Air Namibia liquidated, government negotiates debt with donors


The Namibian government has confirmed that it is negotiating terms of settlement of N $ 2.3 billion ($ 154 million) due to Castle Lake for two A330-200s that were rented by the deceased Air Namibia (SW, Windhoek International), reports the Namibian Sun.

Public Enterprise Minister Leon Jooste confirmed: “We are negotiating a settlement”, but declined to provide further details.

The Namibian public carrier was officially wound up on March 26, 2021, after no opposing documents were filed against a liquidation request by the Namibia Airports Company (NAC). The national airline owed NAD 714 million ($ 47.7 million) to the NAC for aeronautical and ground handling charges. The airline has been in temporary liquidation since February 26, 2021.

Castlelake bought the two planes – V5-ANO (msn 1451) and V5-ANP (msn 1466) – from Intrepid Aviation, which originally leased them to Air Namibia in 2013. The Namibian government guaranteed the lease, which cost Air Namibia $ 1.1 million per aircraft per month. The aircraft replaced the airline’s then fleet A340-300s and were used to fly between Windhoek International and Frankfurt International, Air Namibia’s most loss-making route. When it became clear that Air Namibia could not honor the payments, the government tried unsuccessfully in 2019 to terminate the lease earlier.

As previously reported in the 2019 discussion papers of the former Air Namibia board of directors, NAD 2.4 billion ($ 163.9 million) would be payable to lessors if the carrier terminates the leases early. . In addition to paying the rental rate over the remaining term of the four-year lease, Air Namibia is expected to waive a security deposit of NAD 94 million (USD 6.4 million) with the lessor.

At the time of its collapse, Air Namibia’s fleet consisted of four A319-100s (two of which are owned and two have been leased to Deucalion Aviation Fund), the two A330-200s leased from Castlelake, four of which EMB-135ERs, and a B737-500 (stored). According to advanced ch-aviation fleets module, the two A319-100 leased to Deucalion – V5-ANK (msn 3588) and V5-ANL (msn 3346) – are currently stored at Johannesburg OR Tambo. The airline’s two A319-100s – V5-ANM (msn 5366) and V5-ANN (msn 5400) – are stored at Windhoek International.

Meanwhile, Windhoek-based Air Namibia liquidators Ian Robert McLaren and David John Bruni have been tasked with overseeing payments to creditors who have to file their claims. The liquidation is expected to cost Namibian taxpayers 5.6 billion NAD (375 million USD), while the combined assets of the airline are worth around 900 million NAD (60.2 million USD). The Namibian government had spent 9 billion NAD (602 million USD) to bail out the common carrier over the past decade.



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