Air Zimbabwe

Air Zimbabwe

From :

25 February 2013

FinX-ransport minister Nicholas Goche has announced a new board of directors chaired by Metropolitan Bank non-exec director and former Zim Cricket MD Ozias Bvute. The other board members include Vice Chairman Gabriel Mugabe, and members of the Board, Dr. Michael Hove, Nathan Chikono, Laura Gwatiringa, Captain Alex Makanda and Locadia Majonga. Addressing a presser in the afternoon, Transport minister Nicholas Goche said the board, which will aim to restore viability at the national airline will be tasked with the most difficult task of sourcing for funds.

The airline has been operating with an interim board since March last year when the Government disbanded Air Zimbabwe Holdings and formed a new State-run company Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited.

The appointment of the board was in line with recommendations by advisory firm Ernst & Young, hired in May last year to seek ways of reviving the airline.

The airline needs at least $50 mln to resume full international operations, $30 mln of which would go towards settling the debt.   The debt had grown to $188 mln from around $150 mln last year as government has not tabled the Debt Assumption Bill for consideration.

The airline had managed to resume domestic flights while regional flights to other countries besides South Africa are expected to resume by year end.

Goche said running the airline is a tough task but the new board would be mainly seized with rebranding the airline as well as restructuring staff. “I have not given up yet, but the task is very tough, actually it’s nearly impossible, we have been part paying our staff and we are going to continue to pay them”, he said.

Perm sec Munesu Munodawafa however said Air Zim’s situation is no different to what other airlines have gone through as the aviation sector is difficult to run.

The ministry said they were still preparing for the UNWTO. The Victoria Falls Airport was ready and more funds were being sourced to continue re-structural adjustments ahead of the conference.

Goche said it was sad to note neighbouring countries such as South Africa are now claiming for a percentage share from what tourists are bringing into Zimbabwe accusing it of “stealing its customers”. This comes with claims that tourists destined for South Africa are now proceeding to Zimbabwe Tourist destinations instead of South Africa.