STRUGGLING Air Zimbabwe will stop all operations and send the majority of staff on indefinite unpaid leave with effect from April 23, due to the closure of airspace by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
In a staff communiqué, the company said it will, however, pay its staff their full April salaries.
“Consequently, the airline operations have ground to a halt as most of the passenger travel destinations are on lockdown with travel restrictions, implying nil revenue inflows,” part of the statement reads.
The national airline said other revenue initiatives were being pursued and that the staff remuneration would remain one of the largest cost drivers within the company and without revenue inflows and external interventions, it would be a challenge to continue funding the salaries.
“Our staff complement shall be reduced and a skeletal team identified by the heads of departments will be in place to ensure ad hoc operations, airworthiness compliance, safety, security of aircraft and associated equipment within the airline,” the statement further read.
“Some of us will be placed on indefinite unpaid leave effective April 23, 2020 until operations normalise. However, April 2020 salaries will be paid to all staff members in full.”
The airline said the decision was made after evaluating all the available and possible options.