AirZim hits fresh lows

THE cash-strapped national airline Air Zimbabwe on Wednesday hit new lows as it reportedly flew with only 12 passengers on board the Boeing 737 from Harare to Johannesburg.

Report by Business Reporter

The Boeing 737 has a carrying capacity of over 100 passengers.

An engineer with the airline said the development was an indication that the airline was having problems in attracting customers due to its damaged reputation.

“This shows that there are some fundamental issues that were not in place when the airline started to operate. The current board gave people the impression that all is well when it’s not,” the engineer said.

Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer Innocent Mavhunga declined to comment on the matter.

This is not the first time that the airline has flown few passengers as it once took off with one passenger on board in 2011.

The airliner also travelled with passengers from the United Kingdom without food after the food was confiscated over an outstanding debt.

Air Zimbabwe makes flights to Johannesburg daily. The airline resumed flights to South Africa last month after abandoning the route following threats of plane seizures by creditors. The parastatal, which is saddled with a $180 million debt, is hunting for a new managing director to spearhead its recapitalisation exercise.

The managing director will, among other things, oversee the turnaround of the national airline through the provision of strategic direction, and co-ordinating the company’s business activities by ensuring it is run in a profitable and professional manner.

Other roles include developing a customer-centric culture that would restore confidence among customers and stakeholders, establishing a strong corporate governance culture and instilling a performance culture in the organisation.

48 Responses to AirZim hits fresh lows

  1. ara bizos May 17, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    You are reporting it wrongly that the food was confiscated. How could they have confiscated the food which they had catered coz once done that way the caterers would trash that food and who loses?? Them isitn’t?? If you had said they were denied provision it makes sense and this is true coz I was on the flight but the airline put measures to provide light meals for the passengers. So your report on this is very wrong which is typical of you guys denigrading the airline. Yes it is in problems no doubt about it like any other coy in the country but efforts are done to revive it. The problem is beyond workers, management or board. SAA was financed of SAR5billion by the gvt and what has Air Zimbabwe been given?? All is not rosy with SAA but there is team work to assist the airline in its predicament situation.

    • observer May 17, 2013 at 8:16 am #

      how do you team up with people who do not want your cooperation nor views

    • taps May 17, 2013 at 8:35 am #

      SAA is not saddled with bad serviceand management spanning over 3 decades, like Air Zimbabwe nor is it regarded as a ruling party toy. Lets not compare apples with oranges.

      Last christmas Air Zimbabwe was over booked and they left passengers stranded at OR Tambo, no communication, no one was booked into any accommodation.

      Never mind the passengers, the Air Zimbabwe employees themselves hardly ever get paid at all. Air Zimbabwe is a text book case of how not to run an Air line. A disaster waiting to explode.

      But who is to say enough is enough? Everyone is riding the horse and cart till the wheels fall off, just like the the Zim dollar economy.

      ZANU PF spend so many years fighting the establishment in the jungle, at independance they became the system, they had no clue what to do. So the laws of the jungle appplied then, they still apply now.

      • Peter Macklyn May 18, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

        taps: you hit it right on the head. They didn’t have a clue how to govern and when they got into power (by force in 1980) they were too busy stealing all the money and enriching themselves, hence the current Zimbabwe.

    • sky May 17, 2013 at 8:40 am #

      SAA makes a “loss” because it flies to cities that dont make a profit but are important to the country like kampala , kigali , Accra , bujumbura.SAR5billion was well spent

    • muzimbo May 17, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      Thank you for setting the record straight. This is poor reporting which we expect from herald not newsday, we expect the truth and a little encouragement. Things are bad in this country, its a fact.
      these guys need real financial aid and less meddling by the politicians, they can make it. Their challenge is not about ceos or lack of strategy but poor funding and meddling by politicians.
      With propoer conditions they can regain their glory, and it will happen one day

    • Falcon May 17, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      SAA was given SAR5 billion…how much does it bring in by way of sales of tickets? There is no use PRETENDING we still have an airline, because we dont. Air Zimbabwe was killed by its management long back, the sooner it stays buried and a new player allowed to take its place the better. The companies you mention started having problems yesterday, Air Zim has had problems since time immemorial..see the difference??? Nyaradzo Funeral services are letting everyone down..they should have carted this cadaver off to ku Mbuzi long back. For a country claiming to be on sanctions what is the rationale of keeping a brain dead body on life support..and our health services does not have the expertise required anyhow. Yah, its all Nyaradzo Funeral Services’ fault, how can they stand the stench and why are they punishing us and the body of a relative ( former Air Zim) in this fashion???

