Staff Writer

Air Namibia has announced that it will be temporarily suspending flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg for a period of four weeks as aircraft that service the route will be undergoing scheduled heavy maintenance checks.

“Air Namibia’s two (2) Embraer Jet (ERJ) aircraft will undergo scheduled heavy maintenance checks from 16 November 2020. These checks are expected to be completed within 4 weeks. Air Namibia’s ERJ fleet is used for servicing all domestic routes, as well as Cape Town and Johannesburg routes. Given the afore-stated maintenance activities, the airline will be operating 2 of the 4 aircraft only from 16 November 2020, as the other two will be inducted for maintenance. This situation has necessitated the following temporary schedule change effective 16 November 2020.”

The move which comes two weeks after the relaunch of the route according to the national carrier, will not affect its domestic routes.

“The domestic routes will continue to operate as scheduled, as it remains unaffected by the scheduled maintenance activities.”

Air Namibia said the scheduled maintenance will be carried out by its own engineers.

“In line with its vision statement of being a safe, reliable, efficient and caring airline, Air Namibia operates a fleet carefully selected to meet expectations of its stakeholders. These expectations include performance dependability and comfort,” Theo Mberirua, Interim Chief Executive Officer said.

He added; “These heavy scheduled maintenance activities will be undertaken by our own Namibian employees, who are fully trained and certified aircraft maintenance engineers. The Air Namibia maintenance team is duly registered, and has been maintaining the ERJ fleet for the past 10 years.”

The disruption to the Air Namibia schedule comes after the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) suspended it from all integrated surveillance system (ISS) operations due to its failure to pay outstanding amounts in relation to the Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) and International Air Transport Association (Iata) clearing house (ICH) settlements.

The Windhoek-Johannesburg direct route was operated on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, whereas two flights between Windhoek-Cape Town, direct and via Walvis Bay, ran on Fridays and Sundays.