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FORMED IN 1961 AND STARTED OPERATIONS IN 1967. FORMERLY "AIR RHODESIA." DOMESTIC, REGIONAL & INTERNATIONAL, SCHEDULED & CHARTER, PASSENGER & CARGO, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.
PO BOX AP1, HARARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1965, COVERS AN AREA OF 390,759 SQ KM, ITS POPULATION IS 13 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS HARARE, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS ENGLISH.
NOVEMBER 1994: 44 767 EXTENDED TWIN-ENGINE OPERATIONS (ETOPS) FLIGHTS/MONTH OVER AFRICA.
APRIL 1995: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1994 = +$2.1 MILLION (NET PROFIT) (-$10.8 MILLION): +7.3% (RPK) PASSENGER TRAFFIC, -7.4% PASSENGERS (PAX), +2.9% (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC, 45.55 LF LOAD FACTOR.
844 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 236 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 599 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
2 F 50 DELIVERIES.
JUNE 1995: AIR ZIMBABWE (ZMB) IS DOING THEIR 1ST "D" MAINTENANCE CHECK ON 707 (LINE NUMBER L/N 464).
DECEMBER 1995: CONTRACT WITH SHANNON AEROSPACE (SLD) TO ASSIST WITH OBTAINING (JAR) 145 APPROVAL BY OCTOBER 1996.
JANUARY 1996: 1995 = +1.7% (RPK) TRAFFIC, +7.8% PASSENGERS (PAX), +6% (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC.
JUNE 1996: THE GOVERNMENT DIRECTED H MURINGI MANAGING DIRECTOR TO TAKE A MONTH'S LEAVE SO THAT THE GOVERNMENT COULD REVIEW OPERATIONS. PETER CHIKUMBA WAS MADE THE ACTING MANAGING DIRECTOR.
FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1995 = +$3.2 MILLION.
JULY 1996: THE GOVERNMENT SAYS H MURUNGI'S FORCED LEAVE IS NOW INDEFINITE FOLLOWING RECOMMENDATIONS BY INVESTIGATING GROUP.
AUGUST 1996: 50TH ANNIVERSARY!
SEPTEMBER 1996: TO TERMINATE LEASE OF 2 F 50'S IN 4TH QUARTER.
DECEMBER 1996: H MURUNGI FORMALLY DISMISSED.
DUE TO WORKER "GO SLOW" ACTION, 1 737-200 WET-LEASED TO SUBSTITUTE FOR OWN 737, LATE COMING OUT OF "C" CHECK.
MARCH 1997: WEEK LONG PILOT'S (FC) STRIKE.
MAY 1997: BRENDAN DONOHOE GENERAL MANAGER & (CEO), EX-AER LINGUS (ARL).
JULY 1997: 1 B AE 146-100 (ALF502R-5), EX-AIR BOTSWANA.
SEPTEMBER 1997: DUE TO INCIDENT (INCDT) WITH AIR TURN BACK OF THE PRESIDENT MUGABE'S 707 WITH #3 ENGINE FIRE, NOW LOOKING AT A REPLACEMENT AIRPLANE, POSSIBLY A 757, (AWW) LEASED.
PETER CHIKUMBA DIRECTOR MAINTENANCE IS LOOKING AT SEPARATE 3RD PARTY MAINTENANCE DIVISION FOR REGIONAL OPERATORS, SINCE CURRENT FACILITIES ARE UNDER-UTILIZED, AND IN GOOD SHAPE WITH HIGHLY TRAINED WORKERS.
OCTOBER 1997: TO RETIRE LAST 707 (18930) NEXT MONTH.
DECEMBER 1997: 1 707-330B (18923) WITHDRAWN FROM SERVICE.
JANUARY 1998: DESPITE EXCELLENT SAFETY RECORD, AIR ZIMBABWE (ZMB) IS FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO GAIN CODE SHARES WITH USA CARRIERS, BECAUSE ZIMBABWE IS STILL CATEGORY III RATED FOR (FAA) SAFETY OVERSIGHT.
FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1997 = -$12 MILLION OPERATING LOSS.
CONTINUED TO OPERATE ITS 707 AS BACK-UP AIRPLANE, PENDING SALE.
