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Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) – Troubled Air Zimbabwe has been given 90 days to comply with international air safety standards or risk losing its membership of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the organisation said on Thursday.

IATA said contrary to media reports that Air Zimbabwe’s membership had been revoked, the troubled airline was still a member but risked losing its membership if it failed to comply within 90 days.

“IATA remains committed to developing aviation on the African continent. Safety is a key component in ensuring that Zimbabwe can benefit from all that safe skies can bring,” said Mike Higgins, IATA Regional Vice President for Africa.

IATA conducts a biennial Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which measures an airline’s system of operations, covering the operation of flights, boarding procedures and other aircraft safety issues.

“In order to retain IATA membership, Air Zimbabwe, like all other IATA member airlines, must submit to and pass the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA),” IATA said in a statement sent to PANA Thursday.

Since the introduction of the IOSA certification, the airlines body says there have been improvements in the hull loss rate, an issue it said was of significant importance in the building of safe and sustainable aviation in Africa.

“As always IATA is ready to assist Air Zimbabwe wherever possible in renewing its IOSA certification and continuing to benefit from the financial and other services IATA members participate in,” said Higgins.

The Zimbabwean carrier has faced difficulties, including management of its debts from aircraft leases and acquisitions among other operational difficulties.