African governments see state airlines as an opportunity to boost their image, but the economic losses make it difficult for them to survive. Many countries have resorted to the successful model of Ethiopian Airlines to relaunch their companies in hopes of a promising future that threatens to fail the epidemic.
“Air Namibia would like to announce that, starting tomorrow, February 11, all of its flights will be canceled and the aircraft will return to their base forever.” Overnight, the national airline of Namibia announced it was dissolving after the government, its sole owner, liquidated it. More than 600 people are unemployed and a fleet of 10 aircraft will be sold to compensate for the losses. According to the finance minister, despite investing $ 565 million in the past decade, the company still owes debt. The airline was already dying before the pandemic; He demanded a $ 119 million ransom that he could not pay, and the fall of the passengers had hit the knockout.
The case of Air Namibia, the airline that carried the “spirit of Namibia” around the world, is not unique to Africa, where major state airlines have suffered losses for years. Kenya Airways recorded a loss in 2016 of $ 258 million. South African Airways has not made a profit since 2011 and emerged from bankruptcy in May 2021. Either way, governments have majority participation and are reluctant to abandon them with the bailout.
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