AFP

Court allows Air Namibia to return to the skies 9 July 2020 - 14:59

A Namibian court on Thursday ruled that the cash-strapped national airline Air Namibia could temporarily resume operations despite a government order grounding it for failing to provide a "safe and reliable service." The finance ministry announced last week that the airline needed some 7 billion rand ($420 million) to stay airborne. It has 10 aircraft and close to 800 employees.The ministry gave the carrier until July 22 to provide evidence of having secured sufficient funding or risk having its operating licence cancelled, but the transport commission ordered flights grounded as of Monday.Air Namibia contested the legality of the grounding order, and the Windhoek High Court on Thursday lifted the suspension until August 3 when it examines the case.The airline welcomed the ruling."We are free to continue flying," spokesman Paul Nakawa said in a statement.Air Namibia's finances were already suffering when the coronavirus pandemic forced airlines to ground most of their flights. Namibian President Hage Geingob said last month the carrier faced liquidation as it was "not making any profit, just being bailed out."

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