Zimbabwe Airways (Harare Int'l) has taken delivery of its first aircraft following the positioning of B777-200(ER) Z-RGM (msn 28421) to Harare Int'l on Wednesday, April 11.
Apr 13, 2018 Last September I wrote about how Zimbabwe wanted to lease four Boeing 777 aircraft.The country’s state owned airline, Air Zimbabwe, is in serious debt (somewhere to the tune of 300 million USD), and there was just one, tiny little detail standing in the way of the airline (and country) getting those 777s. 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.
A Zimbabwean government statement said the 13-year-old aircraft is one of two that have been procured by the state via its Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company SPV.
Against the backdrop of President Emmerson Mnangagwa's demand for greater transparency on the murky project given its purported ties to officials in the former Mugabe regime, government has issued a statement clarifying the Zimbabwe Airways project timeline.
In the same statement, it said Air Zimbabwe (UM, Harare Int'l) had approached the State Procurement Board (SPB) in October 2016 for permission to acquire four ex-Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) B777s, a request that was duly granted in November of that year.
Air Zimbabwe 777
The Zimbabwean state, through its Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, then took the decision to secure funds to acquire the four widebodies alongside eight Embraer Regional Jets.
However, to date, only enough funding to acquire two B777s and one ERJ has been raised.
'Government also took the decision to lease the planes to third parties up to such a time as Air Zimbabwe develops a credible business plan to run the planes on a sustainable, profitable basis,' it said.
'Accordingly, Government decided to lease the planes to a new aircraft firm called Zimbabwe Airways whch has already put in place credible plans for said planes.'
The start-up has yet to secure its AOC from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ).
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About Zimbabwe Airways
|Founded||January 1, 2018|
|Parent company||Zimbabwe Airways (Private) Limited|
|Headquarters||Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Harare, Zimbabwe|
Zimbabwe Airways (Private) Limited (operating as Zimbabwe Airways) (IATA: 8Z, ICAO: ZIB), was a government-owned airline in Zimbabwe.
In 2018, the government dropped the plan to launch this airline.
The national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, applied to the State Procurement Board (SPB) in October 2016 for permission to acquire four B777-200ER aircraft formerly flown by Malaysia Airlines. Permission was duly granted in November of the same.
Negotiations were carried out in secret, so as not to jeopardize the sensitive deal. Eventually the State put together enough money to pay for two of the B777s and one Embraer E-Jet. However, by the time the planes arrived in the country, Air Zimbabwe had deteriorated to such an extent, that it could not present a 'credible business plan to run the planes on a sustainable, profitable basis'. The government registered Zimbabwe Airways, which developed a credible business plan. The government created 'Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company', which owns the planes and leases them to Zimbabwe Airways. As of April 2018, Zimbabwe Airways is yet to receive an Air operator's certificate (AOC), from the Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority.
Ownership and management
According to Patrick Chinamasa, the Zimbabwean Finance Minister, Zimbabwe Airlines is 100 percent owned by the government of Zimbabwe and was created to facilitate the national aviation industry and to relieve the cash-strapped and financially ailing national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, with over US$300 million in debts.
The destinations of the airline are being finalized, but are expected to include London, Johannesburg, Beijing and large metropolitan and tourist cities inside Zimbabwe.
As of April 2018, the Zimbabwe Airways fleet consisted of the following aircraft:
Air Zimbabwe 777 Interior
- ^'not launched' ch-aviation.com
- ^ ab'Zimbabwe government buys Boeing planes, leases them to new airline'. The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Reuters. 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- ^ abMuzulu, Paidamoyo (26 June 2017). 'Air Zimbabwe rebrands, acquires 4 Boeing 777-200 planes'. Newsday. Harare. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- ^'Harare drops Zimbabwe Airways in favour of Air Zimbabwe'. busnews.com. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
- ^ abcCh-Aviation (12 April 2018). 'Zimbabwe Airways Adds Maiden Aircraft, a B777'. Ch-Aviation. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- ^Staff Reporter (12 April 2018). 'Spotlight on Zimbabwe Airways'. Bulawayo: Bulaayo24.com. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- ^ abNemukuyu, Daniel (12 April 2018). 'Minister Explains Zimbabwe Airways Ownership'. The Chronicle (Zimbabwe). Bulawayo. Retrieved 12 April 2018.