MARCH 1998: CODE SHARE WITH AIR MALAWI & ZAMBIAN EXPRESS FOR
HARARE TO LUSAKA TO LONDON, & HARARE TO LILONGWE TO LONDON.
(ZMB) WILL HOST 1998, SOUTHERN AFRICAN REGIONAL AGING AIRPLANE, STRUCTURAL SEMINAR WITH BOEING (TBC).
(ZMB) SOLD LAST 707 (Z-WKU) TO TURBINE SERVICES, MIAMI WITH PLANS FOR OPERATIONS BASED IN CAPE TOWN.
APRIL 1998: 707 (464-18930, 86 27) SOLD TO INTERFLIGHT AIRLINE MARKETING, MIAMI. IT WAS RE-REGISTERED AS (3D-WKU).
844 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 236 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 599 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
MAY 1998: ALL WORKERS CEASED TO BE EMPLOYED. ALL WERE PLACED ON CONTRACTS AS PART OF NEW COMMERCIALIZATION OF AIRLINE. THE GOVERNMENT TOLD (ZMB) TO WITHDRAW THEIR ANNOUNCEMENT.
737-200 (Z-WPA) RETURNED TO SERVICE.
JULY 1998: ZIMBABWE HIGH COURT EDICTS (ZMB) TO PAY HITTUSH MURINGI FORMER (CEO), FIRED IN 1996 TO BE PAID FULL SALARY & BENEFITS UNTIL THE DISPUTE IS SETTLED.
OCTOBER 1998: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1997 = -$31.5 MILLION (-$11.6 MILLION).
NOVEMBER 1998: 737-2NO (23677) RETURNED FROM UGANDA (UGA).
FEBRUARY 1999: BRENDAN DONOHOE (CEO) EXPECTED TO LEAVE IN MAY 1999, WHEN HIS CONTRACT EXPIRES. RAMBAI CHINGWENA, ACTING (CEO) & COMPANY SECRETARY. NICHOLAS NYANDORO, CHAIRMAN.
CURRENT FLEET IS 3 737'S, 2 767'S, & 2 B AE 146'S.
MARCH 1999: PROTRACTED DISPUTE WITH FORMER EXECUTIVE HUTTUSH MURINGI ENDS WITH HIS RESIGNATION FROM THE CORPORATION.
APRIL 1999: 1,844 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 236 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 599 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
MAY 1999: E CHINGOSHO GENERAL MANAGER ENGINEERING.
JUNE 1999: TICHARWA GARABGA (CEO).
AUGUST 1999: LACK OF FLIGHT CREWS (FC) GROUNDS 1 767.
SEPTEMBER 1999: CODE SHARE WITH QANTAS (QAN) TO AUSTRALIA.
APRIL 2000: 1,380 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 52 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 130 CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA)).
JUNE 2000: BAD POLITICAL SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE RESULTS IN ABANDONMENT OF LEASE OF 2 777-200'S FROM CHINA SOUTHERN (GUN).
FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1999 = -$25.05 MILLION (NET LOSS): 875 MILLION (RPK) TRAFFIC (+2.6%); 60.9% LF LOAD FACTOR; 35.06 MILLION (FTK) FREIGHT TRAFFIC (-16.1%); 460,000 PASSENGERS (PAX) (-20.8%); 1,434 EMPLOYEES.
SEPTEMBER 2000: AIR ZIMBABWE (ZMB) IS TECHNICALLY INSOLVENT WITH LOSSES & DEBTS TOTALLING $1.5 BILLION, WITH CURRENT DEBTS OF $417 MILLION, INCLUDING $4 MILLION OWED TO AIRPLANE LESSORS.
NOVEMBER 2000: (LAC) - LIGNES AERIENNES CONGOLAISES (CQC) CONTRACTS AIR ZIMBABWE (ZMB) TO OPERATE (CQC) DOMESTIC SERVICES BETWEEN KINSHASA, LUBUMBASHI, AND MBUJI MAYI. ALSO, IN DECEMBER 2001, (ZMB) TO OPERATE (CQC)'S KINSHASA TO PARIS TO BRUSSELS ROUTE.
PLANS NONSTOP VICTORIA FALLS TO LONDON GATWICK (767-200ER, WEEKLY) IN MAY 2001.
APRIL 2001: 1,380 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 52 FLIGHT CREW (FC), & 130 CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA)).
