Source: Govt engages Boeing, Airbus | The Herald July 7, 2016
Tinashe Makichi Business Reporter
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development is in consultations with Boeing and Airbus over the possibility of coming up with a leasing arrangement to revive the national airliner, Air Zimbabwe.
Transport and Infrastructure Development Deputy Minister Engineer Michael Madanha said Government has been in talks with the two global aircraft manufacturers in a bid to get vital information on how to proceed with the revival of the national airliner.
Airbus is a division of the multinational Airbus Group SE that manufactures civil aircraft and is based in Blagnac, France while Boeing is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, and satellites worldwide. It also provides leasing and product support services.
“We have seen quite a number of investors who are willing to invest in Zimbabwe. We recently had talks with Boeing and Airbus and they gave us vital information on how we can proceed.
“Our planes are now very old and we are operating at a loss. First move would be to look for planes to lease and then we can partner somebody. No one can partner you if you have a lot of debts. We have also engaged the Ethiopian Airlines, the Angolan Airlines and negotiations for public private partnerships ( which is the only way to go) are in progress,” said Engineer Madanha.
“We have also partnered with private companies; Tongaat Hullet and Bulilamangwe Trust to rehabilitate Buffalo Range Airport. As Government we encourage the issue of smart partnerships for the better of the economy,” he said.
The airline requires about $1 billion to procure new aircraft and service both its domestic and foreign debts. The debt emanated from navigation, landing, handling fees, fuel supplies, salary arrears and rentals.
Air Zimbabwe currently operates five aircraft — two Boeing 767, one Boeing 737, one MA60 and an Airbus A320 which it acquired on lease from Angola’s Sonangol.
Air Zimbabwe has also been shelling out $400 000 monthly for the past four years on two airbuses under a lease arrangement.