Namibia’s President Calls For Liquidating His Country’s Airline

Southern African airline Air Namibia is facing liquidation, if the nation’s President gets his way. The state-owned airline currently operates four Airbus narrowbodies, two A330s, and four small regional jets that seat 37 passengers each.

The Windhoek-based carrier during normal times flies within Africa and to Europe. Currently they’re only operating domestic service.

Namibian President Hage Geingob says “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.”

Air Namibia A330, Credit: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt via Wikimedia Commons

In the President’s state of the nation address he explained the carrier was a money loser even after a cost-cutting campaign prior to the current crisis. The airline has reduced labor costs while grounded but hasn’t laid off any employees.

With a per capita GDP of around US$6000, subsidizing money-losing aviation just can’t be a priority no matter what IATA thinks.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. At least one leader has it right. Too many small nations without a real base market to grow from. Maybe a consortium of a number of regional countries with a proven management team could work

  2. Fairly well run country, great for safari’s. More aircraft for the storage facilities Sad

  3. If anything would survive, it would be to become a regional airline with code sharing and Connecting traffic to intercontinental flights to support business and tourism interests. Particularly to CPT and JNB where lots of airlines could code share, and maybe tourist flights to Victoria Falls and over regional interests

  4. Interesting comment about the SW code used by Namibia Airlines. Is this a legacy from when the county was known as South West Africa? It is a beautiful country, quite dry, but scenic. Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast is a huge draw showcasing its German heritage.

  5. I think there’ll do it like how South Africa are doing to South African Airways (FLYSAA). It’s very sad, I think there should be a better plan, otherwise a country cannot stay without a national carrier/airline, doesn’t make sense. Corruption destroyed that airline because it was doing very fine, just after independence. I think SW should stay with us Namibians, it’s a legacy.
    There’s however an airline the executive are supporting which is Westair, so I really don’t know. There’s rumors, the top guys (Executive branch) has shares in that airline, instead of the government.

  6. I agree with the president air Namibia has been sucking the taxpayers’s money for making no progress nor profit at all.I think liquidating it it’s a good idea at this stage.

  7. I’m with the president 100%. Can’t keep watering an artificial plant, you see. Tax payers are tired!

  8. Rahul
    I’m Jewish and I found nothing insensitive about that comment. Perhaps quarantine is getting the best of you. Try going for a walk or relax in the sun.

  9. Hey,

    Apologize if I wasn’t clear earlier – but that is not what I meant.

    While I take a walk and enjoy the sunshine, maybe you would like to spend some time and read about Namibia – the death camps and genocide at the hand of the Germans before flashing the “I’m Jewish and this is okay by me card”.

    It is may be convenient to forget that there is a world outside our own and their pain and suffering is just as real.

    The choice of words “showcase” and “heritage” might seem harmless but they are not.

    If they are, then surely, “auschwitz near krakow is a huge draw showcasing Poland’s German heritage”.

    No offence and I could go on but I don’t think there’s any point of replying any further here..

    I don’t mean to hurt anyone. I really don’t.

  10. Rahul, you are not hurting anyone, you are just being incredibly stupid.
    By heritage he means the visible architecture, language etc.

  11. I’m namibian and agree that the airline must be liquidated.
    Too much money since the name change from Namib Air to Air Namibia.

  12. How many profitable 10-aircraft national carriers are there? I’m guessing zero. Namibia is a very interesting and enjoyable country to visit. Like elsewhere in Africa, crime is a problem, although I’ve felt safe during my visits. Namibia should receive more travellers, but it probably doesn’t make sense for them to run their own airline.

  13. The problem with Air Namibia is very simple. As we have all seen on National Television what goes on in parliament-complete chaos. Those same leaders are the ones who run the National Carrier and been doing that since Independence.

    This has boiled down within the organization, complete disorder and confusion. How will any living human being with a slight bit of common sense ever expect an organization like that to be profitable, if the leadership (Parliamentarians, Air Namibia Board Members and Air Namibia Management) hold no aviation qualifications. Bail outs are certainly not the answer. Organizations as such are sensitive to corruption on mismanagement. This urgently needs drastic changes is staff compliment, a Board with a business mindset, management and staff with aviation expertise.

    Until such time corrupt practices are minimized, only a miracle will safe organizations such as Air Namibia.

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