Airlines eye stake in ailing Namibian carrier
Publish date: 09 September 2019
Issue Number: 840
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
SAA, Ethiopian Airlines and Lufthansa have all shown interest in acquiring part of cash-strapped Air Namibia. This is set out in the latest documents seen by The Namibian, showing that Public Enterprises Minister Leon Jooste spearheaded negotiations between Air Namibia and Lufthansa, which appears to have a head-start over the other parties. However, Jooste has come under fire from some government officials who accuse him of side-lining key state agencies in the talks. Jooste wrote to Air Namibia's board chairperson Dee-Sauls Deckenbrock on 28 August 2019, informing her that the Cabinet Committee on Treasury had allowed him to engage with several airlines to gauge their interest in entering into a strategic equity partnership with Air Namibia. He also asked Air Namibia to consider appointing an expert to assist it in these ‘complex negotiations’. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, Namibia’s Jooste and other government officials are currently negotiating Air Namibia's exit from aircraft lease agreements in the US. The move indicates the imminent closure of the national airline, which could cost the government around $166m.