The country's transport authority suspended the licence of the struggling national airline. However, a court has revoked the measure and Air Namibia can continue flying. Their problems are not solved.
The Transport Commission of Namibia sent a letter to Managing Director Elia Erastus and Chairman Escher Luanda earlier this week. Air Namibia’s permission to operate scheduled flights has been withdrawn until July, 22 , it said. Only charter flights are still possible, the authority informed the two highest representatives of the national airline.
In its letter, the authority explained: «In addition to its concerns about the financial situation of Air Namibia, the Commission is aware of a failed safety audit by Iata.» According to the Transport Commission, an airline must be «financially capable of ensuring safe, satisfactory and reliable operations» and this is not currently apparent from the national airline. On several occasions, the management had been asked to submit a report on the safety deficiencies listed in the so-called Iosa audit, but this had not been done.
For Air Namibia the withdrawal of the licence is fatal. Because at the moment it earns at least some money with domestic flights. The corona crisis has already vost the airline at least 59 million euros, as the management recently declared. And even before that, it was chronically in the red and had to be supported financially by the state time and again.
But the shock did not last long: apparently Air Namibia intervened successfully. The country’s supreme court lifted the withdrawal of permission for scheduled flights on Wednesday (July, 8). All domestic flights will therefore continue to be operated, the airline said in a statement. The financial problems and safety deficiencies, however, have still not been resolved. President Hage Geingob had recently pleaded for the liquidation of Air Namibia due to its chronic deficits.