Disability Council wants meeting with Air Namibia

19 May 2017 | Transport

The Disability Council of Namibia will seek a meeting with Air Namibia after a wheelchair-bound passenger could not board one of the airline's flights.

The acting CEO of the Disability Council, Meliherius Haukambe, told Namibian Sun that he did not want to comment on the situation before meeting with Air Namibia.

He said he would request a meeting with Air Namibia today.

The airline, in a statement on Wednesday, said its domestic routes are serviced by the Embraer RJ 135 (ERJ) with a seat capacity of 37 passengers.

However, the ERJ aircraft does not make provision for wheelchair-bound passengers, due to its narrow size, design and weight restrictions.

The aircraft's staircase allows only one passenger at a time to board, hence the requirement that every passenger boarding this aircraft is required to climb the staircase without assistance.

The machinery used to lift disabled passengers onto the aircraft is only compatible with larger aircraft, such as the A319-100 and A330-100, used on regional and international routes respectively.

According to Air Namibia due to the size of the aircraft, it is only operated with one safety officer on board. In case of emergencies all passengers are required to be able to aid themselves during evacuation, in case the safety officer is rendered incapacitated.

“It is our future aspirations to operate bigger aircraft on our domestic routes, which can accommodate passengers on wheelchairs.

“Unfortunately, these aircraft cannot operate at some of our airports, due to limited equipment and infrastructure, domestic airports cannot accommodate bigger aircraft at the moment.”

Air Namibia on Wednesday also issued an apology to the mother of a 16-year old girl, whom the airline staff at Walvis Bay airport had refused to board last Thursday.

The apology came after the Walvis Bay resident Anastasia Helao expressed anger and grief in a newspaper report on Wednesday over the mistreatment of her wheelchair-bound daughter, Victoria Martin.

Helao said her daughter missed a doctor's appointment in Windhoek as they had to travel by road due to her disability, sustained in a car accident in 2015.

She said she had paid around N$5 000 for two air tickets last Wednesday, only to be turned away at the check-in point on Thursday morning when they were about to board the plane.

According to her the airport manager said they did not allow people in wheelchairs to get onto planes.

The manager told her that they had made a mistake in allowing her to book for the flight in the first place.


Similar News


Air Namibia returns to Ghana

4 days ago - 15 June 2018 | Transport

Air Namibia believes that its choice to resume flights to Ghana will serve it in good stead and that the airline is poised to succeed...

Nabta sticks to 20%

6 days ago - 13 June 2018 | Transport

The Namibia Buses and Taxi Association (Nabta) president Vespa Muunda has denied being in agreement with a 50% taxi fare hike as proposed last week...

Outcry against proposed 50% taxi hike

1 week ago - 12 June 2018 | Transport

Taxi users have expressed dismay over a proposed 50% fare hike demanded by the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) last week, while taxi drivers...

Taxi union demands 50% fare increase

1 week ago - 11 June 2018 | Transport

The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) is demanding a 50% taxi fare increase in three phases, starting in July and ending in December this...

Air Nam not yet paid for Sochi trip

1 week ago - 08 June 2018 | Transport

Air Namibia has yet to be paid for the National Youth Council's (NYC) chartered flight to Sochi, Russia, last October. The airline's spokesperson, Paulus...

Taxi union vows legal action

2 weeks ago - 31 May 2018 | Transport

Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) boss Werner Januarie says his threat to take legal action against the works and transport ministry will become reality...

Crisis control at Hosea

2 weeks ago - 30 May 2018 | Transport

Should urgent measures to deal with the ongoing passenger congestion at Hosea Kutako International Airport not be implemented, the dilapidated runway at Eros Airport will...

Hosea Kutako upgrade a top priority

1 month - 26 April 2018 | Transport

Upgrading Hosea Kutako International Airport has been made a top priority for government spending. The Namibia Airports Company yesterday confirmed that no other airports...

Geingob ditches unsafe Eros

1 month - 26 April 2018 | Transport

President Hage Geingob has stopped flying to and from the Eros Airport due to safety concerns linked to the dilapidated runway.The poor state of the...

NTTU regroups after strike

1 month - 25 April 2018 | Transport

At least 20 taxi owners retrieved their vehicles at a cost of N$1 000 each yesterday, after the vehicles were impounded on Monday when a...

Latest News

Kingon re-appointed as SARS commissioner

13 hours ago | Economics

South African Revenue Service (SARS) acting commissioner Mark Kingon’s time at the helm has been extended by another three months, after minister of finance Nhlanhla...

Support for refugees

13 hours ago | Economics

NDAMA NAKASHOLEA total of N$13.2 million has been allocated in 2018/19 financial year to the administration of refugees programme under the home affairs ministry.The programme...


13 hours ago | Economics

Quote of the day“The Minerals Council believes that much more work needs to be done to create a Mining Charter that promotes competitiveness, investment, growth...

Court reins in spies

13 hours ago | Justice

The flimsy fig leaf of national security and secrecy, used by government, especially the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS), to withhold information in a constitutional...

Phosphate judgment on Thursday

13 hours ago | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has reserved judgment until Thursday on whether the granting of an environmental clearance certificate to Namibian Marine Phosphate (NMP) will be...

Public grills ECN contenders

13 hours ago | Government

OGONE TLHAGEThe Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has started interviewing candidates for the position of chief electoral officer.For the first time ever, the process, which...

Otjomuise shack fire claims two

13 hours ago | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITH A shack fire in Windhoek’s Otjomuise area killed two people over the weekend.The police reported that the two...

Katrina takes time into own...

13 hours ago | Education

The education ministry has issued a directive that schools may not start earlier than 07:30 or later than 08:30.This follows numerous directives issued by the...

Two in court after drug...

13 hours ago | Justice

Two men arrested in connection with a drug bust at the port of Walvis Bay on Friday made their first court appearance yesterday. Grant Noble...

Load More