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Stranded AirZim passengers arrested

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Four stranded Air Zimbabwe passengers were reportedly arrested yesterday at Gatwick International Airport in London as confusion reigned over a plane seized by an American company.

There were unconfirmed reports last night that several passengers were stranded in Johannesburg and London as the plane failed to leave the UK last night as scheduled.

An Air Zimbabwe Boeing 787-200 was impounded by American General Supplies (AGS) on landing en route from Harare over a $1,2 million debt.

The company is the airline’s major spares supplier. Innocent Mavhunga, the Air Zimbabwe chief executive last night said the troubled airline was making frantic efforts to make travel arrangements for the stranded passengers.

“We are doing something like we always do either (by) rerouting or reimbursing where possible,” he said.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that AGS had given Air Zimbabwe up to the end of the day today to pay off the debt or have the plane auctioned.

“We are still making frantic efforts to mobilise resources (to save the plane) I am not aware of the ultimatum you say we have been given.” Mavhunga said.

It is the second Air Zimbabwe plane to be seized over a debt inside a week after a Boeing 737-500 was held for seven hours by a ground services handling company that is owed $500 000.

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