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Govt Pays N$1,6b to End Air Namibia Airplane Deal





Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says the government has paid N$1,6 billion to terminate a contract with an American company that leased aircraft to Air Namibia.


Jooste said this in a statement on Friday.


The national airline was forced to return the airract it was leasing after the government shut it down last year.


Air Namibia's leased fleet included the two Airbus A330-200 aircraft, two Airbus A319-100 planes and four Embraer ERJ 135s.


The 244-seater A330-200 was the biggest aircraft in the airline's fleet and was often used for the Windhoek-Frankfurt route.


Jooste's ministry was tasked with negotiating with American aircraft lessor Castlelake.


"The total negotiated settlement is therefore N$1,6 billion," Jooste said.


He said this is less than they initially planned to spend and thus saving about N$667 million.


The government has been criticised for paying billions to a private company while it is in financial troubles.


Jooste said the negotiations were an "intense and extremely complicated process that went on non-stop for 10 exhausting months".

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