Paragon Investment Holdingsofficially commenced with its ground handling services at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) on Saturday.
This follows after Menzies was evicted by the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) from HKIA on Saturday morning after it ceased providing ground handling services at the airport on Friday.
According to NAC Chief Executive Officer Bisey /Uirab, “the eviction of Menzies from HKIA is in conformity with and gave practical effect to the Supreme Court’s judgement that averred that the rule of law demands that Menzies’ unlawful hold over the premises and forcing NAC to make use of its services should be put to an end, as the relevant Supreme Court judgement was implemented by evicting Menzies.”
NAC further said the eviction allowed Paragon to commence rendering ground handling services at HKIA.
“We will continue to closely liaise with all stakeholders to ensure seamless provision of ground handling services at HKIA,” /Uirab said.
Menzies and NAC entered into a written agreement for the British company to provide ground handling services at HKIA in 2014.
The agreement was for an initial period of five years and commenced on 1 January 2014. It lapsed on 31 December 2021 and was subject to the right of renewal for three years.
According to NAC, new bids were then invited prior to the termination date of the said agreement and a six months extension was agreed to between the parties from January 2022 to 30 June 2022.
“Subject to a month’s written notice of termination should the procurement process (in terms of the Public Procurement Act 15 of 2015 for ground handling services at HKIA) that was pending at the time be finalised prior to the termination date,” /Uirab said.
Furthermore, the NAC says that both Menzies and Paragon took part in the procurement process as bidders, after which, Paragon’s bid was successful.
“Menzies’ bid was disqualified on the basis of non-compliance with certain tender conditions.”
Menzies took the matter to the Review Panel but the review was dismissed during February 2022.
NAC gave a notice of termination of the agreement to Menzies last year, which the latter disputed.
Following all the tension between the two companies, the Supreme Court on 9 June 2023 authorised the eviction of Menzies from HKIA.
In a statement last week, Menzies Aviation Group CEO Philipp Joeinig insisted that NAC must issue the company at least 12 months’ notice to vacate the Hosea Kutako International Airport.
“No such notice has been given, and Menzies is not only entitled, but also obliged, to continue to provide ground handling services to the public in accordance with the highest international standards,” Joeinig said.
He argues that the finding of the High Court that a reasonable notice period is 30 days, and that Menzies will have to vacate the HKIA on receiving such notice, “was made by the High Court in circumstances where the High Court was not aware – and did not consider – the effect of the Rent Ordinance.”
“Menzies however, as a law-abiding citizen, sought and will continue to seek the required relief in court to vindicate its rights on this aspect.”