      • eric bizos May 17, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

        In a nutshell, sanctions ve impacted equally on ths airline which pple do not understand. They ve to go thru third part to get spares for their aging one or two planes which shows determination nd eagerness. Hw many airlines wthin th confines of Air Zimbabwe ar still existing whose gvts have interest sy heart? Look at Zambia, Malawi,Botswana,Uganda do they ve intl flights? No. Why? Air Zimbabwe had it been properly funded irrespective of bad mouthing abt management,it cd competing wth th jack nd Jill’s in Africa. If the resources are ther nd pple are made accountable why would they fail?

        • Peter Macklyn May 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

          Air Rhodesia flourished during full sanctions against the country and even managed to buy jet aircraft to upgrade the fleet. There are no sanctions against Zimbabwe, only against the corrupt and evil people running the country. Aircraft spares etc are readily available so don’t blame sanctions for Air Zimbabwe’s demise, blame this government.

    • jonathan May 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      Nonsense. Do not waste time trying to defend the undefendable. SAA’s KIPs are to a large extent consistent with many players in the industry. Air Zim are unheard of. Gross mismanagement at it worst. SAA cango on the market & easily find a taker in no time. Only an insane person will even consider buying airzim.

    • captainTsiquah May 21, 2013 at 1:12 am #

      Thank u that’s is a true comment u just put there people just look at the close factors and they can’t realy look outside the box there is still hope that we will be back to normal aslong as we get funds

  2. Sly May 17, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    No, i think they where test running the plane. How on earth can u carry 12 pssngrs n 1passngr to uk.

  3. Sly May 17, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    No, i think they where test running the plane. How on earth can u carry 12 pssngrs n 1passngr to uk. Chero combi inotakura vanu 18 haibve nevanhu 12 ichienda ku harare

  4. Tatenda May 17, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    HaHaHa,Air Zimbabwe yakamhanya dhiff-kana kombi yekuMbare haisimuki kana ine vanhu 12 chete.Kana ine vanhu 12 inotosarudza kupa vanhu ivavo kuimwe kombi yorega hayo kumhanya gango!

  5. Lazy Boy May 17, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    ETHIOPIAN Airlines’ latest acquisition, the Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner, returns to conquer Harare skies ahead of its deployment to service the Harare-Addis Ababa-via-Lusaka route. The giant 289-seater aircraft – the most technologically advanced commercial aircraft in the world would be servicing the route daily until June 15. After the 36 days, the availability of the Dreamliner will be determined by the load factor on the route. The Ethiopian Airlines, which has 4 Dreamliners in service, became the first airline in the world to resume flights using the Dreamliner 787, after the US Federal Aviation Administration recently approved improvements that Boeing made to the 787 battery systems, paving the way for the resumption of flights.

    Ndovanonzi varume ava kwete zvedu kunyorwa patoilet – Air Zimbabwe

  6. Mayday May 17, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Minister Goche has failed the national airline, why is it that the audits results are never made public. Obviously they will open a cane of worms which has the potential of bringing down very powerful persons in government, no wonder why the ZACC was prevented from investigating Goche among others. There nothing new about the current board because they are merely buying time as they have no clue on how to turnaround the ailing company considering that man who appointed them is largely responsible for the present scenario. The situation prevailing at airline mirrors the failed policies of the government which has impoverished and enriched a few through corruption, which has thrived un abated with the powers that be paying a lip service.

  7. Inno May 17, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    RIP Air Zim, you will never recover because alot of politics is at play. There is no hope for any transformation.

  8. stevejj5 May 17, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    SAA is not so healthy! Management instablity! Corruption by Management! Abuse by gvt! Old fuel guzzling fleet!

