Air Namibia owes a lot of money in maintenance fees. It’s inability to pay means its A319 aircrafts are grounded until the airline can pay thousands of dollars in outstanding maintenance fees.
One aircraft, the V5-ANK, has been stranded in Larnaca, Cyprus since January. Two other aircrafts, V5-ANN and V5-ANM, are sitting at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport.
This situation leaves only two aircrafts to service regional destinations. Should the last remaining A319 suffer technical or maintenance problems, Air Namibia’s regional operations would come to a stop.
The current cash crunch that Air Namibia finds themselves in stems from an ongoing court case with the now-defunct Challenge Air. The former Belgium based airline is demanding that Air Namibia pay them N$400 million ($27 million USD) and has taken Air Namibia to court in Germany.
Air Namibia’s lack of available funds is the result of a 1998 sublease agreement that now has its assets frozen in European banks. Now the airline’s inability to pay its maintenance costs means flights have been scaled back dramatically.
Apparently, the airline has had to cancel all flights to Luanda, Angola as well as cut the number of flights between Windhoek and South Africa.
Passengers going to Luanda will have to fly on code-share partner TAAG Angola Airline. Now, Air Namibia only flies to Johannesburg once a day instead of the three previous daily flights the airline operated. As for Cape Town, flights will be reduced to two flights per day instead of the three that Air Namibia used to fly.
What will this mean for the future of Air Namibia? Time will tell.