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

 

Locals 'ripped' off in land sales

9 hours ago | Local News

The chief of the Uukwangali Traditional Authority, Eugene Siwombe Kudumo, is concerned about the issue where locals sell their land along the Okavango River to...

Bogus land sales rock Rundu

9 hours ago | Local News

A senior employee of the Rundu Town Council (RTC) has been handed over to the Sisa Namandje Legal Practitioner Law Firm in respect of an...

Ompumbwe yomahooli monooli ya kandulwa po

9 hours ago | Local News

Ehangano lyomahooli olya tula po oompungulilo yomahooli mOndangwa onga omukalo gwokuya moshipala ompumbwe yomahooli monooli unene pomathimbo gomafudho.Ominista yIikwankondo nIikwamina, Obeth Kandjoze, oya pandula ehangano...

Inamu landitha po we evi lyeni- Omukwaniilwa Kudumo

9 hours ago | Local News

Sho a ningi oonkundathana noshifkundnaeki shoNamibian Sun moNkurenkuru moshitopolwa shaKavango West, Kudumo okwa popi kutya aantu ye mboka yeli popepi nomulonga otaya tembuka nokulanditha po...

Aanona yekondjelomanguluko yaponokela aanambelewa yokudhima omulilo

9 hours ago | Local News

Kape na ngoka a tulwa miipandeko mEtitano lya piti, sho aanyasha mboka ya valelwa mekondjelomanguluko muupongekwa ya ponokele iiyenditho yaantu mwakwatelwa oshiyenditho shaanambelewa yokudhima omulilo.Iiponokela...

Omundohotola Ndume a tumbalekwa

9 hours ago | Local News

Epapa ndyoka olya gandjwa komukwaniilwa gUukwanyama Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu, mOlyomakaya pombala yoshilongo shUukwanyama, mOmhedi.Oshituthi shoka osha kaliwa kaakwashigwana, aaleli yopamuthigululwakalo oshowo yopapolotika, ...

Fishermen claim 200 hours overtime

1 day - 24 July 2017 | Local News

The office of the Labour Commissioner at Walvis Bay last week advised two fishermen Sam Frans and Abisai Katula not to lodge a dispute with...

Ovenduka tayi kondjo mokukaleka po oonzo dhomeya

1 day - 24 July 2017 | Local News

Elelo lyoshilando shaVenduka otali longo nuudhiginini opo li vule okuyambulapo oonzo dhomeya moshilando shoka shataalela onkalo yompumbwe yomeya, na osha hala okushunitha pevi omwaalu gwomeya...

Aalongi yomomeya taya pula iifuta yolutayima yoowili 200

1 day - 24 July 2017 | Local News

Ombelewa yaKomufala gwAaniilonga mOmbaye, oya gandja omayele kaaniilonga yaali yomomeya Sam Frans naAbisai Katula opo kaya tulilemo oshipotha ehangano lyoMarco Fishing omolwa iifuta yawo yolutayima...

Inaku tokolwa natango kombinga yoRCC

1 day - 24 July 2017 | Local News

Ominista yoPublic Enterprises, Leon Jooste oya popi mEtitano lya piti kutya inaku ningwa natango etokolo kombinga yonakuyiwa yehangano lyoRoads Construction Company (RCC).Jooste okwa popi kutya...

Latest News

Swapo to deal with Swartbooi

9 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba says the ruling party will deal with parliamentarian Bernadus Swartbooi over controversial comments he made at the weekend in...

Under-fire governor claims he was...

9 hours ago | Cultural

ILENI NANDJATOOmusati governor Erginus Endjala has apologised for private remarks in which he spoke against the Aandonga people and certain politicians.An hour-long audio recording involving...

Namibian rhino to be sculpted...

9 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

ELLANIE SMIT A life-sized rhino made from Namibian marble and sculpted by a world-renowned artist will soon be auctioned...

State to appeal Hoff conviction

9 hours ago | Justice

FRED GOEIEMAN The State is not satisfied that a woman who had conspired to kill her husband was only found...

Hardap alleviates Neckartal water woes

9 hours ago | Infrastructure

STAFF REPORTERNamWater will funnel crucial water from the Hardap Dam to the Neckartal Dam construction site in order to alleviate critical water shortages there and...

TransNamib manager out on bail

9 hours ago | Justice

CATHERINE SASMANTransNamib’s head of procurement accused of corruption, Chris Simataa, was granted bail of N$60 000 by the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Friday and was...

Desert Rose EIA under scrutiny

9 hours ago | Infrastructure

The developers of the Desert Rose project are keen to get the project rolling, having recently submitted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the N$8-billion...

Brother nabbed for fondling sister

9 hours ago | Crime

The Namibian police at Okatope in the Oshikoto Region on Sunday arrested a 27-year-old man for allegedly fondling the genitals of his biological sister.The crime...

Two men arrested for ivory

9 hours ago | Crime

Two residents of Katutura who were on Friday found in possession of two elephant tusks briefly appeared in the Magistrate's Court in Windhoek yesterday morning....

Load More