A few weeks after resuming international charter flights and a few days after President Hage Geingob said Air Namibia must be liquidated, the national airline announced that it was grounding its fleet indefinitely.
The airline announced the decision on Monday on its twitter.
The message read: Air Namibia wishes to inform the flying public that all charter flights have been discontinued immediate effect, until further notice.
Air Namibia operates a fleet of 10 aircraft from Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport and Windhoek Eros Airport. Among the fleet the A330s that are leased for about N$15 million per month.
Former finance minister Calle Schlettwein refused to bail out Air Namibia when the airline begged for N$2 billion, while the new minister Ipumbu Shiimi allocated N$984.6m for 2020/21.
This latest development comes after Geingob said during his state of the nation address in parliament that Air Namibia must be liquidated.
“We have a serious problem with Air Namibia. It must be restructured. It is not making any profits and it is just being bailed out. We must do something about it,” Geingob said.
Before Geingob’s comments, the Cabinet Committee on Treasury that met last Wednesday had also agreed that the loss-making airline must be liquidated.
Eagle FM understands that the issue will be now be brought before the Cabinet Committee on Overall Policies and Priorities.
The issue of Air Namibia’s possible liquidation has been on the table in the past few years now.
In June 2019, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste said the cabinet committee on policy was considering the liquidation of Air Namibia as it looks towards the future of the ailing parastatal.
At the time, Jooste said the Cabinet committee on public enterprises was tasked to appoint a consultant to evaluate the airline’s feasibility.
In the past, Jooste has also said that liquidating the airline would cost the government about N$2,5 billion.