Air Zimbabwe holdings board has appointed Innocent Mavhunga as the acting chief executive officer (CEO) following Peter Chikumba’s resignation.
Chikumba, who had served the airline for four years, decided not to renew his contract saying he was venturing into his own businesses.
The former CEO would have renewed his contract at the airline at the end of last year but opted not to.
The Air Zimbabwe board said in a statement that Mavhunga who is general manager of National Handling Services (NHS), a subsidiary of Air Zimbabwe, would take over as the acting CEO at the struggling airline.
“The board has also appointed Mr Innocent Mavhunga as the acting chief executive officer with immediate effect. Mr Mavhunga is the substantive general manager of National Handling Services, a subsidiary of Air Zimbabwe,” said the statement.
Mavhunga has been with Air Zimbabwe for the past 24 years, having started off as a traffic assistant and working his way up to station manager at Harare and Bulawayo airports.
He became cargo services manager and was involved in the setting up of National Handling Services as one of its senior managers. Until his appointment to move back to head NHS, Mavhunga was acting director of marketing with Air Zimbabwe.
Mavhunga’s appointment comes as it emerged that some board members of the national airline did not want Chikumba’s contract renewed.
They allegedly accused him of failing to handle the affairs of the airline and to effectively deal with the disastrous two-week strike by pilots which cost the airline dearly.
Air Zimbabwe pilots embarked on strike in September and early December demanding salary increases and improved working conditions which saw the national airline incurring further debt.
The parastatal is reportedly operating at loss of $2 million a month and has a debt of up to $64 million.
Air Zimbabwe has also stated that the other cause of the losses is that the fleet is aged and costly to maintain and service.
The airline also grounded several aircraft because they were no longer worth flying and scaled down on the number of flights per week to rationalise operations and contain costs.