Americans seek N$2.3bn payment for aircraft lease

The Americans, who rejected attempts to exit an agreement that earned them N$32 million monthly from Air Namibia, are seeking final payment from the Namibian government, which was bonded to the lease agreement as a guarantor.

29 March 2021 | Transport



Government is busy negotiating terms of paying N$2.3 billion for two aircraft leased from an American company by liquidated Air Namibia.

Air Namibia was officially liquidated on Friday after no opposing papers were filed against a liquidation application brought by the Namibia Airports Company (NAC), which the national airline owes N$714 million.

And while many Air Namibia creditors will queue up to file for claims against the defunct airline, American aircraft leaser Castlelake will wait for its billions, after then minister of finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila bonded government to the deal as guarantor to the costly lease.

Castlelake bought Intrepid Aircraft Leasing LLC, which originally leased the planes to Air Namibia. With liquidation wrapped up, the Americans now want their planes back – as well as the N$2.3 billion owed to it by government after Air Namibia stopped paying for the leases.

According to the lease agreement, Air Namibia had to pay US$1.1 million (N$16 million) per aircraft per month – a figure the national airline could not consistently keep up with.


Agonised by the huge payments, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste in 2019 jetted to the USA to engage executives of the leasing companies with a view to exit the agreement, something that the Americans seemingly rejected because there was no exit clause in the agreement.

Approached for comment yesterday, Jooste said: “We are in the process of negotiating a settlement.” He did not detail what the nuts and bolts of the said settlement entail.

Irish planes to jet out

Meanwhile, two aircraft belonging to Irish company Air Lease 80 are set to leave Namibia. The planes, the largest in Air Namibia's fleet and which serviced the Windhoek-Frankfurt route, were scheduled to leave Namibia on 26 March but Namibian Sun can confirm that they remain parked at Hosea Kutako airport.

Air Lease 80 has ordered that its two 244-seater planes be delivered soonest to Leipzig, Germany.

The owners demanded the return of the planes after the government officially announced its intentions to liquidate Air Namibia.

Air Namibia's lease agreement on the Airbus plane stretched from May 2012 to October 2025, but the government's decision to shut the national airline down means this agreement would have to be cancelled – at a cost of around N$2.4 billion, The Namibian reported last month.

End of the flight

What remained of Air Namibia's wings was clipped on Friday when the High Court formalised the liquidation, after no opposition to this was filed against NAC's application. Liquidators Bruni & Mclaren have been instructed to oversee payment of creditors, who have to lodge their applications against the liquidated national airline.

The airline, whose liquidation has divided public opinion, had been bailed out to the tune of nearly N$9 billion over the past decade. President Hage Geingob first hinted at liquidation during his State of the Nation Address last year. This year, Cabinet collectively resolved to liquidate the company, which had over 600 employees.

Liquidating Air Namibia will cost the taxpayer about N$5.6 billion. The company's combined assets are worth just over N$900 million, far too little to cover what is owed to a myriad of local and foreign creditors.

Similar News


NABTA calls for toll gates

6 days ago - 17 June 2021 | Transport

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKThe Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA) has called for the introduction...

NABTA calls for toll gates

1 week ago - 16 June 2021 | Transport

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKThe Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (NABTA) has called for the introduction of toll gates to level the playing field...

Old railway to blame for accidents

3 weeks ago - 31 May 2021 | Transport

TANJA BAUSE WINDHOEKIn the last four months, six TransNamib locomotives and 42 wagons...

Walvis Bay ranks above SA harbours

3 weeks ago - 28 May 2021 | Transport

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The Port of Walvis Bay has been ranked above South African...

N$278m payment for Air Namibia staff

1 month - 06 May 2021 | Transport

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKGovernment has paid part of N$278 million reserved for ex-gratia payments to...

Taxi union wants 10% increase

1 month - 03 May 2021 | Transport

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe taxi union wants a 10% increase in taxi fares, effective 15...

TransNamib needs to double its locomotives

1 month - 03 May 2021 | Transport

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKTransNamib will need to double the number of locomotives it has at...

Jooste dispels lease lawsuit fears

1 month - 29 April 2021 | Transport

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKPublic enterprises minister Leon Jooste has given his assurance that government will not be sued over the cancellation of a...

Vivo Energy Namibia rewards top retailers

2 months ago - 15 April 2021 | Transport

Staff reporter Vivo Energy Namibia, the marketer and distributor of Shell branded petroleum and lubricant products in Namibia, recognised and rewarded top performing retailers...

Swakop tracks cleared after accident

2 months ago - 09 April 2021 | Transport

IRENE-MARI VAN DER WALT SWAKOPMUND The scene of the railway crash in...

Latest News

Samherji apologises for Fishrot corruption

13 hours ago | Fishing

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKIcelandic seafood giant Samherji yesterday tendered an apology for the company’s role in the multimillion-dollar fishing scandal, dubbed Fishrot, but it maintains that no...

Board compels Namdia CEO to...

13 hours ago | Labour

MATHIAS HAUFIKUWINDHOEKThe Namibia Desert Diamonds’ (Namdia) board of directors has issued the company’s CEO Kennedy Hamutenya with a final written warning and directed him to...

Ovaherero foundation hits back at...

13 hours ago | Cultural

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKThe Ovaherero Genocide Foundation (OGF) has hit back at the Forum of German-speaking Namibians, which recently rebuked threats that Namibian descendants of German genocide...

Mozambique gas plan on track...

13 hours ago | Economics

Italian energy company Eni on Monday said that an offshore gas project in Mozambique's insurgent-hit north was still on track to start operating in 2022...

Congo, China agree on debt...

13 hours ago | Economics

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday agreed in principle to a restructuring of Congo's vast debts, an issue which was blocking negotiations with the International...

Taking personal responsibility

13 hours ago | Opinion

As a flurry of new Covid-19 cases continues to be revealed, especially in Windhoek, which is now the epicentre of the pandemic in Namibia, divergent...

NBC employees dump Napwu

13 hours ago | Labour

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) has lost its bargaining power to negotiate on behalf of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) employees.NBC director-general Stanley...

South African pensioners fear vaccination

13 hours ago | Economics

KIM HARRISBERGWhen Esther Dhlamini went to collect her pension in Johannesburg's Soweto township, she was surprised to find a local bishop on hand to calm...

Ohangwena governor denounces vaccine conspiracies

13 hours ago | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATIOhangwena regional health director John Hango says Namibians should stop spreading conspiracy theories around the vaccine and has urged that they go out in...

Load More