Fuel suppliers demand cash up front

HARARE - International Jet A1 fuel suppliers have withdrawn credit lines to the national passenger carrier Air Zimbabwe and are demanding cash upfront after the company failed to make timely payments for fuel supplies.
Air Zimbabwe spokesman David Mwenga told The Zimbabwean that the new pol

icy had been in effect for two weeks and was a result of severe hard currency shortages that have forced most local firms to delay payments to international suppliers.
He said this had forced the national airliner to hike fares by between 200 and 500 percent two weeks ago, but declined to disclose the monthly fuel bill, although he said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe had stepped in to provide foreign currency for “critical areas” which include fuel imports.
The central bank has introduced measures requiring exporters to remit 40 percent of their earnings immediately for the import of fuel and energy.
Mwenga said the central bank had provided the foreign currency to pay the airline’s fuel bills, insurance fees and monthly dues to the International Airline Transporters’ Association (IATA) clearing house, which handles payments for all inter-airline transactions.
“If we fail to pay IATA, then we are in trouble and we obviously cannot do without fuel,” he added. – Own correspondent

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