Michelle Karaga, H-Metro Reporter
GOVERNMENT, through the Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company (Private) Limited, has made a decision to acquire some aircrafts from Malaysia Airline System Berhad and made full payment for two (B777) aircrafts, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Speaking on the occasion of the delivery of aircraft B777-200ER for Air Zimbabwe at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport yesterday, Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Joel Biggie Matiza said Government was committed towards revamping the national airline.
“We are optimistic that this equipment will go a long way in unlocking value in our aviation industry and we are proud of this gesture as it demonstrates Government’s commitment to reviving the national airline.
“To give a bit of background, the process to acquire this equipment started in 2016 when the Government of Zimbabwe through the Zimbabwean Aviation Leasing Company (Pvt Ltd) made a decision to acquire some aircraft from Malaysia Airline System Berhard and made full payments for two B777 aircrafts,” he said.
Minister Matiza said the second aircraft is in the final stages of maintenance to ensure it is airworthy and ready to be deployed to Harare shortly.
“Our national airlines viability has been hamstrung due to the operation of aged and depleted fleet of aircraft.
“Thus the process towards reviving our airline entails a process of reequipping and this is top most on our priorities as a Ministry as witnessed by the delivery of the first of the two B777 aircraft today,” he said.
He also said that for the aircraft to be made fully operational, efficiently and effectively, Government will still need to give support to Air Zimbabwe to acquire and re-build its national and regional network which will act as a spring board to launch international routes.
Minister Matiza said the process has not been smooth as a number of challenges have been encountered along the way.
He also said that with his guidance, they have been able to overcome some of the challenges and they were indeed happy to be gathered and receiving the B777, Z-RGM aircraft.