Air Namibia hit with ‘predatory prices’ complaint

Air Namibia is facing complaints at the Competition Commissions of Namibia and South Africa for predatory pricing on some of its routes.

The airline is accused of undercutting prices and sacrificing short-term profit in a bid to curb competition and maintain the monopoly on certain routes.

Corporate communications manager of Air Namibia, Paul Nakawa, told TAM a complaint had been lodged with the Competition Commissions of both countries. “SA Airlink contends that Air Namibia is engaging in predatory pricing on the Windhoek-Cape Town route.” Both Commissions were currently investigating whether this was the case, Nakawa says.

He said the airline was being assisted by lawyers to dispute the complaints. “We remain confident of successfully opposing the claim,” says Nakawa.

The loss-making Namibian state-owned carrier recently won approval to fly to the US.

Nakawa says the airline will use the traffic rights in conjunction with its codeshare partners. “We are not immediately considering any direct operations,” he says.

More regional routes are also on the cards for Air Namibia, although Nakawa could not confirm which routes these were. “Air Namibia is constantly performing route analysis and looking for opportunities to expand our routes,” Nakawa told TAM. Several options were being considered, but the current economic situation would dictate when and which routes would be announced he added.

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