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Where does the Captain come in????

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Where does the Captain come in????

Old 17th Dec 2001, 18:59
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Post Where does the Captain come in????

Fron The Namibian 17 Dec

'Drunk' hostesses forced to fly

FIVE air hostesses at Air Namibia, who are currently suspended from international flights, were forced to fly back to Windhoek from Frankfurt in Germany while "drunk", claimed one of the suspended hostesses.

The five were in a group of 14 hostesses who arrived in Germany on November 24 aboard B747-400 Flight SW282 from Namibia.

Their plane later flew to Amsterdam where it was scheduled to be serviced by KLM engineers.

According to a hostess, who requested anonymity, Air Namibia's B747-400 Boeing was scheduled to fly back with its 14 crew members by November 30.

As Flight SW282 was in jeopardy since the B747-400 was still in a hangar at Amsterdam undergoing maintenance, and because of pressure from Windhoek-bound passengers in Germany, the airline signed a "wet lease" with an airline from Poland where it chartered a 767-300 ER.

On November 26, Glenrose Dyasi, the Crew Manager, informed hostesses about the flight back to Windhoek, that was to take place the following day.

But later on November 26, she apparently told the hostesses that they should be prepared to fly back in two hours time because there had been some flight changes.

At this stage the hostesses, who were apparently drinking liquor, quarrelled with the Crew Manager saying they should be given ample time to recover from their drinking otherwise they could compromise their safety and that of passengers.

Aviation regulations stipulate that air hostesses should have a period of at least eight hours between the last alcoholic drink and the period they are supposed to board a plane for duty.

But their superior prevailed and three of them had to service the chartered Polish plane back to Windhoek while apparently in a state of intoxication, said the hostess.

"These three were under the influence of alcohol. She (Dyasi) forced them to board the 767. It was a safety risk to us and to the passengers," she said.

The other complaint raised was that the air hostesses involved are not qualified to service 767 flights as this is in breach of certain aviation laws.

Despite this shortcoming Air Namibia did not make an arrangement for a refresher course for its crew before they manned the 767.

A disciplinary hearing for the five is set for Tuesday. In the letter of suspension issued on Wednesday Air Namibia says the five are being suspended from international flights because they failed "to obey/carry out lawful instructions" to operate the B747-400 Flight SW282.

A hostess wondered how they can be suspended for failure to work on an aircraft that was at that time still undergoing maintenance in Amsterdam.

An assistant to Peter Chikumba, the Acting Managing Director at Air Namibia, acting on instructions from the acting CEO, said "there are no suspended flight attendants, and we don't have anything to say."

The female personal assistant, who refused to give her name, said no employee is allowed to speak to journalists at Air Namibia except Chikumba, when this journalist requested to be put through to Dyasi, the Crew Manager involved in the latest saga to befall the national airliner.


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