Regional air traffic in limbo

Transport Commission term expired

15 September 2020 | Transport

Windhoek • NMH

Regional airlines that carried thousands of passengers between Windhoek, Johannesburg and Cape Town before Corona restrictions, are facing payment difficulties.
Based on a proposed rescue plan, South African Airways (SAA) needs around R10.3 billion to resume flight operations. Comair, that operates British Airways flights to Namibia, has been trying to avert bankruptcy since 5 May, while the SA Express is due to be legally dissolved on 28 October.
Air Namibia cannot pay its creditors either and the airline has not yet announced when it will resume regional and long-haul flights.
Air Namibia submitted a “good business plan” to government, but it could not be implemented due to the costs involved, said public enterprise minister Leon Jooste: “We cannot simply ignore the company’s debts. In addition, the plan was drawn up before Covid-19 and the effects of the pandemic were therefore not taken into account.”
After Air Namibia had informed the Transport Commission in May that N$ 8 billion would be required to guarantee the company’s solvency, its flight licence was revoked due to the threat of bankruptcy. Air Namibia obtained an injunction in July, annulling the Commission’s decision.
Commission chairperson Eldorette Harmse, confirmed that the commission’s term of office expired on 31 August and that the minister of transport John Mutorwa has not yet made any new appointments.
According to insiders from the aviation industry, this also affects airline companies that want to make changes to their licences.
Based on this, FlyWestair, for example, submitted an application for specialised repatriation flights when the lockdown came into force.
Fred Riveiro of FlyWestair said two days ago that the private Namibian airline is currently only focusing on repatriation flights.
In the meantime, the resumption of normal air traffic between Namibia and South Africa is still uncertain.
Also, based on media reports, the private South African airline FlySafair has applied for a licence for three weekly flights from Johannesburg to Windhoek. Managing director of SA Airlink, Rodger Foster, also said that while SA Airlink is allowed to operate up to 26 flights to Namibia per week, the agreed routes are limited. “That is why on 17 September we will apply to the International Aviation Council for an extension,” Foster said.
SA Airlink previously flew from Cape Town via Walvis Bay to Windhoek and back.
Speaking to Gitta Paetzold of the Hospitality Association of Namibia, she compared the current attempts to stimulate tourism with a marathon: “We are on the home straight, but the last few meters are going to be the toughest.”
The greatest challenge is to get everyone on the same page. Clear guidelines are needed, which need to be shared internationally. “Many countries do not know what we are doing, so they are not lifting travel warnings.”
However, after the Ethiopian Airlines first landed last Friday, they learned a lot and are now working on the flow.

Similar News

 

Air Nam aeries undergo maintenance

2 months ago - 11 November 2020 | Transport

Air Namibia announced that their two Embraer Jet (ERJ) aircraft will undergo scheduled heavy maintenance checks from 16 November 2020. These checks are expected to...

Cheaper to ‘tjaila’

3 months ago - 22 October 2020 | Transport

Taxi fares will decrease to the normal rate effective from midnight tonight, thanks to the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions.Speaking at the Presidential Covid-19 public...

Air Nam flights set to resume

3 months ago - 20 October 2020 | Transport

Air Namibia announced the resumption of flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town, starting on 28 October 2020.According to a media statement, the Windhoek – Johannesburg...

FlyWestair recommences commercial flights

3 months ago - 16 October 2020 | Transport

FlyWestair announced the take-off of their first scheduled passenger flight between Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport, starting on Monday,...

Welcome back, Eurowings!

4 months ago - 21 September 2020 | Transport

Swakopmund • [email protected] is a glimmer of hope for the Namibian tourism industry after the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings became the first airline to fly here...

Qatar also heading back to Windhoek

4 months ago - 17 September 2020 | Transport

Come 15 October, Qatar Airways will be flying to Windhoek three times a week again.The announcement came earlier today, and follows the decision by Eurowings...

Eurowings makes a Namibian return

4 months ago - 17 September 2020 | Transport

Eurowings will resume their Frankfurt-Windhoek route this weekend, with the first flight landing at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) on Sunday.In a media statement,...

Ethiopian Airlines resumes Windhoek flights

4 months ago - 14 September 2020 | Transport

Passenger client volumes declined to 80% globally due to travel bans and restrictions that were imposed as a result of Covid-19, Namibia Airports Company (NAC)...

Air Nam flights suspended again

4 months ago - 01 September 2020 | Transport

Air Namibia announced the suspension of domestic flights following the extension of stage three level restrictions across the 14 regions.Restrictions were extended for two weeks...

Air Nam flights suspended again

5 months ago - 13 August 2020 | Transport

Air Namibia announced the temporary suspension of all domestic flights until 29 August 2020. This follows President Hage Geingob’s announcement that the entire country will...

Latest News

A closer look at chicken...

26th of January 10:00 | Opinion

Windhoek • Hanks SaisaiIn Namibia, chicken farming is an emerging venture that is on the rise, with a focus on producing table eggs and meat...

Fighting against hunger together

26th of January 09:29 | Social Issues

Besides causing a variety of devastating disruptions to livelihoods and economies worldwide, Covid-19 placed many countries in overwhelming levels of hunger, with the United Nations...

Exciting new opportunities for FemTech

26th of January 08:30 | Technology

DoBox and the Embassy of France announced the launching of the FemTech project to support the development of Namibia’s Female Tech Entrepreneurs.The project responds to...

New DAAD lecturer welcomed

17 hours ago | Education

The new lecturer of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Namibia, Julia Gambadatoun, was welcomed by the Deputy Head of Mission of the German...

Nuwe asem vir Honda se...

19 hours ago | Motors

Kaapstad • Dirk GallowitzHonda het sy pragtige WR-V laat verlede jaar in Suider-Afrika bekendgestel met twee modelle, naamlik die intreevlak Comfort en ’n luukser Elegance...

Desert Classic winners head to...

19 hours ago | Sports

The Nedbank Desert Classic that took place at the Rossmund Golf Course late last year, attracted a full field of players that participated in the...

Nam boasts best roads again

20 hours ago | Infrastructure

For the fifth consecutive year, Namibia retained its position of having the best roads in Africa.According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitive Report...

Go4Gold training programme kicks off

20 hours ago | Education

Despite trying times, Gondwana Collection Namibia is embarking on the third Go4Gold journey with twelve motivated and enthusiastic potential young leaders.This academy is structured around...

Groot planne vir jong skoolhoof

1 day - 25 January 2021 | People

Windhoek • [email protected] 1 Februarie, staan ’n jong vrou in groot skoene.Die 25-jarige onderwyseres, Tiandra Olivier, sal van volgende week die pos as skoolhoof van...

Load More