Air Zim sus­pends flights to SA over un­paid debt of R4m

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

HARARE: Zim­babwe’s national air­line has sus­pended flights to South Africa over a debt of $500 000, fear­ing cred­i­tors might im­pound more of its planes, state me­dia said yes­ter­day.

“We are not fly­ing into South Africa. We are try­ing to se­cure fund­ing to pay our debts in SA,” In­no­cent Mavhunga, Air Zim­babwe’s act­ing CEO, told The Her­ald news­pa­per.

Air Zim­babwe owes Bid Air of SA $500 000 (R4.2m) in han­dling ser­vices charges. “We are, how­ever, still fly­ing into (Zam­bia’s cap­i­tal) Lusaka and Lum­bum­bashi ( in DR Congo) as usual,” said Mavhunga.

On Mon­day, Amer­i­can Gen­eral Sup­plies seized Air Zim­babwe’s Boe- ing 767-200 at Lon­don’s Gatwick Air­port on over un­paid fees of $1.5m.

The air­line had to can­cel the flight and re­im­burse stranded pas­sen­gers.

Air Zim­babwe has ac­crued a debt of over $140 mil­lion, the re­port said.

The air­line, al­ready strug­gling to pay its work­force and fac­ing mount­ing fuel short­ages, needs about $40m to clear some of its debts, Mavhunga told state me­dia this week.

In June, the air­line can­celled flights to Lon­don and SA af­ter fuel com­pa­nies stopped sup­plies over non­pay­ment. Air Zim­babwe’s age­ing oper­a­tional fleet now con­sists of two B767-200s, three B737-200s and three MA60S. – SAPA-AFP

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