Air Zimbabwe says it will refurbish its two Boeing 767 aircraft to service international flights starting with London in November this year.
Acting group chief executive Mr. Innocent Mavhunga said that the Boeing 767 planes were still in good condition to ply international routes.
However, he said after refurbishment the aircraft would be used to service routes that were viable before the airline was grounded. The airline’s old fleet had become expensive to operate.
“Our target, initially, are those routes that were viable just like we have done with Johannesburg and then expand, it will be gradual,” he said.
“The only one (route) I can say with certainty is the London one which we have targeted to recommence in November,” said Mr. Mavhunga.
He, however, would not say where and when the refurbishment would be done and be completed, but said it depended on the company doing the work, which takes a month. He pointed out plans were being put in place to make sure that when they resume servicing the routes the equipment would be competitive.
|Fast facts about Air Zimbabwe:|
|Founded||1 September 1967|
|Number of aircraft being refurbished||2 (Boeing 767-200)|
|Harare to London route to commence||November|
|Planes used for regional flights||Boeing 737-200|
|Planes used for domestic flights||Embraer ERJ 145, MA60 (once refurbished)|
The national airline is also in the process of rehabilitating its Boeing 732-200 planes to use them on its regional flights while the MA60 is being refurbished to ply domestic routes.
Air Zimbabwe suspended domestic, regional and international flights in January last year after it was choked by debts, industrial action by key personnel including pilots and engineers, and fears that some of its planes could be seized to recover debts.
The national airline resumed regional and national flights in April after acquiring an Airbus A320 and leased two Embraer planes.
Air Zimbabwe is at the moment busy trying to rebuild passenger confidence and has since significantly reduced domestic and regional fares in a bid to claw back the lost market share.
Airzim chairman Mr Ozias Bvute last week said the newly acquired planes had seen the airline’s fuel costs going down by 45 percent.
Speaking during a Press conference at the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development following the readmission of Air Zimbabwe to the International Air Transport Association, Mr Bvute also said the airline was presently not in a position to afford the cost of reducing its head count.
Date: 24 June 2013