737-2NO (23677) LEASED TO (LAM) MOZAMBIQUE.
AUGUST 2001: AGREEMENT WITH ZAMBIA SKYWAYS RE-EQUIPMENT & SERVICE FOR POSSIBLE CODE SHARE WITH 5 FLIGHTS/WEEK TO LONDON. PLANS TO RESUME SERVICE TO FRANKFURT. TO ROME IN NOVEMBER 2001. LATER, TO LUMUMBASHI AND KINSHASA.
DECEMBER 2001: SUSPENDS SERVICE ON ITS VICTORIA FALLS TO LONDON ROUTE AFTER 6 MONTHS OPERATIONS.
November 2002: Rambai Chingwena Managing Director.
Has settled a $32 million debt owed to the (EXIM) Bank.
February 2003: 3 orders (April 2003) ATR 42's to replace 737's.
March 2003: 2 Bombardier CRJ's leased from Air Littoral for 3 years. Plans to acquire 3 ATR 42's to replace 737's on regional operations.
April 2003: (http://www.airzim.co.zw).
July 2003: 1,380 employees. SITA: HRECRUM.
2002 = 674 million (RPK) traffic (-6.8%); 59.5% LF load factor; 25.81 million (FTK) freight traffic (-10.5%); 251,000 passengers (PAX) (-18.7%).
August 2003: Resumes Harare to Lusaka (weekly) and Harare to Blantyre/Nairobi (2x-weekly).
December 2003: Memo of Understanding (MOU) for code share agreement with Air Tanzania (TNZ).
Had to charter a 767 from MyTravel Airways (GUE) to cover for its 767-200 commandeered by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to fly to attend the United Nations (UN) World Summit and then later to the Sino-African summmit in Addis Ababa, for a total of 9 days.
February 2004: After Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) was suspended by the (IATA) clearing house over debts of $1.3 million. Sufficient funds were quickly put together during the week by the government to pay off the bill.
October 2004: Resumed Harare - Lubumbashi (in cooperation with Air Malawai (AML)). Victoria Falls - Johannesburg (3/week). In November 2004, Harare to Singapore, & Beijing (2/week).
November 2004: 1,380 employees.
4 orders (April 2005) Xian MA60's.
December 2004: Reportedly has been carrying <50 passengers on its Harare - Singapore - Beijing route, and because its revenue has been depressed it has been unable to pay for the 2 Xian MA60's that are due for delivery.
August 2005: 767-38EER (CF6) (24798, HS-PBH), PB Air (PBJ) wet-leased to Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) for 2 months and used for nonstop service from Harare via Dubai and Bangkok to Shanghai and Beijing. Will fly up to 70 hours/week at a cost of $3,200/flight hour. Will be used to cover for the 767-2NOER airplane which is undergoing a "C" maintenance check at Harare.
November 2005: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) grounded its fleet because of a lack of fuel but was able to resume some flights later. (ZMB)'s senior management was suspended, according to the state-run "Herald."
January 2006: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) has reduced flights on international routes by one fifth because of major financial losses. (ZMB) will increase the frequency on its Harare to Lusaka route from 2 to 7 flights a week on March 25th. (ZMB) currently operates 2 flights a week, on Mondays/Wednesdays and will raise that to daily.
(ZMB) took delivery of a Chinese MA60 airplane, its 3rd. (ZMB) has been operating 2 MA60s since last year on local and regional routes.
June 2006: Zimbabwe's national airline (ZMB) has grounded 2 Chinese-built planes further making it difficult for the troubled airline to service its routes. (ZMB) bought the 2 MA-60 turboprop planes in 2005. A 3rd was donated by the Chinese earlier this year. A report in "The Standard," an independent weekly newspaper, said the 2 planes have been grounded for >2 weeks. The report said the planes were grounded because expired spare parts had not been replaced. The newspaper, quoting sources at (ZMB) said the planes were kept flying after the expiration of parts due for replacement after 1,000 flying hours. The source was quoted as saying the planes reached 1,000 hours last December. The 3rd plane is still flying because it has yet to reach the hours required for replacement.
6 orders (February 2008) Il-96's with options for 5 TU-204's. Transport Minister, Christopher Mushohwe is understood to have signed the deal for 3 IL-96-400Fs and 3 passenger models during a recent visit to Moscow.
