LONDON- The Air Zimbabwe plane seized in London on Monday last week should be released on Monday and is expected in Harare Tuesday morning, an official from the airline has told the state owned media.
American General Supplies impounded the Boeing 767-200ER at Gatwick International Airport over a US$1,2 million debt.
AirZim acting chief executive officer Innocent Mavhunga said funds deposited into the account of the US-based spares supplier should reflect today and that should be followed by the release of the plane in the evening. The national airline gets the bulk of its spares from the AGS.
Government bailed out AirZim when it raised all the money needed after threats that the plane, which costs US$144million, would be auctioned if the debt was not settled.
“The money has been deposited and we expect it to reflect today and we hope our plane will depart tomorrow evening (today) and land in the country on Tuesday morning. “Everything is settled for now, but you would never know with the publicity the case has developed, other complications might develop.
“It is our hope that nothing will arise and our plane flies back,” Mr Mavhunga said. Stranded passengers had to be either reimbursed or re-routed, while others were booked in hotels pending the finalisation of the matter.
The airline suspended flights to South Africa recently in fear of creditors and is now depending on its domestic flights for survival. It owes a South African company, Bid Air US$500 000. Two weeks ago, the firm grounded another Airzim plane over the outstanding debt.
The plane was later released after negotiations between Bid Air and Airzim management.