  9. Mishy May 17, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    give the airline a chance zimbabweans be proud of you country and support your own airline, how can it succesed when everyone runs to foreign airlines. i have used it before and it was perfect no complains. Good Luck

    • Falcon May 17, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      This is just an academic question- how many chances should we give them other inclusive of the millions we gave them?

    • Peter Macklyn May 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

      We tried that and the politicians here buggered that up so nobody will trust Air Zim again. It’s a pity but maybe a regime change will help to reverse that.

  10. Gracia May 17, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Air Zimbabwe is used as a private jet by the limping donkey’ Its reputation has been tarnished and there is no way people are going to use those airplanes.

    • eric bizos May 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

      Gracia u ve ur taste buds nd cannot be compared to one next to you therefore pple do ve choices. Once Air Zimbabwe becomes operational it is an individual’s choice to fly it or not. Hence there’s OK nd Meikles in our country the same with pple around th globe they make their own choices than to be forced. You don’t need to be prejudiced, do you in life? Look there is a change of tone towards Zimbabwe by countries which you used to be anti why?? Evaluate situations nd come up with informed answers.

  11. izo May 17, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    How can you be proud of failer,don’t put saa into zim issue we are too primitive

  12. resident May 17, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    air zim is the same as zim dollar. its now redundant.

  13. kiriyeni May 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    An engineer at Air Zimbabwe. Who can that be. Are you not mistaking a journeyman for an engineer as we do not have engineers at the airline. You call the welders,sheet metal workers(ana chiboora mapoto), upholsterers(vanosona masofa) and those who unlock g-tides engineers. No wonder why the airline is where it is today. They were given hefty salaries and the so called retention allowances for nothing hence the collapse of the airline . These guys are now begining to feel the pinch thats why they are now commenting on issue about the airline instead of the PR department. If they were so special and worth all that they say they are worth more than the rest let them fill the planes with passengers instead of rushing to comment on the loads. They now realise that there is someone who should fill the planes. Ko pavaimboti vamwe vese havafaniri kutambira ivo chete ndivo vakakosha. Munhu akaronga company achiti ngakuve nema departments iwayo haapenge waibata. Pinda mustayera ukarara wasara

    • simon May 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

      They are called engineers because of: (i) the Air Navigation Law which issues them Aircraft Engineers Certificates (AEC). This law calls them Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AME). (ii) The original meaning of engineer referred to people who were not so learned as you may think. Ask Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers, and do your research on what an engineer is.

      Retention allowances were a national issue. This was done from Reserve Bank. ZESA etc. were also given retention. Any skilled group which was viewed to be necessary to retain in Zimbabwe could apply and get this allowance.

      Hefty is dependent on a person’s level and qualifications.

  14. Nndinoda Nyikayangu May 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    My Turn around Plan for Air Zim.

    1) Ring fence the debt and transfer it to the current sole share holder the government.
    2) Liquidate the entire company and government pays off all the employees.
    3) Carry out an audit of all the assets the company has fixed and otherwise.
    4) Come up with a value for the business and assets
    5) Find a partner or buyer not for Air Zim but for the assets and form a new company
    6) Re-Fleet and start small BURN THE 737-200 SELL THE 767-200.
    2 Beechcraft 1900D aircraft will set you back $5m each they seat 19 people comfortably and can make profit on the BYO-HRE route with just 4-6 passengers each way depending on pricing model and cost almost nothing to run. They will concentrate of HRE-VFA HRE-BYO BYO-VFA
    2 CRJ 200 or EMB145 jets will cost aprox $15m each. They seat 50 each and are reliable and cost effective to run and maintain. They will do HRE-JNB VFA-JNB VFA-CPT VFA-DNB. BYO-JNBThe EMB 145 needs about 12 passengers for HRE-JNB to break even.
    7) FORGET LONDON FORGET DUBAI forget CHINA the fight is too stiff and requires critical mass to operate. You will never be able to compete with Emarites or Ethiopian and Kenyean on those routes. They do not mind making $25 profit per passenger on those flight because they do the route twice a day with a 300 seater aircraft. ka Air Zim will not have a chance to compete on price.
    8) Outsource everything the company needs. from Maintenance, cleaning, bookings, marketing should be done by specialist 3rd parties. The role of the company will be to fly. Do away with food on flight serve water and sells drinks and snacks. Who really needs a meal going to BYO from HRE. Outsourcing forces you to pay upfront and manage cash flow keeps HR cost down as well and reduces liabilities.

