Air Namibia Scrambles for Substitute Plane

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

Air Namibia yesterday had to hastily find an interim aircraft to transport passengers to London after Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, from where the national airline company leased a Boeing 747, was liquidated.

Yesterday Air Namibia announced the termination of its commercial aircraft lease agreement with Oasis following the liquidation of that company.

“We found an aircraft for tonight to fly to London,” Air Namibia said yesterday.
Its public relations department also told New Era that Air Namibia was yet to finalise an agreement with another company that will provide an aircraft during the time its A340 is undergoing maintenance.

Air Namibia has for about a month leased the Boeing 747 from Oasis, a pioneer in low cost international flights.

According to the Public Relations Officer of Air Namibia Zandra Groeneveld, the now prematurely terminated lease agreement was necessitated by mandatory maintenance overhauling checks that the Air Namibia A340 long-haul aircraft was undergoing.

The maintenance that started on 4 February was scheduled to end on 3 May 2008.

The lease agreement was to expire on 21 April 2008.

“Naturally, our legal teams engaged in legal consultations to determine and advise Air Namibia on the best manner to protect Air Namibia’s interests,” she said.

Groeneveld also assured that there will be no schedule interruptions.

“Despite the early termination of the lease agreement with Oasis Hong Kong, Air Namibia will ensure to have in the shortest possible time an aircraft with the most suitable operational and product qualities,” she said.

Air Namibia has two international, two regional and four domestic aircraft.

Oasis Hong Kong operated for only 18 months. Its short existence is attributed to high fuel prices and the rising cost of debt.

Rumours in Hong Kong suggest that the carrier collapsed with debts of about ??????’??

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