Air Namibia is the latest airline to succumb to it’s economic woes and the carrier is ceasing all operations effective today, February 11th 2021.
The airline is directing passengers with open tickets to register for a refund process although it’s uncertain if this will result in any forthcoming monetary compensation.
With this latest insolvency Air Namibia is just one of the many victims that eventually fell victim to the economic climate of our time even though it’s noteworthy that the carrier had financial difficulties for far longer than the Covid-19 pandemic.
Air Namibia issued the following statement on Twitter:
— AirNamibia -carrying the spirit of Namibia (@airnamibia1) February 10, 2021
As of now there is no notice whatsoever on their website.
Although the information on Twitter says that passengers with outstanding tickets are supposed to email the refunds department at email@example.com I’d say it’s very doubtful that passengers will see all or any of their money back. It depends on how much cash the carrier still has on hand and how many tickets are still open.
Since there has been little to no international traffic for close to a year the amount of open passenger tickets might be extremely small. I can’t imagine anyone investing money in airline tickets right now as it’s highly uncertain when borders reopen and regular flight schedules resume.
The Namibian government might find a solution to register a fresh airline at some point. When a national carrier goes bust which was the lifeline for the countries tourism and cargo operations it usually doesn’t take very long for a new airline to emerge like the phoenix from the ashes.
Air Namibia has folded and all aircraft will be called back to their base in Windhoek today, February 11th. Unfortunately this is the destiny of many carriers these days that already had financial difficulties and where no government support package is able to keep the company in the air or even cover their running expenses on the ground for an indefinite period.
I would expect the airline to re-emerge, maybe under a different name post-pandemic to feed tourists to Namibia. The country is extremely popular for safari holidays and wildlife / trophy hunting (controversial topic). Tourists from Europe made up the bulk of their tourism revenue.