    • jojo May 18, 2013 at 9:50 am #


      • Peter Macklyn May 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

        I agree it’s a good plan, or the only plan. Mugs destroyed it so he must take over item 1) as mentioned above. Then he must have nothing to do with it ever again. Let him and his cronies use another airline to travel in not Air Zim.

  15. ndabaningi May 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Lol and to think according to telone’s online directory AIR ZIMBABWE HARARE BRANCH HAS OVER 200 PHONE LINES!!!!!!!!!! When it doesnt have clients!!!! its managed by educated fools!!! munti makadzidza this! and that! shit

  16. UNDEREMPLOYED May 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    I have written to O’Reilly in Dublin..

    Zimbabwe can be the very best hub for Ryanair in Africa

    And why not?????

    I have just flown to Greece from Germany return for Euro 65 inclusive.

    We can and will learn how to build a great airline in Central Africa.

  17. Zim 40 May 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    @Izo, u admitted that we are too premitive yes bt excluding me and others who are good at blaming without giving ways of improvement. Ever talking of mdc/zanu pf forgetting to do beta things at home. May they change their attitudes.

  18. mazeru mandirahwe May 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    thank you for your contributions but no one will listen to them

  19. DISDRUNTLED May 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Mese makaperererwa, no solutions. Someone is paid to write these. Zimbabwe ma1, we are our greatest enemies on earth. We destroyed everything so that we build. U remember those days of stay away when we were violent destroying and looting. Pataitsamwa taibva tati tipei masanctions izvi the intended hawana kasanction kanowabata coz they are clever they had already looked east uko then only zvinhu zvinobatsira isu varombo izvo shweeeeeeeeeeee nemasanctions. Tell me how many of those targeted with sanctions have died except the poor who died apo nzou dzairwa huswa ndihowo hwakatsva . Tinonyora tisina kana solution. we are tired of these patches you are trying to put. Only God will usher a new system. usawimba namachinda avanhu manzwa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. mushandi May 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    am an employee of the airline. Its hell guys I/ We are in a serious situation. I understand operating commercial flights need huge capital. All these countries SA, Kenya Ethiopia, Egypt , Algeria etc with successful airlines have large economies. Back then when airzim was stil in good shape, i think the government which was supposed to kip airzim well in good shape concentrated on other things tht wld help them stay in power and forgot airzim knowing tht only a few elites are worried abt air travel. Airzim have bee led by chicken farmers. A management tht hides the truth from the ministry for fear of being blamed. The management lies to Goche and Himself Goche sometimes is shocked when certain things uncover. No sanctions have affected airzim at all. Irikuzvipisa nemafuta ayo.
    April made it the 27th month, or 2years 3months without a full salary. I repeat, 27months consecutive without a full salary. Sometimes we queue to be given $100 each after every 4 months tisina kana cent. My salary on paper is $1100 ndopiwa $100 muna Feb imwe waya inouya muna July ndokunge mugabe atombohaya ndege nokuti he pays huge cash. So a lowest paid worker is owed around $15000 hameno kuti ichawanikwepi yokupa vese. Vakomana itonzwai tsitsi nokuti panhu paye pashata serious. I cnt explain further u wld think I lie.

  21. Tjingababili May 18, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    Compliments of the Revulsionary Party, ZANUPF !PAMBERI Necorruption and nepotism!

