…Five pilots battle illness
At least five of Air Namibia’s pilots are unable to fly due because of illness, a situation which led to the national airliner being forced to lease another aircraft to service its Windhoek-Frankfurt route for the next ten days.
The airline did not state the financial implications of the move, but its spokesperson Paul Nakawa indicated that the cost that will be required to temporary make use of the HiFly aircraft that will be leased from HiFly is in the range to what Air Namibia would have paid ordinarily.
“In order to minimise flight disruptions, Air Namibia management opted to wet lease an aircraft to complement the other A330-200 that services the Windhoek/Frankfurt, in order to ensure continued service delivery to our flying publics. There are not enough pilots to operate this route due to sudden and unexpected illness of five of our senior captains,” Nakawa announced in a statement yesterday.
The lease period will be from 13 May 2016 to 23 May 2016. Air Namibia currently operates daily flights to and from Frankfurt.
Wet leasing is an option used by airlines whereby companies lease their airplane/aircraft with flight crew to another airline.
Nakawa said the leased aircraft comes in a two class cabin configuration of 36 Business Class seats offering full flat beds and a seat pitch of 78 inches, as well as 201 Economy Class seats offering a seat pitch of 33 inches.
“The company is committed to ensuring that their safety standards are upheld at all times. We are committed to maintain our flight schedules as far as possible hence having decided to on this short term lease arrangement to prevent schedule disruptions,” Nakawa said.