Air Namibia resumes flights to Zim after briefly pulling out – reports

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Air Namibia has reportedly confirmed the resumption of flights to Zimbabwe “after briefly pulling out of the country following an attempted seizure of its aircraft”.

The airline cancelled flights to Zimbabwe a few weeks ago after one of its aircraft was impounded by authorities in Harare.

This followed reports that a Zimbabwean man was trying to sue Air Namibia for $1m after airline officials allegedly barred him and his family from travelling to Turkey.

But New Zimbabwe.com reported on Tuesday that a Zimbabwe High Court had since granted the lifting of the attachment of the Namibian aircraft in the ongoing case.

A New Era report said that days of flight operations remained unchanged. Windhoek to Harare was operated on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, whereas the Windhoek to Victoria Falls route was operated on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Harare High Court Judge Tawanda Chitapi had initially authorised the sheriff of the court to attach Air Namibia’s property, including planes, pending the finalisation of the case in which Zimbabwean family man Chenjerai Mawumba sued the airline for “pain, suffering and trauma”.

According to court papers, Mawumba, his wife and three children were barred from travelling to Turkey via Windhoek and Frankfurt in February 2017. He said he and his family were detained at Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport for two days, then deported back to Zimbabwe.

“We were advised by Air Namibia officials that we were not permitted to travel to Turkey as planned because of our Zimbabwean nationality,” Mawumba alleged in court papers quoted by the private Daily News.

He said they were told this “in the most racist, arbitrary and extemporary fashion” by airline officials.

According to the Daily News, Mawumba found out later that Air Namibia had “a policy of denying Zimbabweans and other nationalities access to Europe in a bid to save itself from paying fines imposed by Germany authorities for the conveyance of illegal passengers”.

The paper added: “While the airline was aware of this policy, it still accepted his flight payments.”

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