February 27, 2018 / 1:26 PM / a year ago

Namibia's state airline facing collapse as banks, govt refuse bailout pleas

WINDHOEK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Namibia’s state-owned airline faces collapse with banks refusing to grant the carrier credit to fund day-to-day operations after it failed to publish annual reports for over 10 years, The Namibian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Acting managing director of Air Namibia Mandi Samson said the company was suffering severe cash shortages, made worse by the recent decrease of government funding, with the southern African nation slashing spending to fend off ratings downgrades.

“We’re looking for financing from other countries such as South Africa, which brings the complication of currency exposure. It is not ideal, but if the entire country says they cannot assist us ... we have to look elsewhere,” Samson was quoted saying by the newspaper.

Air Namibia is one of a host of state firms dependent on government bailouts for survival, and has received over 6 billion Namibian dollars ($516 million) since 2000.

The airline’s spokesman Paul Nakawa said it was difficult to say how much Air Namibia owes or the amount of funds it needs as the company has not published financial statements in years. ($1 = 11.6210 Namibian dollars) (Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; Writing by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by James Macharia)

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