July 2006: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) signed code share agreements with Air Tanzania (TNZ) and Air Malawi (AML).
November 2006: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) suspended service from Harare to London, because it feared the seizure of its airplanes over unpaid debt. (ZMB) was operating 3 flights a week using a 767-200. In the meantime, (ZMB) was to resume service on Wednesday.
(ZMB) has increased the frequency on its Harare to Beijing route from 1 to 2 flights a week. At this time, (ZMB) operates departures from Harare on Mondays & Fridays, and departing from Beijing on Tuesdays & Saturdays, using a 767-200 via Singapore.
December 2006: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) is changing the routing of its Harare to London flights to stop in Lilongwe (Malawi) and Lusaka (Zambia) as a result of a code sharing agreement it signed with Air Malawi (AML) and Zambia Skyways. The operation began this month with the Lilongwe routing operating 1x-weekly, and the Lusaka routing 2x-weekly, all with 767-200ERs.
This code share agreement is seen as an attempt to resurrect the defunct Central African Airways. However, this time around, it does not involve Zambian Airways (MBA). Many years ago, Central African Airways was the tripartite arrangement with (ZMB) known then as "Air Rhodesia" with Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) with 50%, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) with 35%, and Nyasaland (now Malawi) with 15%.
June 2008: Employees = 825.
The government of Zimbabwe is planning to boost (ZMB)'s fleet ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup finals to be hosted by South Africa. The Minister of Transport & Communications, Cde Chris Mushohwe said (ZMB) currently has 8 airplanes for its domestic and international routes. He said the government was looking at acquiring 5 long-haul airplanes, including 2 passenger models and 3 freighters. The freighters would be used to revive Affretair (AFF), the former cargo arm of (ZMB). This presumably accounts for the recent order for 1 Ilyushin Il-96-300 passenger airplane and 2 Il-96-400Fs. The government also wants (ZMB) to develop its regional operations and confirmed (ZMB)'s interest in 737-900s and also the 105-seat ARJ21-900, being developed jointly by (AVIC) 1 of China and Canada's Bombardier Aerospace (BMB).
December 2008: World nations currently rated Category 2 by the USA (FAA) under the (FAA)'s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program are: Bangladesh, Belize, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Kiribati, Montenegro, Nauru, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Philippines, Serbia, Swaziland, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe. The (FAA) rating prevents nation's airlines being allowed to fly into the USA. They have the option to fly to the USA with an airline who is approved under Category 1.
The (FAA) stated that a Category 2 rating "may involve a country lacking laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with international standards, or that its civil aviation authority does not meet international standards in one or more areas such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping, or inspection procedures."
February 2009: 2008 = net loss of -$49 million from a $130 million turnover.
April 2009: 737-2NO (Z-WPC), Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) leased to (LAC) - Lignes Aeriennes Congolaises (LNA) with "On behalf of LAC" title above the "air zimbabwe" - - SEE PHOTO - - "ZMB-LNA-737-2NO-APR09."
July 2009: As the national airline of Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) operates services in southern Africa and to Europe.
Employees = 825.
(IATA) Code: UM -168. (ICAO) Code: AZW (Callsign - AIR ZIMBABWE).
Parent organization/shareholders: Government of Zimbabwe (100%).
Alliances: Air Botswana; Air Malawi (AML); Lignes Aeriennes Congolaises (LNA); & TAAG Angola Airlines (ANG).
Main Base: Harare International airport (HRE).
Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: Bulawayo; Harare; & Victoria Falls.
International, Scheduled Destinations: Brussels; Johannesburg; Lilongwe; London; Lubumbashi; Lusaka; Mauritius; Nairobi; & Singapore.
August 2010: F28-4000 (11239, ZS-DRF - - SEE PHOTO - - "ZMB-F28-2010-09") Airquarius (AQU) leased.
December 2010: Elijah Chingosho was appointed Secretary General of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) effective January 1, at the organization's 42nd Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Addis Ababa. He will take over from Tewodros Tamrat, who has held the position on an acting basis since June.
Chingosho has been (AFRAA)'s Director Safety, Technical & Training for the past 9 years. Prior to joining (AFRAA) in 2001, he served with Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) as the General Manager Engineering and acting General Manager Human Resources (HR). He began his aviation career in the Zimbabwe Air Force.
