Air Namibia has shut down all its operations, grounding its entire fleet and cancelling all flights. The reservations system ceased taking new bookings as of February 11, 2021, although the website (airnamibia.com) is still active. The company announced its shutdown via Twitter and Facebook, advising passengers to register claims for refunds.
Hunters with trips to Namibia aboard this airline should immidiately contact their travel agent. Those who booked direct, should send an email to Air Namibia at [email protected] or [email protected]. SCI’s Hunter Information Service called Air Namibia’s New York office for more information only to be told by the automatic answering system to leave a message. Travelers who paid for flights with a credit card may wish to contact their bank to have the charges reversed. Debit card users should be aware that charge backs likely are not available to them, and they should aggressively pursue a refund from the airline.
Air Namibia’s routes were mostly domestic and regional, with one transcontinental route between Namibia’s capital of Windhoek, and Frankurt, Germany. Alternate airlines flying in and out of Namibia’s Hosea Kutako Internationl Airport include Ethiopian Airlines, Eurowings, Airlink and Westair, which respectively fly to Addis Ababa, Frankfurt, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Also, South African-owned Airlink is flying from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Walvis Bay. Westair, a local privately owned airline, also flies between Eros and Ondangwa.
Flying for 75 years as the national airline, Air Namibia had struggled financially for the last two decades, with the government providing regular bailouts. According to Namibia’s Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi, the government has spent more than 8 billion Namibian dollars ($547.16 million) keeping the airline afloat. In a press conference, he said Namibia’s economic status could no longer afford to perpetually support the airline.
Air Namibia has gone into voluntary liquidation, which has been approved by the government. More than 600 jobs have been lost.
SCI members with questions about hunting travel, COVID-19 related restrictions and other questions, may contact SCI’s Hunter Information Service at safariclub.org/contact.