Air Zimbabwe Reconstruction placement chokes aviation authority

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By Alois Vinga

CIVIL Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) CEO and general manager, David Chawota says the decision to place Air Zimbabwe under Reconstruction was beginning to have a toll on the smooth running of the authority and other firms which can nolonger access debts owed by the struggling national air transporter.

Chawota was giving oral evidence before parliament’s transport committee on Monday.

“The placement of the airline under Reconstruction has so far not changed the status of the operations relating to CAAZ which is owed over $43 million as at 4 October 2018, the date when the airline went under the placement.

“We lodged a claim which was confirmed at the creditors meeting but no payment has been received since then,” he said.

The placement is provided for under the country’s Reconstruction Act with the objective of temporarily bringing the entity’s management operations under an appointed administrator.

This is aimed at saving the company from winding operations after a traceable trend of poor performance.

Chawota said the debt was accrued through provision of airport services, rental and air navigation services, adding that non-payment was affecting the performance of concessionaires like National Handling Services and CaterCraft.

The CAAZ boss bemoaned that currently the airline was only left with two planes which could not generate adequate revenue.

The debt is for provision of airport and air navigation services dating back to 2009.

The Administrator assured the authority that the airline will honour all debts for invoices offered after 4 October 2018 but the authority has not received any payment for airports services.

AirZimbabwe has not been generating profits in the recent past and owes various creditors and service providers a total of over $300 million.