31 May 2016
   
Reject bond notes - civil society groups
Multi-currency system dead,RBZ admits
Ndebele group reports Shonas to SA
Cash shortages: Banks blame government
Wounded elephant limps to lodge for help
MSU bursar, hubby conceal interest, convicted
Conman sprays cops with a toxic substance
Zanu PF man says constitution a stupid book
MORE NEWS
Econet profit crashes 42pct to $40 mln
Bankers 'see the light' confess greed
MORE BUSINESS
Succession ‘Tension’ comes to Harare
UK: Zim artists in country-wide concerts
MORE SHOWBIZ
Hadebe brace as Zim beat Uganda
Lionel Messi misses tax fraud trial
MORE SPORTS
How come our govt doesn’t get this?
Dr Mabaya: Zim’s cooking oil shortage
MORE OPINION
 
Zanu PF youth leader roasts Mugabe
Zim: Government by vultures
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
 
Car shipping to Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia from UK
RSS NewsTicker