Debt scuttles AirZim plans


STATE-OWNED national carrier Air Zimbabwe reportedly failed to resume flights to London last November amid reports that the airline has a $3 million outstanding debt for airport, navigation fees and catering expenses, NewsDay has learnt.

Business Reporter

Sources close to the developments said plans by the resurgent airline to fly to Gatwick were scuttled after the airline failed to settle its ballooming debts. The airline, according to the sources owes $1,5 million to French firm Asecna for navigation while the remaining $1,5 million was owed to British Airport Authority (BAA) for landing and parking fees.

BAA owns Gatwick Airport where the airline flies to.

“The airline has $3 million accrued over the last five years. Its creditors include Asecna for flying over French aerospace. Gate Gourmet and Avianca are also owed by the airline. The former provided catering services for Zimbabwe when it used to fly to Gatwick,” the source said.

Air Zim chairman Ozias Bvute could not be drawn for comment.
The airline, sources said, has plans to buy a new aircraft as it looks to other markets to grow business.

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.

Air Zimbabwe’s market share for the period ending December 31, 2012, according to the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority plunged to 0,8% from 27% in 2009 triggered by viability problems confronting the national carrier.

The downward spiral came at a time when other airlines were feasting on Air Zimbabwe’s inability to service its routes with South African Airways increasing frequency into Zimbabwe.


  1. kokutanga mabhadhara zvikwereti musati matenga imwe. Chendege munozochigona sei imi muchitadza kubhadhara chechikafu. Nhafu nekuora kwepfungwa zvinoparira. Mumwe musi tichatorerwa nyika nezvikwereti zvanaMugabe

    • Just to correct Mr Editor and reporter. Gatwick Airport is not owned by BAA since December 2009, but is now in the hands of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). Now if the reporter fails to get that basic information correct, one doubts very much of the figures given in the story. Research and do homework properly Mr Editor

      • If you go back to when the debt was acquired which is 5 – 6 ago therefore Gatwick was owned by BAA thereby debt been owed to them. Regardless the fact is that AirZim owes money hence cannot fly there not because of some logistics nonsense, unless that includes monies owed.

  2. Sent Cathbert Dube and his team and see a real turnaround. They can’t be earning all that money for nothing here is a parastaital that needs his skill.

  3. How on earth can you run an airline without paying ceaser what belongs to ceaser. huge salaries are crippling the airline

  4. Bhadharai zvikwereti guys and then start on a new slate. We need our national airline and as the reporter stated, foreign airlines are feasting on our failure.

  5. Instead the top mangement stole more than 10 million, surprisingly this paper can not even mention it. Herald ndizvo.

  6. Staff Reporter, get your facts right before you go behind your computer. Gatwick is no longer owned by BAA. Air Zimbabwe has never owed ‘Avianca’ as the correct company called Aviance stopped operating probably seven years ago. No British creditor is owed by Air Zimbabwe nor any parking or landing fees are outstanding. It said logistical problems within the organisation are hindering the airline from flying into London Gatwick which is now owned by London Gatwick Airport.

    • Iwe, regardless of who owns Gatwick now, AirZIM owes landing fees, parking fees, etc, hence they did not fly to London because the plan would be seized!! The plane can go to Singapore because that is where Mugabe’s private hospital is, in UK they don’t want to see him.

      • Unotaura what you don’t know. What kaka has said is the truth. No monies is owed by Air Zimbabwe for parking nor landing fees. Musanyeberwa nemapepa awa. What you can advocate for is the current board to expedite funding for the route to start operating after payment of the $1.5 million chete. Otherwise Air Zimbabwe would land and take off paGatwick without any hiccup.

        • Aiwa ibva uko. Accept the truth which is that AirZiM ine chikwereti chihombe ende service cannot be delivered until chabhadharwa.

  7. Me Too I supot Me Too, the chief of thief, Cuthbert dube, mhanya unobhadhara chikwereti icho, ndoda kuenda randani ne ndege, ndonogeza hangu machembere

  8. Matevera Herald ka pa airzim. Nhasi mashaya nyaya ye Zanu pf. Even Mangoma story started mu herald you are beginning 2 look like an evenning editin ye herald

  9. Iwe KAKA, what logistical problems are you talking of? Airzim has 2 long range crafts parked in harare doing nothing. They are scared of flying into London because of zvikwereti. Wrong spelling in a company name means nothing, bottom line is Airzim owes so many people in Europe monies which need paying before it can fly there. Dont try to spin things,

    • Maswera. Air Zimbabwe does not owe Gatwick. Ndiyo chokwadi ichocho. Bvudzai vatapi venhau dzenyu vanyore chokwadi vaitambura thorough research.

  10. Cannot afford to pay $3 million yet a certain chief executive until yesterday was earning $250 000 a MONTH!!! ZANU tipeiwo maserious please!!

  11. I think its important that going forward business units such as Air Zimbabwe are run by capable individuals and not partisan political appointees. we need to understand that what we are doing we are doing it for the generations to come let us show leadership please my fellow countryman.

  12. Let us try and talk to other Airlines so that they land in Zimbabwe than in South Africa and offer them reasonable landing fees because South Africa landing fees are out of this world.

  13. Guys herald exposed sme of th rot tht happened at air zim if it went fo people mentioned in th herald wh looted air zim am tellin y air zim by nw wil b flyin t uk.wht herald mentioned is just a tip of iceberg.tht 10million tht ws goin t b enough t pay ths debt sme outstandin employee salaries bt like al parastatals thy hv become looters paradise.kiriro deal re solenta?

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