HomeBusiness DigestAir Zimbabwe closes regional offices

Air Zimbabwe closes regional offices

Roadwin Chirara

AIR Zimbabwe’s board of directors has ordered the closure of four regional offices and one in the Far East as part of the turnaround strategy.

ial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The board took the decision after noting the continued decline in business from the regional offices. The board’s decision was also influenced by the continued ballooning of its foreign currency liabilities which included meeting its bloated wage bill and expenses of running the regional offices.

Regional offices targeted for closure include Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda, Kenya and one in the Far East.

“We have agreed to the closure (of regional offices) after considering a lot of factors such as the cost of keeping them operational and the size of business we were receiving from there,” said a source on the board.

Currently the airline has a network of over 15 offices dotted around the world.

The source said the board was currently carrying out investigations into the administration and operations problems at the national carrier to restore sanity.

“Investigations are being carried out, but it should be clear that we have not failed in our endeavours as individuals and professionals, why should we be associated with failure?” the source said.

He said the board was waiting for an investigation report into the crisis at the airline and those found to have caused the problems will be dismissed. “Either he fails or we fail, but one of us has to go,” he said.

He said fuel shortages that resulted in the grounding of the airline’s entire fleet were a clear sign of incompetence on the part of the airline’s executives.

“We were only told on Friday evening that there was no fuel and one of the planes had failed to take off. Surely this shows an element of management relaxation and the board had to act for the integrity of the airline,” he said.

By Thursday, Air Zimbabwe had managed to source fuel for its fleet after government intervention, a situation which saw all its flight operating on schedule including its Dubai route. The current situation will see the airline procuring fuel directly from the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe as compared to its previous arrangement where it bought the fuel from private companies.

The recent problems at the national carrier comes after it cancelled its US$2 million lease agreement with PB Air of Thailand after it proved costly for the airline in relation to the amount of business the plane was bringing in.

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