Air Zimbabwe in talks with Malaysian firm over B787 lease
Air Zimbabwe has initiated talks with an unspecified Malaysia-based firm over the proposed lease of a B787, reports ch-aviation.
Although its pair of twenty-seven year-old B767-200(ER)s have only reached half of their operational cycles, their performance, as well as their poor in-flight product, are seen as a hinderance to the state-owned carrier's ability to recapture long-haul market share lost to the likes of Emirates Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and South African Airways.
Zimbabwean Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development, Joram Gumbo, confirmed ongoing talks with an undisclosed third party over technical assistance for Air Zimbabwe.
Although debt-ridden Air Zimbabwe is eager to resume flights to destinations such as London Gatwick and Guangzhou given increasing pressure on the domestic and regional market fronts, it has been unable to do so given the threat of aircraft seizure by creditor firms, in the United Kingdom in particular.
Recently appointed CEO Rington Muzenda has said the airline is on the look out for a financial partner willing to help turnaround Air Zimbabwe and to help recapitalize it to the tune of USD500 million.
“We need USD465,000 for rehabilitation of buildings, hangar fire equipment (USD1.8 million) and airline retooling and spares (USD6.4 million), as well as USD488 million to pay laid-off staff,” said Muzenda.