Air Zimbabwe is now largely able to finance its operations but it is not yet in a position to resume long haul flights to Beijing and London because of debts on those routes amounting to US$32 million.
This was said by Deputy Minister of Transport Petronella Kagonye in response to a question by Senator Damian Mumvuri who wanted to know whether the national airline was now viable since it resumed domestic and regional routes.
Kagonye said the national airline was now flying to Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Johannesburg but was saddled with debts amounting to US$180 million.
Last week, the secretary for transport Munesu Munodawafa said the national airline could not find partners because of its huge debts and the salary dispute with its employees.
Air Zimbabwe owes its employees about US$40 million in unpaid wages.
Q and A
SENATOR MUMVURI asked the Minister of Transport to give an update on the operations of the National Airline, Air Zimbabwe in particular:
- Whether the airline has become viable since it resumed domestic and regional routes several months ago, and
- When Air Zimbabwe is going to start servicing the international destinations such as Beijing and London?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT (MS. KAGONYE): Mr. President Sir, I am pleased that Air Zimbabwe is now providing a normal service on the domestic routes, particularly Harare to Bulawayo and Harare to Victoria Falls. Furthermore, the airline is also servicing the Harare to Johannesburg route, Bulawayo to Johannesburg and the Victoria Falls to Johannesburg routes. Air Zimbabwe is not yet financially stable because of a huge legacy debt of almost US180 million. We are pleased however, that Air Zimbabwe is now largely able to finance its operations.
Arising from the above, Air Zimbabwe is not yet in a position to resume the long haul routes like Beijing and London. These will be serviced when outstanding obligations on those routes amounting to US$32 million have been paid off.