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Air Zimbabwe buys new 50 seater plane, to be delivered at month end

Air Zimbabwe is expecting to receive a new 50 seater airplane, ERJ 141 at the end of this month, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona confirmed.

The Minister said this in Parliament on Wednesday while responding to a question by Zanu-PF proportional representative member Nyarai Tsuura regarding government policy on increasing air transport fleet.

She asked: “Thank you Madam Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development. What is Government policy with regards to increasing air transport fleet?”

The Minister responded saying plans are there to buy aeroplanes to resuscitate Air Zimbabwe. This comes at a time when the company is facing huge financial challenges worsened by legacy debts.

But the Minister said Air Zimbabwe had already acquired one 50 seater aeroplane and it is expected to be delivered end of this month.

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“Thank you Madam Speaker. I also would like to thank Hon. Tsuura for that important question. Indeed in this august House, we hear mostly about roads and we seldom hear about air transport. I am glad to explain that Government has got a very good policy with regards to air transport,” he said.

“Government has plans to procure aeroplanes to resuscitate Air Zimbabwe. I am sure by the end of this month, we will be receiving an aeroplane ERJ 141 which is a 50 seater. It will be very helpful for the short routes, especially in the region. We would also like to resuscitate our London route because we very much want to revive our western routes in line with our re-engagement policy.”

The Minister further stated that Air Zimbabwe had been failing to ply London routes due to payment arrears to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). He said the debt has since been paid.

“The London route is a gateway to many other western countries. That also makes me to attend to the question that we have been banned from flying to London. It was an issue of some payment arrears to IATA, which the Government has since cleared.

“So we are now connected to the international communication systems and we are now able to fly to international destinations. With the limited resources that we have, it is key to resuscitate our routes to the international world,” Mhona said.