16 April 2014
   
New Zimbabwe Header
MDC-T youths to stage nationwide demos
Govt mulls driving age change: Mpofu
Major policy overhaul on cards: Chinamasa
Rape accused MDC-T MP refused bail
Zimbabweans scared of whites: Charumbira
South Sudanese flood into Ethiopia
Harare reinstates top earning official
Shamed Mushowe blasts ‘lying firms’
MORE NEWS
Government to amend investment laws
Scotland faces Zim's currency moment
MORE BUSINESS
Walker brothers to finish 'Fast and Furious 7'
Thandie Newton reveals racist abuse
MORE SHOWBIZ
Dynamos face tough Easter challenge
Uhuru Cup prize money increased
MORE SPORTS
UK visas, nationality and settlement
Move over SA, here comes new powerhouse
MORE OPINION
 
Time to reflect on the gains of independence
Zim@34: Mugabe no longer fit to officiate
MORE COLUMNISTS
 
 
Air Zimbabwe courts foreign partners
07/11/2011 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
 
RELATED STORIES
Chinese airline in Air Zim talks
Minister's fury over AirZim downgrade
Air Zim resumes Beijing, London flights
Fuel dispute grounds Air Zimbabwe
US$140m Air Zim debt wiped off
Air Zimbabwe re-opens London route
Storm-flying pilot gets wings back

MINISTERS have ordered Air Zimbabwe to begin a process of finding a strategic partner after agreeing that the government will assume the airline’s £140 million debt.

Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Tapiwa Mashakada says the government would give up substantial shareholding in the flag carrier in any deal.

“We need a partner urgently before the debts start to pile up again, which can be a disincentive to any investor,” Mashakada told the ZBC on Monday.

Air Zimbabwe’s greatest asset remains its routes and name recognition, and ministers hope by wiping off its huge debts, the airline will attract interest from major international airlines in Europe and Asia.

The country’s indigenisation laws limit majority shareholding to locals, but Mashakada says the government is ready to lift the legal hurdle if it would smooth a take-over. A similar waiver was exercised in the take-over of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel) by India's Essar.

Zimbabwe became an aviation pariah over the last decade with several international airlines cancelling flights to the country, coinciding with a political and economic crisis only eased by the formation of a multi-party government in February 2009.

In 1999, Harare airport was crowded with the emblems of 18 foreign airlines, among them Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, Australia’s Qantas and TAP Portugal also linking directly to Europe.

But by 2001, most of the airlines had withdrawn, leaving only a handful of airlines including South African Airways, Ethiopian Airways and Kenyan Airways.

But with several airlines set to resume flights to Zimbabwe next year, ministers know that Air Zimbabwe could be easily crowded out if it cannot compete in both capacity and aircraft.

Air Zimbabwe cancelled overseas flights over the weekend after its fuel suppliers turned off their taps over an unpaid debt. Bosses at the airline say they hope the dispute will be resolved this week to allow flights to Beijing and London to resume.



Advertisement


 
Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Newsvine

Nowpublic

Stumbleupon

Face Book

Myspace

Fark
 
 
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
RSS NewsTicker