Eveline de Klerk
Walvis Bay – The Namibian Cabin Crew Union (NCCU) will tomorrow petition the management and board of Air Namibia to do everything in their power to turn around the fortunes of the ailing airline.
The union members want the company’s management and directors to be instructed to intensively look at a bankable turnaround strategy to save the financially-crippled company.
This is according to NCCU’s Willem Christiaans, who said that Air Namibia is currently in intensive care mode and needs to rescue itself from further destruction, instead of relying on government bailouts that come at the expense of the taxpayer.
Christiaans was speaking during the May Day commemorations held yesterday at Walvis Bay.
Air Namibia has received over N$4 billion as bailout from the government during the last seven years.
“The board of directors as well as the management of Air Namibia must have a total mindset change and move away from business as usual in order for the state-owned entity to move from loss-making to a profitable company to save jobs and assets,” he said.
Hence, he said, employees of Air Namibia joined by the public will march tomorrow morning from the Ministry of Works and Transport to the Air Namibia headquarters in Windhoek.
According to Christiaans, the government has been bailing out Air Namibia far too many times and it is time the entity finds its own feet.
“We simply cannot allow furthermore bailouts as such monies can be diverted for more pressing social needs instead of to loss-making government parastatals,” he said.
He said Air Namibia’s board of directors and management must come up with a bankable turnaround strategy that will reform Air Namibia and turn it into a profit-making entity.
He emphasised that Air Namibia is not the only state entity that finds itself in this position.
Christiaans added that a thorough analysis should be carried out and held those in management positions accountable if state-owned enterprises do not perform as they should.