AirZim pilots undergo Embraer training

State-owned airline Air Zimbabwe, has begun training six pilots to fly the recently acquired Brazilian-made Embraer aircraft, NewsDay has learnt.

Report by Bernard Mpofu

Air Zimbabwe, which is currently restructuring, plans to add the new aircraft to its fleet through a lease-to-own arrangement with South Africa-based Solenta Aviation. Embraer is one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers.

The Brazilian company manufactures its ERJ range which has a seating capacity of between 37 and 50 and is meant for regional and domestic commercial airline operators.

Sources said the airline is also putting livery on the new planes.

An aircraft livery is a paint scheme applied to an aircraft, generally to the fuselage, wings, empennage (tail fin), or jet engines. Most airlines have a standard paint scheme for their aircraft fleet, usually prominently displaying the airline logo or name.

Company spokesperson Shingai Taruvinga confirmed the development, but could not divulge when the training would be completed because the process is rigorous.

“We have begun the rebranding exercise. We are doing that process once the plane goes for C-check. Our Boeing 767 has already been rebranded,” Taruvinga said.

She added that the airline is currently training local pilots to fly the 50-seater aircraft at a time when the airline has increased its domestic flights driven by an ongoing price-slashing promotion.

Air Zimbabwe, she added, is expected to resume flights to London as the airline takes on international airlines which have, since the introduction of multiple currencies, expressed renewed interest in Zimbabwe.

“The response to the promotion has been overwhelming. We now have two daily flights on the Harare-Bulawayo route as well as the Harare-Victoria Falls route,” she said.

Sources close to the developments said the pilots would undergo training in Zimbabwe and France with the expectation to replace South African pilots currently flying the new planes, servicing the traditionally viable Harare-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls route.

“The training is expected to take between 90 and 120 days for qualified pilots because Embraer is widely seen as a surrogate of the Airbus. It’s the on-board training which is expected to take place in France. The airline also realised that it is cheaper to do the training in France rather than Brazil,” a source said.

The training, the source said, will involve computer-based training which will be done locally as well as the simulator and on-board training to be done in France.

13 Responses to AirZim pilots undergo Embraer training

  1. Torabora June 27, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    90 to 120 days for an ERJ conversion course? Are the pilots going to be flying the space shuttle. Such courses usually take six weeks max subject to Simulator slots.

  2. M.M June 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Mr Bvute, the Board Chair and his team seems to have got it this time around. So many exciting news, IOSA, BSP, full flights, new equipment, staff welfare issues etc etc. Guys keep it up.

  3. Air zimbabwe captain June 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    am loving this,we need the dreamliner

    • Jongwe Rachembera June 28, 2013 at 6:19 am #

      Keep dreaming for a dreamliner, because of successive clowns running AirZim since 1980 we will never afford top of the line aircraft, bottom line they dont have the money. We cant even afford to pay for our own elections where can we afford new planes.

      • Tsano June 28, 2013 at 9:05 am #

        Said it the way it is! Can’t say more

  4. themba June 28, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    For the ignorant people amongst our community. Planes are never for for in cash. Just because most things in Zimbabwe are paid in such as way. Boeing needs guarantors from a reliable financial house, company or Government. The Boeing Agent for Zimbabwe is James Makamba for those who don’t know, so no wonder he is talking of coming back. The deals have been done, watch the space.

  5. AZ June 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    This is a breath of fresh air!!!

  6. tawaz June 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    were are the sunctions applying

  7. rude boy June 29, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    What an improvement. Better do so, we’ll support. Keep it up

  8. TrueWings June 29, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    This is all a smokescreen Air Zimbabwe is far from fixing its problems. Corruption is reaching new levels like never before.
    Do your homework guys just google the new key players in the Airline. Bvute has fraud issues dating back years and remain unanswered.

    Low fares don’t necessarily equal profitability.

    Corrupt to the core.

  9. stop nonsence June 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    why can’t we have a route vic falls to bulawayo does this benefit harare only

  10. Jojoz June 29, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    I think ths is th best tht hs ever happened t air zim.keep it up mr bvute I think y wil always hv support of progressive zimbos.dnt worry bout thse destractors thy hv been and milked ths airline to th core.whn is th audit results out?? Big up

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