Africa: Zimbabwe plans to privatise Airline seeks consent by 23rd November

Zimbabwe

Struggling Zimbabwe national carrier, Air Zimbabwe is on the market as the government of the country has invited bids from investors for the state-owned airline.

According to an online report by vanguardngr.com, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government is pushing ahead with a drive to privatise and end state funding to the loss-making firms.

Air Zimbabwe, which owes foreign and domestic creditors more than $300 million, was in October placed into administration to try and revive its fortunes.

The troubled airline is among dozens of state-owned firms, known locally as parastatals, that are set to be partially or fully privatised in the next nine months as the government seeks to cut its fiscal deficit seen at 11 percent of GDP this year.

Air Zimbabwe administrator Reggie Saruchera said in a notice published in media on Monday that potential investors should make their bids before Nov. 23 after paying a non-refundable deposit of 20,000 dollars.

Saruchera did not indicate whether investors would be allowed to tender for partial or total shareholding in Air Zimbabwe. He was not immediately reachable for comment. Only three of Air Zimbabwe’s planes are operational, with another three grounded, which has forced it to abandon international routes.

According to atqnews.com, the airline was placed under reconstruction due to continuous failure to generate profits to remain commercially viable.

Air Zimbabwe has seen its fleet deplete over the years, coupled with strikes by pilots and the flight of experienced staff to more stable airlines.

The rot has been blamed on general mismanagement by top managers as well as government interference in its running.

The firm has also been saddled with a giant debt which it has struggled to repay as potential clients, among them government officials, prefer to fly on airlines such as the South African Airways.

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