Embattled Air Zim Generating Revenue Through Chartered Flights

Air Zimbabwe grounded all its aircraft in January owing to poor management and lack of funding and also due to fears that its planes might be impounded by impatient creditors.

Insiders at the ailing national airline told Radio VOP that although Air Zimbabwe had suspended domestic, regional and international flights, it is currently operating charter flight services which are generating some revenue for the grounded national carrier.

The insiders disclosed that on Friday, Air Zimbabwe operated a presidential charter service to Equatorial Guinea to collect some officials from President Robert Mugabe’s office reportedly offering some undisclosed training service to some people in the West African country. The plane is scheduled to return on Tuesday.

A fortnight ago Air Zimbabwe also flew to the resort town of Victoria Falls on charter ferrying Al Amal Atbara, a Sudanese soccer team that played Hwange Football Club in one of the Caf Confederations Cup matches.

Insiders said the charters, which are operated on Air Zimbabwe’s Boeing 737 aircraft also offer Air Zimbabwe an opportunity to keep its flight crew in shape for resumption of service scheduled for May.

Last week, Air Zimbabwe summoned all of its flight crew to attend refresher training courses so as to keep them in shape ahead of planned resumption of service.

The refresher courses, which are being held at the airline’s headquarters at Harare International Airport, are also meant to enable pilots to keep their licenses current and fly at short notice.