News / National

Air Zimbabwe, back in the sky

by Mafu Sithabile
11 Jul 2011 at 05:05hrs | 638 Views
AIR Zimbabwe is resuming its regional and domestic flights tomorrow following the successful rehabilitation of one its Boeing 737-200 aircraft. Acting Airzim chief executive officer Mr Innocent Mavhunga confirmed yesterday the latest development.

The remaining two Boeing 737-200 are also expected to resume flights within the next two months.

He said it takes between three and four weeks to rehabilitate a plane.

The three Boeing 737-200 planes were grounded in April after CAAZ indicated that the planes had passed their design service objective of 20 years and were increasingly becoming expensive to run. The authority further noted that the planes were a danger to passengers. Each of the three planes had an average 30 000 flight cycles and over 31 000-flight hours. CAAZ chief executive officer Mr David Chawota was yesterday quoted confirming that the authority had given Airzim the greenlight to use the Boeing 737-200 series.

The grounding of the planes forced Air Zimbabwe to suspend all domestic routes. The challenges that resulted from the grounding of the planes saw the national airliner booking stranded passengers in buses.

Board chairman Mr Jonathan Kadzura said the grounding of the planes had left Air Zimbabwe with no other alternative. CAAZ grounded the planes despite the fact that Boeing had given Air Zimbabwe the greenlight to continue flying the B737-200 saying they could be used up to 2013.

Airzim management had requested Boeing to carry out an independent structural integrity inspection on the affected planes.

He was, however, mum on the fate of the deal Air Zimbabwe had signed with Zambezi Airlines after its three Boeing 737-200 were grounded by the Civil Aviation of Zimbabwe early this year due to safety concerns.

The deal between Air Zimbabwe and Zambezi Airlines was not smooth with the Zambian based company withdrawing its plane whenever the national airline failed to service its debt on time. Zambezi Airlines had been roped in to service some of the routes the grounded planes used to ply.


Source - AirZim,Air Zimbabwe,Flying