Muzenda says Air Zimbabwe risks losing planes due to debts

Posted by Tayana

Air Zimbabwe’s newly appointed chief executive says the airline needs to pay up creditors to avoid risk of having its planes impounded in foreign countries. The national airline has continued to struggle, incurring consecutive losses and relying on treasury for support. It currently has a debt of $330 million.

In 2011, Air Zimbabwe’s Boeing 737-500 was impounded in South Africa after failing to settle a $500,000 debt owed to Bid Air Services for handling services. Its largest aircraft, a Boeing 767-200 was seized by American General Supplies in London over a of $1,2 million debt in the same year.

The plane was later released after the airline paid the debt, but Air Zimbabwe stopped flying to London, one of its most lucrative routes, since then.

Muzenda, who was appointed the airline’s chief executive in August, told a pre-budget meeting that the airline still risked having its aircraft impounded because of the debts,

Investment in the fleet and liquidation of current creditors is a priority …it is essential that before we commence international operations, we remove the threat of the aircraft being impounded by the creditors.

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