Cash squeeze has Air Namibia sweating

17 July 2017 | Local News

It never rains but pours for Air Namibia.

The beleaguered national airline has been dealt another blow as the Ministry of Works and Transport informed its management that it is unable to honour its subsidy this month.

The news came on the same day that Air Namibia found out that the four aircrafts it leased from a French firm have been sold to Westair, reportedly without the management’s knowledge.

Westair is Namibia’s biggest private aviation company.

Works and Transport permanent secretary Willem Goeiemann last week wrote to the Air Namibia management, saying government was unable to honour the July subsidy due to the national airline.

“The Ministry of Works and Transport would like to inform Air Namibia that due to a very limited ceiling (fund allocation) for July received from treasury, the ministry is unable to pay for your government subsidy allocation. The ministry therefore advice Air Namibia to kindly makes other financial provisions to pay its leases, maintenance and fuel for July 2017,” Goeiemann wrote.

The ministry further requested in the letter that Air Namibia provide a table of all government funding and disbursements for the financial year 2017/18.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Goeimann told Namibian Sun that the matter is under discussion. He could not provide the exact subsidy amount due to Air Namibia.

The airline’s spokesperson Paul Nakawa said they have acknowledged receipt of the government communication. “Air Namibia is busy engaging the ministry, and the way forward will be shared at a later stage,” he said.

The airline too remained mum on questions about how much it pays for leases, maintenance and fuel and how it impact its operations.

Uncertainty

Meanwhile, Air Namibia also learned on Wednesday that the four planes, leased since 2011 from Air France, are now owned by Westair.

The transaction between Westair and Air France transpired without the knowledge of Air Namibia's board or management.

Nakawa last week issued a notice to the airline's staff, saying it was not aware of the sale of the planes to Westair until Wednesday last week.

He said the company from which Air Namibia leases the four Embraer aircrafts for domestic and regional routes sold the planes to Westair.

“Management is busy attending to the matter therefore management request all staff to remain calm and it is hoped that operation will continue undisturbed while engagements are ongoing,” he said.

Nakawa said in the notice that there is a possibility that Westair will be substituted as the new lessor.

Meanwhile, Nakawa told Namibian Sun that Air Namibia has a valid and legally binding lease agreement with Air France/ HOP for the utilisation of the four Embraer Jet aircrafts.

According to him, the lease agreement with HOP ends early next year.

“Upon the expiry of the agreement the status will be assessed. Air Namibia expects the operations to continue as normal, without any interruptions. Due to obligations pertaining to confidentiality, the airline is not in a position to elaborate further.”

He did not respond to questions whether there was a breach in contract and if legal action would be considered.

It is reported that there are claims of several top ministers who are pushing for a private aviation company to benefit from Air Namibia deals.

Westair Group managing director Gustav Holz could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The Minister of Works and Transport, Alpheus !Naruseb, said he was informed by Air Namibia board chairperson Gerson Tjihenuna about the planes that were sold last week Wednesday.

“Other than that I have no clue what is going on with these deals,” he said.

ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Kuvukiland time bomb

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Kuvukiland, Tsumeb's largest informal area, has grown from a mere ten inhabitants in 2010 to anywhere between 6 500 and 15 000 people, a Namibian...

Baster community to debate new leadership

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

A newly established committee is calling on interested Rehoboth Baster people to attend a community meeting at Rehoboth on Sunday, 11 March at 15:00. The...

SA to discuss Namibian corruption

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

A roundtable discussion hosted in South Africa, to discuss whether anti-corruption efforts in Namibia have reached a tipping point, has raised eyebrows. The discussion is...

Child support in shambles

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Namibia's robust child maintenance law continues to fail many people because a myriad of flaws undercuts its potential, often leaving single parents and their offspring...

Ya Ndakolo a popile elando lyofaalama

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Elando lyofaalama ndjoka olya popiwa nokukundathana mopaliamende yoshilongo mEtiyai.Minista Penda Ya Ndakolo, okwa popi ngaaka sha landula oolopota kutya omuleli gwoshilongo na okuli Komanda...

Ta ya nyenyeta egandjo lyuukwatya waakondjelimanguluko

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Mombaaapila ye ndjoka a shangele omudhindoli gwoshifokundaneki, Jahrs okwa popi kutya epangelo inali talako aahwahwameki ya za komahala ga yooloka ngaashi Vaalgras muumbugantu...

Aailongi yaUnam ya kwathele omwiilongi omukwawo

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Aailongi moshiputudhilo shoUniversiti yaNamibia, moKhomasdal oya futilemo mondholongo omwiilongi omukwawo, mompangulilo yaMangestrara gwaKatutura mEtitatu. Muukumwe aaiilongi mboka oga gongele oshimaliwa shooN$1 500, opo ya fute...

Oongangala tadhi li nedhina lyaminista

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Local News

Ominista yUundjolowele nOnkalonawa, Bernhard Haufiku oya kunkilile oshigwana opo shilopote kehe gumwe ngoka ta hehela iimaliwa nedhina lye, konima sho oondokotola dhimwe po dha...

IPPR gets global thumbs-up

3 days ago - 22 February 2018 | Local News

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has been rated 35th out of an estimated 664 think tanks in sub-Saharan Africa. The IPPR was further...

Omaheke also gets maternity waiting home

3 days ago - 22 February 2018 | Local News

The Omaheke Regional Health Directorate will on Friday inaugurate a new maternity waiting home constructed through funding from the European Union (EU).The waiting home will...

Latest News

DebMarine prelims to kick off...

1 day - 24 February 2018 | Sports

The DebMarine Namibia Cup kicks off on 3 March countrywide, with clubs in the first and second divisions battling it out to secure a place...

Outjo donkey abattoir off the...

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Agriculture

Plans to build a donkey abattoir in Outjo have folded.Fu-Hai Trading Enterprises, reportedly co-owned by Swakopmund estate agent Shane Quinton Hangula and a Chinese business...

One Africa Television Chief Executive...

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Business

Namibia’s first ever free-to-air, independent TV broadcaster in Namibia, One Africa Television was founded in 2003, the brainchild of Namibian photographer and businessman, the late...

3 Key Social Media Trends...

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Education

Like it or not, you are recruiting in the world of Google. Just as easily as you can go to the Internet to look things...

Union warns private schools

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKES The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) intends to clamp down on fly-by-night private schools that allegedly exploit...

Mwoombola fights back

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Justice

Former health permanent secretary Andreas Mwoombola has launched a two-fold application in the Labour Court, in which he wants to court to either halt his...

Elephants cause havoc

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Environment

Several elephant herds have over the past few weeks caused havoc on farms in the Outjo District, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in...

The Basics of Branding

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Business

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it...

How to Communicate Effectively in...

2 days ago - 23 February 2018 | Education

Communication is essential for the smooth running of a business, whether it is between colleagues, with a client or with customers.With technology creating a multitude...

Load More