OVER 200 Air Zimbabwe passengers have been stranded in China for the past two weeks after the airline’s pilots went on strike demanding unpaid salaries, officials said on Monday.
The pilots have vowed not to return to work until they are given US$200,000 each as full payment of arrears and salaries pending from last year.
Air Zimbabwe, which is struggling with $100 million debts, will be paying the stranded passengers’ hotel bills until it starts servicing the route.
“The situation is that we have not been flying to China for the past two weeks,” Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer Innocent Mavhunga said.
“We have been accommodating the passengers in hotels and those who we can re-route we are doing so. The cost varies from one hotel to another.”
The strike has affected some of the airline’s international services besides domestic and regional flights which have also been cancelled.
This is not the first time this year the pilots have downed tools.
They went on strike in January demanding to be paid their outstanding salaries and allowances.
They also embarked on another job boycott on March 22.