Namibia has joined the growing list of countries that have banned Boeing's B737 MAX 8 aircraft from landing at their airports following a crash in...

TransNamib property worth N$2.4 billion

1 week ago - 13 March 2019 | Transport

TransNamib says it is has not decided whether any of its assets will be sold. Cabinet last year approved a request by the company to...

Taxi drivers want Geingob

1 week ago - 12 March 2019 | Transport

The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) has urged President Hage Geingob to address taxi drivers personally in order to restore their faith in the...

Airline in talks over N$350m debt

1 week ago - 12 March 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia says it is negotiating with Belgian aviation firm Challenge Air SA over the possible payment of over N$350 million for an aircraft it...

Lengthy suspensions discouraged

1 week ago - 11 March 2019 | Transport

The lengthy suspension of four staff members at the Namibia Airports Company has been criticised by transport minister John Mutorwa.When he announced the appointment of...

No decision on Chinese financing

1 week ago - 11 March 2019 | Transport

No decision has been made on who will finance the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) project, says transport minister John Mutorwa. This contradicts earlier media...

Air Namibia unable to escape N$350m storm

1 week ago - 08 March 2019 | Transport

Air Namibia's attempts to directly engage Challenge Air SA over a N$350 million debt have suffered another setback, as attempts by their Belgian lawyer to...

Major developments in logistics

1 week ago - 08 March 2019 | Transport

Although Namibia's logistics sector grew by 16.1% between 2007 and 2017, major developments are needed if the country is to become a logistics hub for...

Latest News

Africa Briefs

2 hours ago | Economics

No end date for Eskom’s power cutsSouth Africa's public enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said yesterday he cannot say yet when rolling blackouts will end, as...

Cob plundering suspects nabbed

2 hours ago | Crime

Leandrea Louw Two men arrested on Saturday for allegedly being in possession of 60 large cob made their first appearance in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s...

Unfinished pipeline impacts 7 000...

2 hours ago | Infrastructure

About 6 932 people and 33 790 large and 18 395 small stock units are facing thirst, as the agriculture ministry battles to finish the...

Apple unveils new iPad, updates...

2 hours ago | Technology

Sonam RaiApple Inc, in a surprise move on Monday, launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and updated its iPad Mini ahead of a March 25...

Climate change and productivity

2 hours ago | Agriculture

Climate change is a long-term change in climatic/weather patterns of the earth or region. Such change is observed in temperature and rainfall patterns, amongst others....

Palladium hits record high

2 hours ago | Business

Palladium surged to a record yesterday as the risk of a ban on some Russian exports added to supply concerns for the autocatalyst metal. Spot...

State supports non-compliant security firms

2 hours ago | Business

Employers and trade unions agree that one of the major issues facing the Namibian security services industry is that some government institutions continue to appoint...

Company news in brief

2 hours ago | Business

Steinhoff ex-chairman open to talksFormer Steinhoff chairman and top shareholder Christo Wiese is open to negotiations over his US$4 billion claim against the company, he...

Agri ministry sidesteps timber issues

2 hours ago | Agriculture

The ministry has sidestepped key questions on whether it will re-implement the ban on the export of unprocessed timber until a local value addition processing...

Load More