THE Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) has resolved to collect service charges directly from passengers on Air Zimbabwe (AirZim) flights after being frustrated by the national carrier’s constant failure to remit the money after collection as it is reportedly now amounting to over US$1 million in arrears.
“The passenger service charge (PSC) and Aviation Infrastructure Development Fund (Aidef) are payments due to Caaz that are ordinarily collected by airlines on its behalf for future remittance,” reads part of the Caaz public notice in the media.
“However, due to some policy changes, it has become necessary for Caaz to collect the payments directly from Air Zimbabwe passengers.”
The levies collected from passengers are pegged at US$50 for international travel and US$15 for local flights.
According to a Caaz source, “the policy changes only apply to Air Zimbabwe because it owes Caaz lots of money, well over a million dollars through the continued failure to remit passenger service and Aviation Infrastructure Development Fund levies collected from passengers travelling on domestic and international routes”.
“Attempts to recover the money have thus far been unsuccessful, hence the decision by Caaz to bypass Air Zimbabwe and collect the levies directly from passengers,” added the source.
On Wednesday, Air Zimbabwe public relations manager Shingai Taruvinga-Dhliwayo directed all questions to Caaz chief executive officer David Chawota, saying “they are the responsible authority who have changed their policy (regarding the collection of the levies) as indicated in their press statement”.
In turn, Chawota refused to divulge how much his organisation is owed, but said Caaz is going through a process of transformation and taking over the collection of levies is one of such policy changes “to deal with a cocktail of issues”.
“We are going through a process of transformation and the decision (to ditch Air Zimbabwe in the collection of levies) is one of the policy changes we are implementing. We are grappling with quite a number of issues as we seek to turn around the fortunes of this authority,” said Chawota.