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.