Air Zimbabwe, suspended local, regional and international flights in January owing to wild cat strikes, debts and mismanagement. The ailing airline last purchased new planes from China six years ago. In 2006, Air Zimbabwe purchased two Morden Ark planes from China and got one as a gift.
Government insiders told Radio VOP that the coalition government of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe was taking the revival of Air Zimbabwe seriously.
Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche and Finance Minister Tendai Biti, a close ally of Tsvangirai last month were tasked to explore the purchase or lease of aircraft from Brazil plane manufacturer identified as Embraer.
Insiders said government favoured buying or leasing aircraft from Embraer, with a new airline formed from the revival of Air Zimbabwe be used on its local, domestic and international routes set for May.
Embraer has dealings with four African airlines who have either have purchased or leased aircraft from the Brazilian manufacturer among them Kenya Airways, South African Airlink, Air Nigeria, Egyptair.
Air Zimbabwe’s aged fleet of Boeing aircraft was at one time condemned by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe before the condemnation was lifted. However, the airline’s planes have frequently been grounded owing to technical faults.