Air Zimbabwe yesterday reportedly took delivery of one of the four Airbus planes that are expected to shore up its operations and assist in reviving its sagging fortunes.
It is understood the aircraft will be unveiled soon.
Although Secretary for Transport Partson Mbiriri, who asked for written questions had not responded by the time of going to print, a senior ministry official confirmed the national airline had received an Airbus A320.
The official said: “The airline has taken delivery of an Airbus A320. Another one should arrive anytime soon together with two Airbus A340s planes. I can confirm that one of the planes has arrived and has been placed under the hangar.”
Air Zimbabwe board chairperson Jonathan Kadzura yesterday refused to confirm the arrival of one of the Airbuses referring questions to acting chief executive officer Innocent Mavhunga, who was also reticent over the issue.
Kadzura said: “I cannot comment, try to call the ministry.”
Mavhunga responded: “That (arrival of Airbus A320) you can check with the ministry.”
While the Airbus was waiting unveiling, controversy surrounds the source of funds used to purchase the new planes given the airline’s precarious financial position.
Typically seating 150 passengers in a two-class cabin — or up to 180 in a high-density layout for low-cost and charter flights — the A320 is in widespread service around the globe on services that vary from short commuter sectors in Europe, Asia and elsewhere to trans-continental flights across the United States.
The A320’s advanced technology includes the extensive use of weight-saving composites, an optimised wing that is 20% more efficient than previous designs, a centralised fault display for easier troubleshooting and lower maintenance costs, along with the Airbus’ fly-by-wire flight controls.
Advantages of the fly-by-wire controls — which were pioneered on the A320 — are many.
They provide total flight envelope and airframe structural protection for improved safety and reduced pilot workload, along with improved flight smoothness and stability, and fewer mechanical parts.