Air Zimbabwe Plans On Leasing Out Its Boeing 777s

Source: Air Zimbabwe Plans On Leasing Out Its Boeing 777s – Simple Flying

Air Zimbabwe only recently acquired two older Boeing 777s from Malaysia Airlines. However, it already has plans to lease out the two Boeing widebodies in order to raise much-needed funds. The airline eventually has plans to fly these aircraft to destinations in China and the U.K. but this will have to wait until the leased aircraft are returned.

Boeing 777
The Boeing 777s are set to join Zimbabwe’s flag carrier..eventually. Photo: Boeing Dreamscape via Wikimedia Commons
 

The airline’s administrator, Reggie Saruchera of Grant Thornton, broke the news this weekend. Saruchera added that nine companies have already expressed interest in leasing the two Boeing 777-200ERs. The aircraft both have a carrying capacity of 282 passengers. Details of the identity of the nine companies was not disclosed.

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airways Boeing 777, call sign Z-RGM
Video credit: @cyrusnhara_4787

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While the aircraft are leased out…

It looks like while the aircraft are being leased out, the airline will take the opportunity to train its flight crew as well as maintenance and ground-handling personnel on the new arrivals. However, whether or not they can do this effectively in the absence of the actual aircraft is a big question.

According to Pindula News, Saruchera said the following:

The national airline will be leasing out the two Boeing 777-200ER aircraft in the immediate, pending re-introduction of international flights to China and London after developing a robust domestic and regional route network…During the lease period, the airline will embark on training of flight crew, maintenance and ground handling personnel.

Saruchera also says that the national airline will use the revenue gained from the 777 leases to buy an additional narrow-bodied aircraft.

Restructuring of Zimbabwe’s airline

Air Zimbabwe was placed under “reconstruction” in October 2018. This was done in order to allow it to clear its debts, which are understood to be more than US$35m owed to foreign creditors.

According to Bulawayo 24 News, settling of the legacy debt would allow the administrator to settle outstanding issues with creditors and remove the airline from reconstruction. With economic turmoil going on inside the country, the airline has also suffered the embarrassment of having its aircraft impounded outside the country due to outstanding debts. In fact, a Boeing 767 belonging to the airline was impounded last October by the Airports Company of South Africa.

The airline’s Boeing 767 was impounded last year in South Africa due to outstanding debts. Photo: Getty Images
 

Conclusion

While it is all well and good for a country to have an airline of its own – it is debatable whether or not it is a necessity. With the country suffering enormously from hyperinflation and a weak economy, it may be best for the government to put its commercial aviation aspirations on hold and spend money elsewhere.

Do you think Zimbabwe’s government should further invest in getting its national airline back to good health? Or should it focus on other issues instead? Let us know in the comments.

Simple Flying has sent Air Zimbabwe an inquiry email regarding details of the lease. At the time of publishing, we have yet to receive a response. This article will be updated if news comes in.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar

    Our Government has no expertise in running an airline, a political appointee has no place where specific skills are required.
    Government must be a minor partner.

  • comment-avatar
    harper 1 month ago

    As there is no doubt that the aircraft are state owned I hope that we will be able to attach them as soon as they land in London and keep them here until the Government honours its constitutional obligation to pay the Civil Service pensioners resident in the UK. These pensioners have not received their pensions since February 2003 and are tired of waiting patiently.

  • comment-avatar
    Dr Ace Mukadota PhD 1 month ago

    Air Zimbabwe could consider leasing their spare planes to SAA !