Air Namibia resumes Zimbabwe flights; service briefly stopped after seizure of plane

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Air Namibia, which flies to Harare and Victoria Falls, confirmed the resumption of flights last Friday, saying the days of flight operations remain unchanged.

Windhoek to Harare is operated on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, whereas the Windhoek to Victoria Falls route is operated on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

As a result of the ongoing court case, Air Namibia suspended its flights to Harare and Victoria Falls on October 08, pending the matter being addressed.

The airline diverted its flights between Hosea Kutako International Airport and Victoria Falls to Livingstone, Zambia, from October 06 to October 27, 2018. The flights to Livingstone only operated until Saturday, October 27. 

The court case emanates from five applicants – all Zimbabwean nationals – who brought action against Air Namibia in March 2018, claiming an amount of US$1 million.

The legal action was based on an application for the attachment of Air Namibia property. The applicants were to travel to Turkey and Air Namibia denied them boarding for travelling through Germany on advice received from the German border police.

Towards the end of June 2018, the High Court of Zimbabwe made an Ex Parte order for the attachment of Air Namibia property or aircraft in Zimbabwe without notifying the parties.

An attempt of attachment took place on October 5, 2018, which was successfully avoided by Air Namibia, specifically on the basis of the fact that the aircraft in terms of which the attachment was to take place did not belong to Air Namibia. 

Air Namibia subsequently obtained an alternative legal counsel who arranged for the matter to be heard by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe.

An application to this effect was heard on October 23, 2018 in which Air Namibia was granted an extension of time in which to file an appeal. Condonation was equally granted to Air Namibia, to file its opposing papers by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe.  

“The Supreme Court made the order with costs against the passengers who were denied boarding,” said Air Namibia spokesperson, Paul Nakawa. 

“The order has the effect of staying (undoing) the previous Ex Parte order which facilitated the attachment of the Air Namibia aircraft.

“We are confident that this matter will be concluded soon and trust that Air Namibia can count on your continued support, as we continue to offer the most professional and pleasant experience for our passengers.”