INSTEAD of liquidating Air Namibia, the national airline will be restructured to serve the best interests of Namibia.
Following consistent speculation that Air Namibia is going to be liquidated, the Minister of Finance, Ipumbu Shiimi in a statement said that no such decision has been taken by Cabinet.
Shiimi, in his capacity as Chairperson of the Cabinet Committee on Treasury (CCT), said the body is however assessing different options to restructure Air Namibia because the current model of Air Namibia, including the new business plan is not sustainable nor affordable.
“It is worth noting that currently Air Namibia has a significant amount of debt which if leaseholds are not included amounts to more than N$5 billion. This means for the new business plan to be implemented, taking the outstanding debt into account, an amount of over N$7 billion will have to be spent in the current financial year which makes it unaffordable as resources are needed for other priorities such as health, education, housing and sanitation during this difficult times,” the finance minister said.
Shiimi said the CCT fully recognises the importance of having a national airline and therefore the decision making body is looking at ways of finding a sustainable and affordable model for the national airline.
“The CCT has consulted the Board of Air Namibia and Trade Union representatives of the staff of Air Namibia with a view to solicit their input on restructuring of the national airline. These consultations are ongoing and once concluded, a final decision in this regard will be taken.”
In the statement the Minister assured the staff of Air Namibia and the general public that the CCT will only consider options that are in the best interest of staff and the financial sustainability of Air Namibia.
The Minister also invited every stakeholder who wishes to make a contribution to the discussion to approach him in his capacities as Minister of Finance and the Chairperson of the CCT.