ZIMBABWE – Cabinet is expected to come up with a raft of measures tomorrow to enable Air Zimbabwe to resume international flights by early next month.
Permanent Secretary for Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Mr Munesu Munodawafa last week said that the national airline’s future was being discussed at the highest level. He said Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche would issue a statement after the Cabinet meeting.
Mr Munodawafa could not disclose the new measures, saying they were subject to Cabinet approval.
“There are discussions going on in Government that are at an advanced stage,” he said.
“As I have said, these developments are subject to Cabinet approval. The Minister (Goche) will issue a statement after Cabinet probably next week (this week).”
Sources said the Government had engaged a number of potential investors to partner Air Zimbabwe.
Air Zimbabwe cancelled international and regional flights early this year to avoid the impounding of its planes by creditors.
This followed the impounding of one of the company’s planes in London by an American parts supplier over US$1 million.
The plane was released a few days later after Government paid the money. Government disbanded Air Zimbabwe Holdings in March and formed a new Stateowned company, Air Zimbabwe Private Limited.
The move was designed to lure investors that could partner Government in turning around the country’s national airline. As part of the restructuring exercise, Government took over Air Zimbabwe’s assets and liabilities, while National Handling Services was separated from Air Zimbabwe.
It was recommended that a financial consultant would be engaged to advise the shareholders on a viable business plan and organisational structure.The advisor would also consider possible acquisition of some of the existing equipment deemed necessary by Air Zimbabwe Pvt Ltd.
In March this year, Minister Goche said Air Zimbabwe had secured an A320 airbus for leasing as part of reviving the country’s flag carrier. He said the airbus would be part of Air Zimbabwe’s regional fleet
Air Zimbabwe Holdings has been facing numerous challenges, which have forced it to suspend services.The company is riddled with a US$150 million debt. Of the US$150 million, US$30 million is owed to foreign creditors.