Air Zimbabwe has flown its Boeing 777 to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, ahead of a possible lease agreement for the aircraft after several airlines have shown interest.
The 15-year-old B777 was acquired from Malaysia Airlines at a cost of US$16.5 million and delivered in January this year.
It was flown to Addis Ababa on Tuesday by German pilot Werner Heumann, who arrived in Harare on Monday aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight which was repatriating 30 Zimbabwean nationals who had been trapped by coronavirus lockdowns in several overseas countries.
The plane landed at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport at 3.38 PM CAT.
Speaking to ZimLive this Tuesday, an unnamed senior Air Zimbabwe official confirmed that the Ethiopians have agreed to take possession of the plane. Said the official:
The plane is going to Addis Ababa for positioning and possible leasing out. We have been in negotiations with a few airlines who have shown interest, and the Ethiopians are leading that pack. They have agreed to take possession of the aircraft for now and will maintain it, while the talks continue.
Air Zimbabwe currently flies a single plane, a Boeing 767, on domestic and regional flights to Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg.
Meanwhile, the “new” plane flown to Ethiopia today bears registration Z-RGM, named in honour of the late former president Robert Gabriel Mugabe.