You can add Air Namibia to the list of African airlines that are in trouble (Kenya Airways and South African Airways are also on that list). What makes Air Namibia different is that they aren’t sure how much trouble they’re in, as they don’t know how much money they owe or how much money they need to operate going forward.
Air Namibia, the state-owned airline of Namibia, is at a point where banks are refusing to grant them credit to fund their day-to-day operations, after they’ve failed to publish annual reports for over 10 years (is the 10 year mark really the point at which you start to be concerned as a bank over the lack of annual reports?).
The small airline has received over 516 million USD from the government since 2000. Per Reuters:
Acting managing director of Air Namibia Mandi Samson said the company was suffering severe cash shortages, made worse by the recent decrease of government funding, with the southern African nation slashing spending to fend off ratings downgrades.
“We’re looking for financing from other countries such as South Africa, which brings the complication of currency exposure. It is not ideal, but if the entire country says they cannot assist us … we have to look elsewhere,” Samson was quoted saying by the newspaper.
An airline spokesperson has said that he’s not sure how much money the airline owes, or the amount of money the airline needs, as the company hasn’t published financial statements in so long. The government is also refusing to provide more support without financial reports, since they say that’s a basic requirement. Air Namibia hopes to have updated reports by June of this year.
Air Namibia operates a fleet of 10 aircraft, including two A330s, four A319s, and four regional jets. Their longest route is from Windhoek to Frankfurt, which I’ve been intrigued by.
What a mess…
(Featured image courtesy of)