AirZim planes grounded in SA

via AirZim planes grounded in SA – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 6, 2014 by Paidamoyo Muzulu

AIR Zimbabwe’s two A320 Airbuses have been grounded at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the last four months amid disclosures that the planes were unserviceable, NewsDay has learnt.

Grounding of the Airbuses adds to the woes of the national carrier that now has only two planes in the air servicing the Harare-
Johannesburg route and the domestic market. The two are a Boeing 737 and the leased Embraer jet.

The third functional plane is a Boeing 767 which is usually used when the 737 is down or when President Robert Mugabe is travelling outside the country.

Three MA60’s acquired from China a couple of years ago have also remained in the hangars as their potential to get back to the skies has been ruled out.

Yesterday, an insider told NewsDay that: “The Airbuses have been at OR Tambo for the last four months and are incurring storage charges which are rising by the day as they remain unfixed. They were taken to South Africa for C-Checks.”

C-Check refers to the comprehensive overhaul of aircraft after a certain amount of time or usage. The source added: “When one of the Airbuses was flying, the airline used to cannibalise the parked one for parts. One of the planes needs its landing gear replaced.” Contacted for comment last night, Airzim spokesperson Shingai Taruvinga confirmed the Airbuses were grounded in SA, but could not give more details.

A senior official at the airline also confirmed that the Airbuses had been grounded, but could not give further details. “It’s true that they (Airbuses) are in South Africa since we don’t have the capacity to service them here. One of the planes has a landing gear problem and the lessor is looking at replacing it soonest,” the official said.

The senior official also confirmed that the airline was conducting C-Checks on two Boeings locally and these will be completed soon.
“We need about $1,5 million to complete the C-Checks on the Boeing 767 and Boeing 737 at our workshops and I suppose that should be done within the next three weeks,” the official added.

NewsDay also established that the national airline was paying over $4 million a year in insurance to its new brokers – Champions Insurance. According to documents, the Airzim pays Euro455 447 and $484 509 per quarter as insurance premiums. But, the senior official, while confirming that Champions Insurance were the new local brokers, queried the new figures.

“Considering where we are coming from, we are now paying $2 million annually instead of the $4,8 million that we used to pay and this makes a saving of $2,8 million,” the official said.

The official, however, did not provide documents to prove the airline’s claims that they were paying less currently. Airzim has been struggling to finance its operations and has consistently been on the market seeking fresh operating capital and funds to retire its huge pile of debts standing at over $150 million.



  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 9 years ago

    Talk about flogging a dead horse

  • comment-avatar
    mark longhurst 9 years ago

    Seriously the incompetence of Mugabe and Zanupf is palpable

  • comment-avatar
    Mabasa 9 years ago

    Can we expect anything good out of this government? It would be a matter of time before everything crumble.

  • comment-avatar
    Maunganidze 9 years ago

    By the time we will realise that this government has rigged itself into office and that it has no capacity whatso ever to move this country forwarad, maybe it will be too late.They will talk about corruption, but that is as far as they will do. We wait with abeted breath as the obscene salary issue continues to unfold especially in parastals. God help Zimbabwe!

  • comment-avatar

    Talk of 2 planes for a 1000 plus workforce, with a CEO living as a king.This is pathetic.Even private airliners, owned by individuals can manage to operate 5 planes.Now 2 , maybe i do not understand.Only 2.
    When Mugabe took over Rhodesian Air had 15 Planes plus, operating prifitably.Now kuuraya chete chete.Air Zim CEO position must be abolished, same with NRZ and other parastatals.Contract must have Key Result Areas which must be achieved in a specified period.The way Air Zim is run, even whindi paCopa Cabana is better

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    This article says there are only two planes in service and the rest are out of service.I am really shocked because our country should have the following planes=
    2xBoeing 767 ER-200[long range type]
    3XBoeing 737 [short to medium range]
    1xBAE 146 Jet with 4 engines[short to medium range]
    2X Airbus A320[relative long range]
    3xMA60[short range]
    What kind of management allows the resources to drop more than 75% before admitting that a crisis is there.It looks like the airline has only one long range plane and one short to medium range plane and a leased one to do all the regional and international routes.Why then pay so much insurance on planes which are grounded?
    I smell something more serious than we have already learnt about this parastatal.
    What worries me mostly are the C-checks on the A320s, which means we bought bad second hand planes which had already piled many flying hours.There is no mention of the BAE 146 which is very good for short range routes like Hre to Kariba then V/falls.Maybe this report is not properly written because it would mean that only two out of 11 planes owned by our airline are flying.This is really bad to say the least.

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    moyokumusha 9 years ago

    The woe’s at air zim are an indication of how the country will end up under ZANUPF. Think about it, all is collapsing around them despite all the promises and false information. Like the Govt they have long been broke and cannot find the funds to fix their planes so slowly it gets deeper and deeper into debt. Soon we going to hear the planes are being attached for storage fees as we will hear our army and police rebel when they have no food or pay.