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The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has drawn up a list of potential strategic partners for Air Zimbabwe which is set to be presented to Cabinet. Air Zimbabwe has been making losses for years due to mismanagement, high operating costs, old equipment and aircraft that are no longer profitable to fly.

The Government is considering a restructuring of the struggling national airliner, which will likely now include the bringing in of financial andor technical partner.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Obert Mpofu told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development yesterday that the national carrier required minimum total re-capitalisation to the tune of $1 086 billion, a figure the Government could not sustain alone.

Air Zimbabwe has debts of $284 million and, according to the Minister, requires three small jets, two Boeing 737-500 and two Boeing 787 at a total cost of $770 million to become effectively operational.

“Given the prevailing demands on the fiscus, it is not conceivable that the shareholder can inject the required capital into Air Zimbabwe, hence the need for the strategic partners

“On the turnaround strategy, the ministry has now compiled a list of possible strategic partners for the airline which shall be tabled before Cabinet for further guidance,” said Minister Mpofu.

Minister Mpofu told the committee that the national airline is currently operating five aircrafts, namely 2 Boeing 767, one Boeing 737, one MA60 and one Airbus A320.

The airline currently has 750 staff, with 230 of these earmarked for retrenchment.

Source : The Herald