Financially-beleaguered Air Namibia on Friday survived liquidation attempts by defunct Belgian company ChallengeAir SA which had applied to the Namibian High Court to have the carrier liquidated.
ChallengeAir SA had filed for the loss-making flag carrier’s liquidation, arguing it is insolvent and unable to repay about 16.7 million U.S. dollars in debt incurred for the lease of a Boeing 767 back in 1998.
Air Namibia canceled the lease agreement after it had found that the aircraft was defective.
Lawyers representing the two parties reached a settlement agreement minutes before the liquidation proceedings were due to start in the capital Windhoek.
Air Namibia will pay ChallengeAir SA 12 million dollars, starting with 6 million dollars before Feb. 18 and thereafter monthly installments of 821,920 until January 2022.
Air Namibia chairman Escher Luanda said on Wednesday that if liquidated, the airline — which owns two Airbus A319 jets and four Embraer 135 regional jets — would get little in return for its assets.
“The liquidation would erode any possible value in the airline’s assets, with the six aircraft and the head building having to be auctioned at negligible amounts of as little as 20 percent,” Luanda said in a letter to Namibian Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste.
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Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi said Friday that Air Namibia has significant unsustainable debts though the Namibian government has spent 8.4 billion Namibian dollars to bail out the national airline over the past 10 years.
The airline, which currently employs 644 workers, has failed to produce financial statements in recent years despite gobbling state funds from 1999 to 2018. (Xinhua/NAN)
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