NAC to hold talks over privatisation

05 Jul 2018 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 05 JUL (NAMPA) – The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) will lead consultations with its stakeholders this month on whether to privatise the Hosea Kutako International Airport or not.
NAC’s Chief Executive Officer, Albertus Aochamub said this during Air Namibia’s annual stakeholders’ convention held on Wednesday.
This follows reports last month by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which urged governments to take a cautious approach when considering airport privatisation, calling on them to prioritise the long-term economic and social benefits delivered by an effective airport instead of the short-term financial gains provided by a poorly thought-out privatisation.
The call came after the World Bank advised the Namibian Government to partner with private investors to manage the Hosea Kutako International Airport to avoid using taxpayers' money for costly airport upgrades.
Aochamub said the NAC would explore all options, however, the decision to be made by Cabinet would be informed by what is of national interest and what can keep airport facilities modern, relevant, safe and secure.
According to IATA, only one of the top six airports in the world is privately run, while only 14 per cent of all airports in the world are privately run.
IATA further cautioned that private airlines were more expensive than those publically owned.
The World Bank also advised Government on entering into private-public partnerships to do work for the airport and also mentioned that Air Namibia was one of the risk factors in that regard.
“Air Namibia represents almost 60 per cent of air traffic and similarly about 65 per cent or so of revenue for the facility,” Aochamub said.
He added that fixing Air Namibia to be an efficiently run organisation introduces a tremendous risk if a public private partnership agreement is taken with the Hosea Kutako International Airport.
He indicated that German airline, Lufthansa is at a point of flying itself to Namibia directly other than as an extension.
An agreement was also made with Emirates and Etihad Airways to fly into Windhoek with no restrictions as frequently as possible, while Air Namibia would likewise be allowed to fly in and out of the United Arab Emirates on the same format.
The possibility of Turkish Airlines flying to Namibia also exists, however, talks around the matter are still ongoing.
Aochamub added that these discussions include establishing the infrastructural requirements of the airlines that wish to utilise the Hosea Kutako International Airport.