Briefly introducing its new acting Managing Director Advocate Mandi Samson, Air Namibia Board chairperson Gerson Tjihenuna wasted no time highlighting the motivation to appoint Samson.
“The board wants to assure the public that Samson has the ability to lead Air Namibia and will provide her the full support in that regard. In the area of aviation, Samson has assisted the Southern African Development Community in developing and drafting the “Common Regulations of Competition of Air Transport Services within the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Added Tjihenuna, “more recently Samson was the consultant to the African Union tasked with drafting the “Regulations of Competition for Air Transport in Africa and Arbitration Procedures.”
Speaking of the cuff, Samson said in response to a query from the media that compliance would be top of her list priorities. Another issue for Samson was Air Namibia’s financial state. She said, “I need to state Air Namibia’s importance to the economy and its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product. It becomes an emotive issue when you are at Frankfurt airport and see the Namibian flag on a plane. Air Namibia has long been seen as a drain on the fiscus. I would like to see a situation where all Namibians can be proud when the flag takes off.”
The UCT LLB graduate and PhD candidate in Air Transport takes over effective immediately from Acting Managing Director Rene Gsponer who will also make way for two Namibians vying for his Operations post.