The Namibia Airports Company (NAC), like most other airport operators around the world, has over the past few weeks been inundated with requests for relief from various contractual obligations from different clusters of customers, ranging from concessionaires to airlines. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), as a representative of global airlines, has also reached out to airport operators to assist in reducing the burdens for airlines.
The economic effects of the Covid-19 outbreak have been felt worldwide, with the worst brunt being born in the aviation industry. The fact that normal travel activities have come to a practical standstill has resulted in significant financial losses being incurred by operators in the aviation industry.
“In the interest of playing our part in ensuring the continued survival of the industry during and after this pandemic, NAC management has been exploring various ways in which the NAC could assist our customers. These options have been considered with a full appreciation of the fact that NAC, as a company, has also been immensely affected by this outbreak, and the NAC would equally have to find innovative ways to mitigate the impact of [the] pandemic once the situation changes,” read a statement by NAC CEO Bisey Uirab.
Over the months of March and April, NAC airports have seen a gradual drop of passenger activities to zero. Furthermore, global passenger airlines have reduced their operations by nearly 90%.
With regard to payment terms, the NAC board of directors and management resolved to not charge interest or late payment penalties for customers who fail to meet the 30-day payment terms between 1 April and 30 June 2020. This will be limited to invoices that fall due within these three months. Affected customers will be requested to furnish NAC with payment plans no later than 31 May 2020.
The NAC will also waive all interest accrued on overdue amounts held between 31 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 for all customers. This does not apply to interest accrued before 31 March 2020 on overdue balances. This measure is in a bid to ease the cash flow burden on cash flows for the NAC’s customers.
“It is a fact that most of our rental customers depend on passenger movements for generation of revenue. It was resolved that all rental charges for all concessionaires and airlines be waived for a period of three months. The concessionaire charge (percentage of turnover) remains applicable to all,” Uirab noted.
Meanwhile, the NAC resolved to delay the implementation of the increase in aeronautical charges. The NAC published new tariffs for the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 financial years, whereby a 4.6% inflationary increase was applied to passenger, security and aircraft parking fees with effect from 1 April 2020. The landing fees remain constant for the two financial years, respectively, and the NAC decided to delay the increase in these user charges by 6 months. These increases will, therefore, only become effective on 1 October 2020
“In order to ensure that the organisation continues to operate and survive this crisis, management has implemented, and continue to explore, various cost control measures and innovative ways to ensure that the operations at our airports stabilise and that air traffic, and specifically the tourism industry in Namibia, can flourish again. We continue to take all measures to ensure survival of the organisation during and after this pandemic. While the situation is bleak for the industry, we are confident that with the support of all our stakeholders, particularly the shareholder, we will pull through,” Uirab concluded.
2020-05-14 09:48:07 | 2 months ago