HomeNewsAir Zimbabwe moves to plug staff exodus

Air Zimbabwe moves to plug staff exodus

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AIR Zimbabwe has recruited 40 apprentices in aircraft engineering to plug the hole left by the exodus of key professionals to airlines in the Middle East, a company official has said.

TARISAI MANDIZHA
BUSINESS REPORTER

Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer Edmund Makona told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development on Monday that the airline was losing its engineers and pilots to airlines in the Middle East and that the country should desist from benchmarking these professionals with the local standards.

“The aviation industry is global and because aviation is global Air Zimbabwe cannot continue to pay engineers, pilots and all other technical teams using and benchmarking with the local standards because what then happens, the vultures from the Middle East are now coming in flocking on our engineers and pilots,” Makona said.

“The Middle East airlines are actually being operated by Zimbabwean pilots and maintenance done by Zimbabwean engineers. So, it’s one issue that we really need to bring into our strategy, refocus and say how then do we ensure that Air Zimbabwe continues to maintain its safety record . . . so within our strategy there is, therefore, the need to refocus on the retention of this unique skill that Air Zimbabwe continues to have.”

Makona, however, said the national airline had embarked on an exercise to recruit and train more engineers as the country was currently losing its experienced human resources.

“We have also said to ourselves if the impossible or if anything happens, if our skills migrate what’s next so within this board we have looked at the issue of bringing in more engineers for training,” he said.

“As we speak today (Monday) we have got 40 engineers, potential engineers and apprentices that the airline has recruited and they have actually started today. We are now looking ahead, but what happens within the context of today is what we must continue to mitigate.”

Over the last decade the country has faced a major challenge of skills flight due to economic hardships resulting in thousands of professionals flocking to other countries in search of good jobs and better remuneration.

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