Hosea Kutako downgraded, large aircrafts negatively affected

01 Aug 2014 14:21pm

WINDHOEK, 30 JUL (NAMPA) - Air Namibia can no longer operate its A330-200 fleet at the Hosea Kutako International Airport as from Wednesday this week. This follows the downgrade of that airport by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) from a Category Nine to a Category Five airport. Air Namibia announced in a statement on Wednesday this reinforcement by the ICAO will negatively affect all large aircrafts operated at that airport owned, operated and managed by Namibia Airports Company (NAC). The ICAO last week downgraded the airport following an audit of the NAC facilities at that airport, situated about 40 kilometres east of Windhoek. This downgrade has affected all aircraft requiring Category Seven and higher rescue and fire-fighting services. In response to the downgrade, Air Namibia applied to be granted exemption in order to continue operations of its airbus A330, with such exemption granted on 24 July this year. However, Air Namibia said a subsequent review by the ICAO has re-enforced the downgrade, and has revoked any exemptions that might have been granted. To minimise the impact of the inconvenience caused to passengers as a result of the NAC's shortcomings, Air Namibia has in the meantime diverted its flights. Flight SW 285 from Windhoek to Frankfurt, scheduled to depart on 30 July 2014, will operate from Lusaka. ?Affected passengers will be flown to Lusaka with two A319-100s this (Wednesday) evening to further proceed with the ferried A330,? it explained, adding that flight SW 286 from Frankfurt to Windhoek on 31 July 2014, will divert to Lusaka, and passengers will be flown to Windhoek in the morning using the two A319-100s. ?We will continue to operate in this manner until such time the NAC has fulfilled the requirements. We wish to apologise for the inconvenience caused to all travellers and relevant stakeholders, and once again reiterate that this is a result of something outside our control and not of our own making,? the statement indicated. (NAMPA) MMT/ND/