Air Zimbabwe to take delivery of two aircraft

NATIONAL flag carrier Air Zimbabwe is to take delivery of two Boeing 767-200 aircraft before the end of the year, and the planes have already been paid for, a Cabinet Minister has revealed.

Government says it has stepped up efforts to restore viability and capacitate the national flag carrier Air Zimbabwe with the delivery of the two Boeing 777- 200 ER purchased from Malaysia expected before year end while the other Boeing 737 that has been undergoing refurbishment is set to be operational by mid-November.

Air Zimbabwe shareholder, the government is optimistic of the resuscitation of the national flag carrier with the delivery of new planes and the implementation of a sustainable business model.

Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister, Joel Biggie Matiza while giving his presentation at the ongoing 2020 National Budget Seminar in Victoria Falls, said the two Boeing 777-200 ER planes have been paid for by the Ministry of Finance and are now expected to be delivered into the country before this year ends.

“There is a lot of work happening in the background and we are convinced that we will be able to manage to restore the pride of our national flag carrier,” said Matiza.

Matiza added that the Boeing 737 aircraft which was undergoing refurbishment by local technicians will be ready for deployment by mid-November.

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Further to that, an MA60 aircraft is also expected to be delivered to the country under the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (Focac) deal aimed at strengthening aviation in Africa.

In 2005, Air Zimbabwe purchased two MA60 52-seater aircraft from Chinese state-owned Avic aircraft manufacturer and received a third plane as a gift from the Chinese government.

All three planes were used for domestic routes and have since been stopped flying.

Meanwhile, Member of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development, Ronald Nyathi, said as part of submissions to treasury the committee is calling upon the prioritisation of the dualisation of major trunk roads and the assumption of the US$381 million Air Zimbabwe debt.

“As part of our recommendations we are calling upon the treasury to urgently inject resources for the dualisation of our major truck roads across the country,” said Nyathi.

Legislators attending the 2020 National Budget seminar stressed the need for the country to invest in the realisation of the vibrant infrastructure network which can spur increased economic activity and boost Foreign Direct Investment inflows.

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