Air Zimbabwe resumed its local flights operations with inauguration of Zimbabwe International Trade fair. This comes as a ray of hope for people who have been disappointed after last year’s continual strikes by the airliner’s staff over salary disputes.
Since the suspension of operations, following the questionability whether Air Zim is viable or not, the local flight operations were resumed from Wednesday the 28th of April 2012. The flight to Harare the capital of the country was from Bulawayo. Though it was a positive sign, the mundane passenger list of just 3 people raised a few eye-brows.
As per Chief Executive Mr. Mvhunga, Air Zimbabwe is planning a schedule of 3 flights a week to and from Bulawayo, Victoria falls and Harare on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The plane that operated on the flight has a capacity of just over 120 passengers. There were only passengers on board.
This flight operation was somewhat startling for State Minister Gordon Moyo who said that he was surprised as the Government was still searching for a viable investor who could enter into a partnership in order to revive the airliner and pull it out from the 140 million dollar debt.
Experts have quoted this move as “foolish” and “hoping against hope”. There are no funds to back up such operations. Rejoice Ngwenya, a freelance and independent critic thinks this will be an unproductive exercise adding to the existing financial complications.
Air Zimbabwe has had its planes grounded and impounded I past due to default on payments. A United States aviation firm impounded Air Zim’s aircraft in London following the grounded plane by a South African firm against overdue debt of ground services.
The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair was once recognized as a premier event in Southern Africa. Now it has lost its prestige due to a decade long sharp economic decline in the country.
This flight was a temporary resumption of flights and we still need to see if the suggested flight schedule of 3 flights a week finds implementation.