And unfortunately someone else bites the dust …
Air Namibia goes out of business
Per a public noticeAir Namibia will cease operations and the airline is planning a voluntary liquidation.
From Thursday, February 11, 2021, Air Namibia will cease all flight operations and the aircraft will return to the base. The reservation system for new bookings has also been suspended.
Unfortunately, Air Namibia had been losing money for years, even before the pandemic. The liquidation of Air Namibia will result in more than 600 job losses. The employees no longer receive the benefits immediately, although they receive a year’s severance payment.
Air Namibia’s fleet consisted of 10 aircraft, including two A330s, four A319s and four ERJ135ERs. While the airline mainly operated domestic and regional flights, I had long been fascinated by the airline’s only long-haul route between Windhoek and Frankfurt.
We’ll see what the future holds for Namibian aviation:
- The route from Frankfurt to Windhoek is also served seasonally by Condor, so there is still a possibility to fly non-stop between the two countries
- Westair has expanded its domestic service in Namibia and will only continue to grow so that a large part of the Air Namibia network could possibly be taken over
- We’ll see if another airline offers regional services. Perhaps Ethiopian Airlines will increase the service to and from Namibia
An interesting opportunity for Southwest Airlines
This may sound like a coincidence, but Southwest Airlines may benefit somewhat if Air Namibia goes out of business. As noted by Live and Let’s Fly, Southwest Airlines’ two letter IATA code is “WN” even though the airline always wanted the code to be “SW”. Unfortunately, this code for Southwest was already used by Air Namibia, an older airline.
Southwest Airlines has tried several times in the past to get Air Namibia to change its code so the airline can take it over, but has been out of luck. With the liquidation of Air Namibia, this could finally be Southwest Airlines’ chance to receive the “SW” code.
I am excited to see how quickly we will see developments on this front.
It is sad to see another flag bearer cease operations. In this case, Air Namibia will go out of business and more than 600 jobs will be lost. While Air Namibia’s international network can easily be replaced by other airlines, a large void remains in domestic aviation so we need to see how that plays out.
This also presents an opportunity for Southwest Airlines, as the airline has long wanted the IATA code “SW”, but this has been adopted by Air Namibia. Let’s see if the airline can get the code now.
What do you think of Air Namibia going out of business and do you think Southwest Airlines will change the code for good?
(Selected image courtesy of)