The cash Strapped airline, Air Namibia will be grounded from midnight tonight after it failed to secure enough fund to remain solvent, voiding its air licence.
According to a report from Reuters, Air Namibia’s aircraft will be grounded from 12: am on July 8 after the national carrier only received a tenth of the funding needed to remain solvent. The airline needs around $469 million to keep it afloat, but the amount provided in last month’s budget fell woefully short.
In a statement released by head of the transport commission, Eldorette Harmse he said “This is scarcely 12% of the amount stated as needed by the management of the airline.”
“The withdrawal of its air licence means it is prohibited from operating commercial flights. It will however be permitted to undertake humanitarian evacuation and repatriation flights under its non-scheduled air services licence, which is valid for the duration of the State of Emergency due to the coronavirus.”
The firm’s financial woes pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged air travel around the world due to the stand-still in tourism. It has failed to produce financial statements in recent years, a requirement of Namibia’s Air Services Act.
In January it faced serious allegations around safety, operations, and its finances, contained in an audit report published by German airline Lufthansa. It has yet to resolve those issues.
Air Namibia also owes its main creditor, the now-defunct Belgian company ChallengeAir SA, 12.3 million euros ($13.88 million). The European firm has applied to the Namibian High Court to have the carrier liquidated.
Air Namibia has a workforce of around 800 and a fleet of 10 aircraft. It has been operating busy regional routes to Cape Town, Harare and Luanda, as well as its one international route to Frankfurt.
Additional information from reuters.com