Air Zimbabwe still negotiating with striking pilots and cabin crew

air_zimbabweAir Zimbabwe management is still in talks with its pilots and cabin crew, despite a statement Sunday saying they had been fired after they refused to return to work.

The pilots walked out on Wednesday last week over pay and conditions. A 24-hour deadline was set for them to return to work over the weekend but on Monday the pilots were still digging in.

A highly placed source within the airline told SW Radio Africa on Monday that negotiations between management and the pilots were still ongoing, despite the chairmans statement.

Jonathan Kadzura, the board chairman, said the pilots should consider themselves out of a job, after they failed to take heed of the 24 hour deadline.

Kadzura said there was no way Air Zimbabwe could bow to the pilots demands and added that they had essentially fired themselves by not agreeing to return to the posts before the deadline. He has described the walkout as illegal. But the board has now scheduled an emergency meeting for Tuesday to see if they can find a solution to the crisis.

Thousands of air travellers are already facing lengthy delays and cancellations after the national carrier was forced to cancel all its international flights. The standoff between the pilots and management is costing the airline about $500 000 a day.

Domestic flights are being serviced by other new airlines in the country while passengers flying to regional routes have been transferred to other airlines.

The airline is in the process of trying to lease a much bigger aircraft to operate its most lucrative Harare-London route in an effort to minimise disruptions for the travellers. But scores of passengers were by last night still stranded at Gatwick airport in the UK.

Post published in: World News

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