Air Zim future uncertain after China takeover fails

The future of Zimbabwe’s national airline remains uncertain after planes were grounded earlier this month and management failed to secure funds to pay off their crippling debt.

Air Zimbabwe workers have also been on strike demanding better salaries and working conditions, leaving no crew to repair the last operational aircraft that developed a mechanical fault in one of its engines.

There had been some hope that China’s largest private airline, Hainan Airlines, would invest in Air Zim and resuscitate the suspended regional and international flights. But according to Zimbabwe’s official news agency ZIANA, negotiations broke down this month.

Unnamed sources told that news agency that it was the US$140 million debt accrued by Air Zim that caused Hainan Airlines to withdraw their proposal. Failure to agree on a management structure is also reported to have influenced the Chinese decision.

Meanwhile other airlines appear to be taking advantage of the void created by Air Zimbabwe. Reports said airline giant, Emirates, will this week start flying between Harare, Lusaka and Dubai several times a week. Air Namibia, which stopped operations in Zimbabwe 13 years ago, is also expected to resume services to Zimbabwe in May. – SW Radio Africa News

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *