Air Zimbabwe Woes Continue

On Monday the airline delayed passengers to Bulawayo and Victoria Falls for two hours for what the captain, who was flying the Boeing 737, said were operational problems.

“We are sorry for the late departure. This was due to operational problems,” Chipo Matimba, the captain, told passengers.

The delay affected top government ministers who included Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, Water Resources Minister Sipepa Nkomo and deputy health minister Douglas Mombeshora.

The national airline was castigated by some passengers who had come without tickets to board the plane thinking that the airline had a record of all passengers booked.

But to the surprise of passengers, an official at Harare International Airport said the airline was operating manually and they did not have information of their passengers readily. They had to telephone their Harare office in town to confirm passengers not carrying their tickets.

Air Zimbabwe has been facing problems over the years, which include plying non viable routes, ageing fleet, corruption and mismanagement resulting in the airline incurring over $100 million in debt.

At one time the airline flew one passenger from Victoria Falls to Harare.

Zimbabwe, which is hosting the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly meeting with Zambia next year, has already announced that it will approach South African airways to be the official carrier of delegates next year.