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Air Namibia faces eviction over unpaid airport fees

Posted 14 August 2017 · Add Comment

Air Namibia is facing eviction at its home base because of outstanding debts, reports ch-aviation.

The airline owes NAD200 million (USD15 million) to the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) for ground handling, rent, aircraft maintenance and aeronautical services.

NAC operates eight airports across Namibia, seven of which the airline operates from. It could could be banned from using these if a settlement is not reached. An earlier loan repayment plan, negotiated in January 2017, has not been adhered to.

Part of the NAD200 million Air Namibia owes is from airport taxes collected from passengers through ticket sales. So far, the carrier has failed to pass this tax on to the NAC.

"The debt has resulted in significant challenges in the ability of the NAC to deliver on its statutory mandate, and has caused an exceedingly challenging cash flow situation," said NAC chairperson Rodgers Kauta.

Air Namibia spokesperson Paulus Nakawa said that denying the airline service would be detrimental to both the carrier and the NAC. Air Namibia is the NAC's largest customer, making up 50% of capacity at Windhoek Int'l.

"It has been explained that Air Namibia tries to meet its obligations to the NAC within the available limited means. It, however, needs to be stressed that neither organisation can exist without the other," Nakawa said. He also admitted that the airline had neglected to service its NAC debt as agreed.

"There was indeed a proposal made to the NAC to this effect, which became difficult to honour as a result of various extraneous influences such as currency fluctuations, among others," Nakawa said.

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