Attempted Seizure of Air Namibia Assets on 1998 Boeing 767 Debt
February goes from bad to worse for Air Namibia. Having had to cease operations last week, the former Namibian national airline has now found itself in a new impasse. Specifically, attempts are underway to seize the assets of the Windhoek-based carrier. The case dates back to an unpaid debt she incurred after leasing a Boeing 767 in the late 1990s.
$ 17 million in unpaid debt
Reuters reported earlier today that a Belgian creditor was trying to seize the assets of recently liquidated Air Namibia. The lawyers who wish to do so also represent the defunct Belgian airline ChallengeAir. This decision represents the latest step in an ongoing struggle between the two carriers that has lasted for more than two decades.
The case dates back to a lease agreement in 1998, which saw the Namibian national carrier take a Boeing 767. However, after finding the plane to be faulty, Air Namibia decided to cancel the lease. However, as of last October, it still owed ChallengeAir more than N $ 250 million ($ 17 million) in lease debt.
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These debts prompted ChallengeAir to seek the liquidation of Air Namibia. It initially survived an attempted liquidation in January, after reaching a € 10million ($ 12.14million) settlement agreement. Air Namibia was due to pay the first 5.8 million euros ($ 7 million) yesterday, with the rest being paid monthly until next January.
Non-compliance with the rules
However, the carrier did not honor this agreement. Thus, the lawyers of ChallengeAir have advanced in their attempts to seize the headquarters of Air Namibia. Namibian Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi, according to Reuters, values the airline’s assets at N $ 981 million ($ 67 million). The seat that Belgian lawyers seek to seize represents 45 million Namibian dollars (3 million dollars) of that total.
– AirNamibia – carrying the spirit of Namibia (@ airnamibia1) February 10, 2021
In addition to the legal issues regarding ChallengeAir, Air Namibia also faces the fallout from its recent demise. The carrier, which Finance Minister Shiimi called “unsustainable”, finally ceased flights and entered voluntary administration Last week. Unions quickly requested the annulment of this decision, and plan demonstrations of solidarity with the 650 employees who are expected to lose their jobs due to the liquidation.
A diversified fleet over the years
According to Planespotters.net, Air Namibia had a fleet of nine aircraft at the time of its liquidation. It was the next plane.
- Airbus A319 x3.
- Airbus A330 x2.
- Embraer ERJ-145 x4.
However, since its inception in 1946, the Namibian national carrier has operated an interesting and diverse range of aircraft. Perhaps the most iconic of these were his Boeing 747s, of which he flew six in three variants between 1991 and 2004. Single Flying took a closer look Air Namibia’s 747 fleet Last week.
Overall, the future remains uncertain for the airline. The request for annulment of the liquidation may portend better days, but, for now, the planned asset seizure by Belgian creditors remains a very real threat.
What do you think of the attempted seizure of Air Namibia’s assets? Have you ever flown with the airline? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.