“For reasons of safety and reliability, Australian government officials in Zimbabwe have been advised to avoid using Air Zimbabwe where alternative airlines are available. Air Zimbabwe was the only airline regularly operating on some internal routes, although its operations are currently suspended,” it said.
The warning not to fly on Air Zimbabwe came as Australia advised it nationals to exercise a high degree of caution in Zimbabwe due to the risk of crime and potential for civil unrest and political violence.
The black listing of the troubled airline is the final nail in the coffin of Air Zimbabwe, which is being shunned by government officials, due to its unreliability despite cabinet directive that officials from government should fly using the airline.
The airline is on and off on the domestic route. It suspended international and regional routes fearing that its plane might be impounded to offset long standing debts.
The airline owes suppliers over US$100 million. Last year, an Air Zimbabwe plane was impounded at Gatwick Airport over US$2 million debt. The plane was released after government chipped in with the money.
While the airline has been struggling to stay afloat, other international airlines have seen the opportunity by flying into the country. Emirates started flights into the country in February while KLM has announced that it would resume its flights into the country after pulling out 13 years ago.
Air Namibia resumed flights into Zimbabwe in May having quit the route 13 years ago.
SA Express is launching the Durban Harare—route next month.
The latest three flights between Durban and Harare will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays using a wide-body, CRJ 200 aircraft seating up to 50 passengers, the airline said Wednesday.