Pending an ongoing review of the case before the Namibian Supreme Court, a lower court on August 8 dismissed an application by Menzies Aviation (Namibia) (PTY) Ltd to stay the execution of an earlier court order that ends its ground-handling contract with the Namibia Airport Company (NAC).

However, Windhoek High Court judge Shafimana Ueitele set aside and declared as unreasonable and invalid a notice by the NAC on June 9, 2023, that Menzies stop providing ground handling services and vacate its premises at Windhoek International (also known as Hosea Kutako International Airport – HKIA) within four days (by June 13, 2023). Ueitele found that a reasonable notice period, as contained in the contracts between the parties, would be 30 days.

The judge also found that the NAC, by notice to all stakeholders on June 30, 2022, that Menzies would continue to provide ground handling services until further notice, had created a "legally binding obligations between it and Menzies and is bound by its undertaking or agreement until when they have performed in terms of that agreement".

"It thus follows that the Airports Company cannot terminate and evict Menzies from HKIA on the basis of the contract, which terminated on June 30, 2022. It furthermore follows that if the Airports Company cannot evict Menzies on the basis of the contract that terminated on June 30, 2022, I cannot order a stay of the order of June 29, 2022," the judge said.

Ueitele thus dismissed Menzies' application to stay the June 29, 2022, order that ends the contract pending the outcome of the ground handler's review application (case HC-MD-CIV-MOT-REV-2022/00155) in the Namibia Supreme Court.

The execution of the contract cancellation orders was already suspended on June 15, 2023, pending the determination of the dispute under appeal.

Menzies is seeking a stay of execution of the June 2022 order arguing that the NAC's decision to award the tender for ground handling services to Paragon Investment Holdings is unlawful, as that company is its own joint venture with Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa International), implying a conflict of interest in the tender allocation.

ch-aviation has reached out to Menzies and the NAC for comment.