Air Namibia held back by NAC

The failure by the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) to develop airport infrastructure is unwittingly putting spanners in Air Namibia’s five-year turn-around strategy in which the airline is hoping to become profitable.
At an air transport conference in South Africa earlier this week, George Uriesi, the CEO of the Federation Airports Authority of Nigeria, said airport infrastructure development will only be realised if airport companies are commercialised or privatised because the current set-up where state-owned companies operate airports collecting taxes and passing them on to treasury instead of developing airports is not conducive to the growth of the aviation industry in Africa.
He said “The Government of South Africa was a trailblazer [in restructuring ownership of its airport company] through a strategic equity partner who was given 20% of shares along with considerable power. It has helped to turn things around at the Airports Company of South Africa.”
Air Namibia MD Theo Namases said the lack of collaboration between the two stakeholders [Air Namibia and NAC] is hindering the growth of the airline.
Namases said failure by the airports company over the past 23 years to develop modern airport infrastructure contradicts Air Namibia’s plans of making Hosea Kutako International Airport a hub for passengers travelling to regional and international destinations. She said this is so despite the involvement of the NAC when the airline formulated its strategic plan.
She said: “There must be collaboration in the country. It’s not about Namases, it’s about our country. Let’s put our energy together and make the local aviation industry a success.”