Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Air Zimbabwe ready to fly again

Zimbabwe’s troubled airliner will Tuesday resume local and regional flights after one of its three planes that were grounded in April over safety concerns, was certified fit to return to the skies.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) grounded Air Zimbabwe’s three Boeing 737-200 planes, insisting that they had reached the end of their economic life span.
The debt ridden national carrier was forced to stop servicing local routes and entered an agreement with a Zambian private airline to ply regional routes.
But the deal crumbled a month ago after Air Zimbabwe failed to pay $460,000 for the aircraft it leased from Zambezi Airlines.
Mr David Chihota, the CAAZ chief executive officer, said the remaining two aircraft will be cleared in the next few weeks.
“The three 737-200 planes that have been grounded have been cleared,” he said. “One is ready for service immediately and the other two are almost done.
The challenges
“All conditions required by CAAZ are being met and the planes are fit for all the purposes.”