AirNam flying illegally to SA

July 15, 2015, 7:23am

AirNam flying illegally to SA

By Tileni Mongudhi

AIR Namibia has been operating illegally in South Africa after its Foreign Operator's Permit expired in April.
The Foreign Operator's Permit (FOP) is supposed to be renewed every 12 months and allows any airline to operate in that country.
The Namibian has seen a copy of Air Namibia's latest FOP which shows that it was only valid from 24 April 2014 to 25 April 2015.
Sources from the South African air transport regulators said that Air Namibia's application is new and would probably only be approved this week. This means that for the past two months the national airliner was conducting business in South Africa illegally. 
The Namibian has also found out that Air Namibia's renewal application does not include a new fleet or new routes. This effectively means that the new Walvis Bay-Johannesburg route, which Air Namibia introduced in March this year, is illegal. 
Sources from the airliner also questioned whether this route was designated to Air Namibia by the Namibian Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA). 
Interestingly, during June last year, the Air Namibia board replaced its top managers, including CEO Theo Namases, with foreign expatriates. Part of the reasons given for removing the Namibian managers was that the DCA was refusing to issue Air Namibia an operating licence, because the national carrier was not complying with its regulations. 
One of the regulations was applying for the air operator's permit renewal on time. It appears the expatriates, who were acceptable to the DCA last year, are also failing to carry out mundane tasks like timeously applying for the renewal of the FOP from South Africa, from which comes a substantial part of Air Namibia's business.
Air Namibia communications manager Paul Nakawa did not respond to questions sent to him by the time of going to print yesterday.
Meanwhile, outgoing board member Florette Nakusera has been accused of abusing Air Namibia's rebate system, which allows staff members and their families discounted air tickets, when travelling for leisure.
Nakusera's husband, Elrico, used the benefit 30 times between January 2014 and May this year.
This prompted employees to suspect that the board member's husband has been using the benefit for business purposes as opposed to leisure.
Nakusera yesterday explained that her husband's travels have been for leisure and that he used the flights to visit his family.
She said her husband is based at Ongwediva where he is employed by the University of Namibia, while his family is based in Windhoek.
She said his employers pay for his flight when he travels to Windhoek for work purposes.
The Namibian has seen the log which indicates that most of Elrico Nakusera's travels are between Windhoek and Ondangwa but it also indicates flights to Walvis Bay, Lüderitz and Johannesburg.

The Namibian