Fly Namibia Aviation has taken the legal route to reject an air transport service licence of an airline named Fly Etosha Airways by retired pilot captain William Ekandjo.
This week, Ekandjo in an interview with local media said his airline is set to start flying around mid-year.
However, Fly Namibia through its lawyers Ellis & Partners legal practitioner filed an objection on the application to grant Ekandjo the licence, arguing that Ekandjo does not have the funds as he claims.
They say that Ekandjo only states that the capital will be sourced through ‘long term bank loans and shareholders capital’ to which Fly Namibia said is not substantiated.
Ekandjo’s application was published in the government gazette No. 8013 dated 24 January 2023.
According to Fly Namibia, in the government gazette, Ekandjo failed to publish any details under the headings frequency and timetable to which the service will be operated and proposed tariff of charges or fares.
“The publication of the application in the government gazette is substantially incomplete in that it does not reflect the minimum requirements posed by the act and is thus defective,” said Fly Namibia.
Hence it said on this basis, Ekandjo’s application cannot proceed.
The airline also argues that Ekandjo’s application refers to an attached balance sheet, which actually comprises a ‘projected’ balance sheet for his first year of business.
“The values contained in the projected balance sheet are purely speculative and not based on any substantiated projections,” it said.
Fly Namibia further said the Ekandjo did not put forth a detailed business plan and merely refers to the performance of the now defunct airline, Air Namibia.
They added that Ekandjo failed to comply with what is prescribed under 4(1)(b) of the act.
The legal instructions further said there is nothing on this aspect before the commission which would allow it to evaluate whether Ekandjo has sufficient capital available for financing a safe, satisfactory and reliable air service.
In this vein, Fly Namibia called for the application to be dismissed.
According to Ekandjo’s admission he currently owns 12 aircraft valued at between N$670 million and N$950 million.
Ekandjo intends on leasing 12 aircraft, whose monthly fixed rental will amount to no less than approximately N$ 74 million.
“Our instructions are that the applicant does not own the aircraft as alleged in his application,” said Fly Namibia.
Fly Namibia reasoned that Ekandjo failed to include any proof of ownership to the aircraft.
However, it has invited Ekandjo to provide proof should he have proof of ownership in the form of certificates of registration and bills of sale.
“In the premises, the commission has no aircraft documentation, which would allow it to evaluate whether the applicant has access to such aircraft and whether it can render a safe, satisfactory and reliable air service using such aircraft.”
On maintenance of facilities, Fly Namibia argues that Ekandjo owns 12 aircraft but failed to attach a single maintenance agreement entered into between himself and the maintenance organisations listed in his application.
Fly Namibia stressed that there is no proof before the commission that maintenance organisations have agreed to render maintenance services to Ekandjo.
On ground handling services, it said the application by Ekandjo also failed to provide proof of ground handling services.
Furthermore, it said Ekandjo’s application failed to mention third-party liability insurance, which Fly Namibia says is prescribed by the act and its regulations.
“In relation to pilot licences, we point out that, at least three of the seven pilot licences have expired, none of those pilots are rated to fly the Cessna Grand Caravan, Beechcraft 1900, King Air 350, ATR 42, ATR 72, Dash 8 or F- 50 all of which are to be used by the applicant).”
Fly Namibia indicated that Ekandjo failed to provide any proof that he has secured services of a training organisation to render training to him and his personnel.
The lawyers said at the outset of the hearing of the application, Fly Namibia will make an application to the commission requesting it to exercise its discretion.
“In that the Applicant should be directed to confirm the allegations of fact, made by him in the application, under oath.”
Fly Namibia concludes that Ekandjo failed to provide the commission with sufficient proof that he will be able to render a safe, satisfactory and reliable air service.
“In the premises, we humbly pray that the application be dismissed,” lamented Fly Namibia.