The ailing state-run airline cancelled domestic flights to Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city and to the resort town of Victoria Falls after the airline’s aircraft; a Boeing 737-500 developed an engine fault which could not be fixed because engineers were not reporting for duty.
The airline also cancelled regional flights to Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo as it operates the Boeing 737-500 to service the routes.
But on Wednesday afternoon, Air Zimbabwe resumed servicing local flights after enticing some of the airline’s engineers to report for duty.
Sources said the airline’s management had charmed the engineers with a pledge to instantly pay them US$200 each for carrying out the repairs. The repairs to the aircraft were also made possible after engineers cannibalized an engine on one of the airline’s Boeing 737-500 which is currently grounded and due for a corrosion check.
The cancellation of flights is one of several problems affecting Air Zimbabwe including fuel shortages, wild cat strikes, outdated fleet and equipment and mounting debts which in recent months have resulted in the seizure of the airline’s aircraft in Johannesburg and London.
Out of a fleet compliment of eight planes, only two are operational while the rest are grounded to failure to procure replacement spares to repair the aircraft which includes three MA60, which were procured from China including one which was donated as a free gift.