Africa

Namibia: Court Set to Seal Air Namibia’s Fate

The Windhoek High Court is today expected to grant a final order for Air Namibia’s liquidation after the embattled national airline was placed under provisional liquidation in late February.

Acting High Court Judge Kobus Miller had postponed the matter to today in which the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) petitioned the court for Air Namibia’s compulsory liquidation.

Air Namibia ended its operations in early February after government opted for its voluntary liquidation following uninterrupted operations spanning for some 75 years, leaving over 600 without jobs.

Miller had issued an order to show cause to allow interested parties to give reasons why Air Namibia should not be liquidated and placed in the hands of the Master of the High Court on or before 26 March.

In his affidavit, NAC CEO Bisey /Uirab says the airports company, as well as Challenge Air, should receive preference over other creditors in the winding-up process. He further said the airline owes NAC close to N$714 million for aeronautical services, ground handling service and rental at various aerodromes across Namibia.

According to /Uirab, Belgian liquidators of Challenge Air are in a position to gobble up all of the proceeds of a sale in execution of Air Namibia’s assets should the airline be allowed to go down the road of voluntary liquidation, leaving the rest of its creditors high and dry.

Belgian liquidators have already attached movable assets of Air Namibia for failing to pay about N$103.2 million earlier this year as per agreement reached on 29 January. The national airline was due to pay the first instalment of 5.8 million euros (N$103.2 million) two weeks following an out-of-court settlement that was made an order of the court in January.

The remaining amount of 4 million euros (N$72.3 million) would have been paid in monthly instalments, with the final payment due in January next year, according to the agreement.