Namibia’s struggling national flag carrier, Air Namibia, intends to reduce employee salaries by 50 percent following losses incurred over the past five years, which have been worsened by COVID-19 lockdown measures, the airline said on Wednesday.
The pay cuts are necessitated by the airline’s financial situation, which was already dire before the COVID-19 outbreak but worsened by the pandemic, to the extent that it cannot continue operations without cash-flow with which to pay critical creditors, acting CEO Theo Mberirua said.
“Non-payment of a supplier such as Embraer would make it impossible for the airline to restart domestic operations,” he said.
“It needs to be appreciated that Air Namibia managed to pay full salaries for the past five months.”
“All staff not performing duties will be affected by the salary cuts, not only non operational staff,” Mberirua said. “The financial losses incurred by the airline over the previous five financial years have left the airline in a state requiring immediate intervention on all fronts.”
The national carrier will place a moratorium on hiring new staff and reduce allowances to cut cost, he said.