Air Zimbabwe clarifies position of acquisition

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter

THE country’s airliner, Air Zimbabwe, has said the aircraft it expects to introduce later this month is not a new acquisition but one of the planes that had been grounded.

The struggling airliner has been using a single aircraft, the 767-200ER known as Chimanimani, to service both domestic and regional routes.

It services the Harare-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls route daily in the morning and alternates between Johannesburg in South Africa and Dar-es-Salam in Tanzania four and two times a week respectively using the same aircraft.

Air Zimbabwe now expects to improve its service with the re-introduction of the 737-200 popularly known as Mbuya Nehanda with a capacity of 105 passengers, the airliner’s Public Relations and Corporate Communications Officer, Ms Firstme Vitori, said yesterday.

“The B737-200 is part of our fleet and currently undergoing a scheduled maintenance check classified as D check. It’s not a new aircraft as stated but part of our fleet that had been undergoing a recheck,” she said.

Ms Vitori said the airliner is doing scheduled maintenance of its fleet.

She said the re-introduction of the aircraft will result in increased frequencies and more flexible schedules especially for day trippers on domestic routes between Harare and Victoria Falls.

Ms Vitori said the ERJ145 which is still parked at the Robert Mugabe International Airport is waiting for completion of the Know Your Customer (KYC) approval process by the manufacturer before it can start flying.

There have been questions from a cross section of citizens about why the airliner has been grounded since the time it was acquired.

Speaking at a tourism all-stakeholders conference attended by a cross section of the industry known as Team Tourism held in the Hwange National Park on Saturday, Air Zimbabwe head of marketing Mr Tafadzwa Zaza said the B737-200 is expected back in service within three weeks. @ncubeleon

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