Namibian President Hage Geingob has said that Air Namibia (SW, Windhoek Int'l) should be liquidated since it is not making a profit and requires constant government bailouts.

Answering questions after his state of the nation address on June 5, Geingob said that, “Air Namibia must be liquidated. We have a very serious problem with Air Namibia.”

The president added that given its unprofitability, the airline is in constant need of bailouts from its only shareholder, the Namibian state. “It must be restructured, and if liquidation is the thing, we must do that.”

Air Namibia was initially refused a NAD2 billion Namibian dollar (USD119 million) bailout in October 2019, but after warning it might be forced to cease operations if funding was not forthcoming, the state in December agreed to provide a NAD578 million (USD34 million) loan guarantee, Namibia’s New Era reported, adding that the airline has received a total of NAD8 billion (USD477 million) from the state between 1999 and 2019.

In Namibia’s 2020/21 budget tabled by finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi in late May, a total of NAD984.6 million (USD58 million) was allocated to Air Namibia in the current fiscal year ending March 31.

Air Namibia’s precarious financial situation has been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, which saw the airline halt operations for about two months. The carrier said it had resumed domestic flights from May 6 following the move to stage two lockdown restrictions. However, regional and international flights remain suspended except for repatriation flights.