Air Zim suspends flights to SA over unpaid debt of R4m
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