The airline’s aircraft fleet is so decrepit that all its planes are defective and warrants an overhaul, according to an Air Zimbabwe aircraft status obtained by Radio VOP this week.
Two of Air Zimbabwe’s long haul Boeing 767 planes have various degrees of faults. One of the smaller wide bodied plane which has been grounded since last year needs to undergo a test flight. But it has to first have its certificate of airworthiness which expired in December renewed.
The aircraft doesn’t have a taxi light and air speed indicator. The cash-strapped Air Zimbabwe needs to fork out $119 000 to purchase oxygen generators and $259 000 for a “C” check. The aircraft’s thrust reverser fan duct is also due for refurbishment.
Air Zimbabwe bought the aircraft in the late 80’s. According to the aircraft status one of the Boeing 767-200 aircraft, which ferries President Robert Mugabe and his family on his regional and international excursions, has defects that include a faulty toilet sensor while its certificate of airworthiness expired last month. However, its airworthiness certificate has been to the end of July.
One out of three Boeing 737 aircraft is operational and is currently servicing the Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls routes while all of the three Chinese-manufactured Modern Ark 60 are grounded.
The shocking aircraft status is just but one of the woes affecting the national flag carrier. Once one of the best airlines in Africa, Air Zimbabwe has been run down due to successive years of mismanagement and inadequate funding.