  22. Jamengweni Godonga May 18, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I for one my heart bleeds for the once renowned airline. I have had opportunities to bring aircraft into the country, eg CRJ200 which would be economical to operate but – alas – no takers. Small as it is, let every Jack & Jill bring his/her lunch tin & beverages are bought from the cabin crew. The CRJ200 will cover all the cities in the region in 2 hours max less ‘the fasten your seat belts’ time and who needs a 3 course meal in such a short time!!
    The Grand Caravan/Beech 1900 perform well and will land anywhere; why not use them? Yes they take max 20kgs baggage but our tourists carry ruck sacks and businesspeople now carry Ipads. Plan the routes so that they conform to the needs of the traveller and not what the shareholder wants.
    There was once the very popular Great Escape package which allowed day trips to the Falls which included lunch but not anymore. One cannot fathom the idea of taking the wife/hubby and 2 kids for a weekend to the natural wonder from Harare because time needed is 3 nights 4 days minimum and very stressing in Pathfinder – no injustice intended. Bulawayo should not be left out as there are people with needs as well. Surely someone is sleeping on the job, clueless or just does not care if not all combined.
    Vic Falls is God given to us but it is better sold from far away places because we plan so badly and steal like there is no tomorrow & cannot tap into what is available on our doorstep. Where is ZTA to advise UM on the routes that make sense than China? Air Namibia brings to the Falls more pax than UM takes to Joburg so why go there in the 1st place? Get the politics right and go to Nairobi from the Falls & back. Engage with the stakeholders with keen interest in the industry than the so called business analysts who read from the same script day in day out about sanctions. If Britain was beaten in their Landrover game by Croco, surely Croco can advise UM how spares can be sourced without bothering about flimsy sanctions.

    • Peter Macklyn May 18, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

      Watch my lips “THERE ARE NO SANCTIONS THAT AFFECT THE PURCHASE OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT SPARES, OR EVEN COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT COMPLETE”. The only sanctions are to prevent evil rulers and cronies from travelling to certain places. There are no other sanctions except the arms embargo which china breaks every day to ensure that mugs can shoot his own people.

  23. Jamengweni Godonga May 18, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    In fact it was called the Flame Lily package and not Great Escape.

  24. Sihle May 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    $60 to bhuruwayo by air without meals is reasonable .that airbus will be packed like tinned fish. Try it . Far much better than flying to joni with 12 people .

    • Peter Macklyn May 18, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

      Where is “bhuruwayo”, I was not aware of a name change. Keep up with the times and pay attention.

  25. Riman May 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    These managers have no management ethos in them! If you have only 12 passengers, it is better economics to re-book them on other airlines, and save the fuel.

    But they obviously it is about the aircraft being seen flying, at whatever cost. No wonder it is running headlong into the ground!

  26. TONGAI May 20, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Anything associtaed to Zanu pf is no good,I tell you.THis is because matsaga ,nevakweguru vakawandisa muparty yaora iyi,kkkkkk

  27. Kambiri May 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    So many times i have travelled to Jhg you see CEOs of Tourism associated companies, Government officials all boarding SAA while a handful of people board Air Zim. While management may have their problems of funding etc. We as Zimbabweans need to support our own airline, we need to have pride in our own flag carrier. As long as we lack that sense of belonging from Government and Parastatal officials and Private sector travelling public our own national airline will never pick up no matter what. Patriotism must also be compasated by good and efficient service. I have nothing but praise on the on board staff of Air Zimbabwe from the Cabin Crew to the Captain and first officer who do their utmost best with old equipment.

  28. soks May 21, 2013 at 6:16 am #

    Farming was the best source of airways,so do you thing the Chinotimbas called (war vets) will produce anythng rather than cutting trees & selling pitsand distroing the land. AirZim cnt rise up.

  29. anonymous May 21, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    am not well versed with airzim, but dip here in the coal mine colliery things are upside down , nt yet gotten March pay

  30. Rejoice Ngwenya May 21, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    National Railways, Grain Marketing Board, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, ZESA, NetOne …. eish .. the list is long. Since when has a government run a successful business, huh? I was reading yesterday that Angola wants to sell off ‘useless’ state companies. But you see, theirs is a 100 billion dollar economy. Unless this ZANU-PF [side of] government is removed [by pen!] from office, we will keep adding more corporate body bags to the national fiscus. My friend who died – used to run an airline – told me that you can only make a profit if an aeroplane is at least 60% full and ALWAYS in the air. Air Zim – ALWAYS in the air and 10% full? Get a life!

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