Air Zimbabwe’s plane is expected to be auctioned today in London following the airline’s failure to pay off a debt owed to the American General Supplies company which recently won a court order for $1.2 million accrued for aircraft spares.
Stranded passengers prepare to sleep in London
Passengers were left reeling and stranded at Gatwick airport yesterday as Airzim officials claimed they had made “significant” progress in mobilising money to settle the over US$1 million debt over which the plane was impounded.
The Boeing 767-200 was impounded by the US company, American General Supplies, at Gatwick International Airport on Monday. The company supplies the bulk of spare parts to Airzim. Airzim acting chief executive officer Mr Innocent Mavhunga last night said: “We are still mobilising the resources and we have made significant progress though I am not at liberty to divulge what we have. As for the stranded passengers, we are rerouting and refunding where possible. Others are still in hotels.”
Mr Mavhunga said nothing had been communicated to the national airline with regards to today’s pending auction. Airzim on Monday said Treasury had failed to release funds to bail it out. Last week, another Airzim plane Boeing 737-500 was grounded by a South African company, Bid Air over a US$500 000 debt.
Bid Air demanded the money for ground handling services rendered to the airline, but later released the plane after negotiations.
Mr Mavhunga told legislators in October that the national airline owes suppliers and other service providers US$137,7 million with US$112,7 million owed to Zimbabwean firms while US$25 million is owed to foreign companies. A former Airzim chief executive officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the future of the airline relied on good corporate governance and personnel with relevant skills. (Herald)