Namibian passenger charter/ACMI specialist Westair Aviation (WV, Windhoek Eros) has acquired four E135s from Air France subsidiary HOP!-RĂ©gional (YS, Clermont-Ferrand), the first of the type to feature in its growing fleet inventory.

According to The Namibian newspaper, the aircraft in question are those which Air Namibia (SW, Windhoek Int'l) had been leasing from the French regional operator namely msn 145243, 145335, 145347, and 145252. They collectively average almost 17 years of age and are used on flights from Windhoek Int'l to Luderitz, Oranjemund, and Walvis Bay domestically as well as Harare Int'l and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Lusaka in Zambia. They are also used on services from Walvis Bay to Cape Town and Johannesburg O.R. Tambo in South Africa as well as from Windhoek Eros to Mpacha, Ondangwa, and Rundu.

As such, given the change in ownership, Westair Aviation has directed Air Namibia that henceforth its leasing payments are to be made to them. Air Namibia's contract with HOP! was reportedly set at NAD35 million Namibian dollars (USD2.68 million) per annum and was to have expired next year.

Despite recent denials by Air Namibia that it has any designs on the SSJ 100/95, Russia's Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Georgy Kalamanov, reiterated last week that Namibia was one of four African states in talks with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (Zhukovsky) over the proposed lease of SuperJets.

"Active negotiations on the delivery of SSJ100s are being carried out with many African countries. First of all with Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, and Namibia," he told Sputnik.

To that end, the establishment of a joint leasing company in Africa is currently being considered.