Namibia’s cash-strapped carrier stops flights

WINDHOEK (AFP) – Air Namibia, the southern African nation’s cash-strapped flagship carrier, suspended all operations from yesterday after a government decision to file for voluntary liquidation.

The airline has failed to turn around its fortunes despite years of state bailouts.

“All flight operations will be cancelled, with all aircraft returning to base,” Air Namibia said on social media.

Lawyers representing Air Namibia and Belgian company Challenge Air SA reached an agreement to have the carrier liquidated.

The board of the national carrier resigned on February 3.

A settlement agreement was reached in December 2019, where Air Namibia acknowledged it owed Challenge Air over NAD330 million and undertook to pay the sum in monthly instalments.

Namibia was expected to announce voluntary liquidation yesterday, which was expected to leave over 600 staff members unemployed.

Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi said about NAD8.4 billion (USD569.8 million) had been spent to bail out the airline in the past 10 years.