Officials from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli following various foreign airlines’ failure to repatriate to their countries over US$100 million paid by locals towards airfares.
IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac on Monday said that failure by airlines to repatriate money from Zimbabwe had necessitated the meeting with Harare authorities. Said Juniac:
We are representing the community of the airlines especially those serving Zimbabwe…
We have a concern because our funds cannot be repatriated. When you buy tickets to fly from or to Zimbabwe, the funds cannot be given back to the airlines.
… It is a big concern and we asked for a meeting with key officials and the president of Zimbabwe who has accepted to receive us and establish a framework under which we will be able to find an agreement to solve the issue.
It will be very negative or counter-productive if the airlines are forced to reduce their frequency or reduce their service.
So we will find an appropriate solution to prevent this event from happening.
Some major airlines such as Kenyan Airways, Ethiopian Airways and Fly Emirates have in the recent past suspended all their ticketing systems in Zimbabwe after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) failed to release the foreign currency for the airlines.