At the meeting, which took place November 21 to 23, (AFRAA) airlines resolved to "pursue viable commercial joint projects and work together to survive the fierce competition from non-African airlines." The airlines also resolved to support the (ICAO) Assembly resolution relating to the reduction of aviation carbon dioxide emissions but also called upon African states to oppose unilateral measures and "particularly the European Union (EU) ETS imposition on non-(EU) carriers."
Royal Air Maroc (CEO) Driss Benhima was elected President of the association for 2011. EgyptAir (EGP) Group Chairman Hussein Massoud was appointed Chairman of the (AFRAA) executive committee. The 43rd (AFRAA) (AGA) will take place in Marrakesh in November 2011.
December 2011: 2 of Air Zimbabwe's airplanes were impounded, apparently over outstanding debts. SEE ATTACHED "AIRLINER WORLD" ARTICLE - - "ZMB-2011-12 - 737 767 IMPOUNDED."
February 2012: Zimbabwe's national airline Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) has suspended all its flights indefinitely, after the latest revival effort collapsed, the firm's (CEO) said. "I can confirm all flights are suspended. We are grounded indefinitely," said Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) (CEO) Innocent Mavhunga.
(ZMB) had hoped to return to the skies after its pilots (FC) walked off the job last year, saying their wages had not been paid. (ZMB) had hoped to convince the pilots (FC) to return to work so that at least minimal service could be restored.
"Pilots (FC) did not come to commence operations. We are waiting for the government which is our major shareholder to intervene. Our issue is in the domain of cabinet. We are just waiting for their intervention," Mavhunga said.
(ZMB) has been rocked by problems in recent years including frequent strikes by its pilots (FC) and mounting debts as it struggles to maintain an aging fleet.
One of its planes was impounded in London for >2 weeks last year over a $1.2 million debt dispute with a USA spares company, prompting (ZMB) to suspend flights to neighboring South Africa over another debt of $500,000, fearing creditors might impound more of its planes.
But even domestic flights have operated erratically, as the struggling carrier battles against debts reported in December at $140 million.
April 2012: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) has started talks with Embraer (EMB) according to local press reports in Zimbabwe with a view of leasing some airplanes from the Brazilian manufacturer to resume operations again later this year.
July 2012: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) will again resume limited domestic operations, reportedly with a 737-200 that had been on a maintenance check for a week forcing it to temporarily suspend its operations from Harare International (HRE) to Bulawayo Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International (BUQ) and Victoria Falls International (VFA). (ZMB) had operated some domestic flights on and off for the last 4 months with 737-200s as well as some government charters with its 2 767-200ERs. The exact details of its current operations are unclear as not even (ZMB)'s website has been updated since the suspension of all services back in February. It has taken delivery of a 2nd A320-200 last week according to the "Zimbabwe Mail" with a 1st A320-200 (630) already stored in Harare since January.
August 2012: 1time airline (1TA) and Airlink (South Africa) ((IATA) Code: 4Z, based at Johannesburg Oliver Reginald Tambo International airport (JNB)) are both considering setting up new airlines in Zimbabwe to fill the void left by Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) which now just irregularily operates some domestic services. Both hope to secure a license in cooperation with local Zimbabwean partners that according to legal regulations in the country would have to hold a 51% stake in the carriers. It remains to be seen if any licenses are in fact issued to local start-ups or South African carriers given decisions on applications by Phoenix Air (based at Harare International (HRE)) and Sol Air (Zimbabwe) ((IATA) Code: ZS, based at Harare International airport (HRE)) also seem to have been postponed for now.
November 2012: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) has yet again resumed domestic operations to Bulawayo Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International (BUQ) and Victoria Falls International (VFA) after the government of Zimbabwe has reportedly taken over the debt of the national carrier according to a report by Zimbabwean newspaper "The Standard." (ZMB) also plans to resume international flights from Harare to Johannesburg Oliver Reginald Tambo International (JNB) from November 12 using its 767-200ER offering 4 weekly services. (ZMB) had last operated some scheduled domestic flights in July but has regularly operated charter flights on behalf of the government since then. According to the "African Aviation Tribune," it plans to put its 2 A320-200s into operations soon replacing its 767-200ER on the Johannesburg route.
February 2013: Air Zimbabwe ((IATA) Code: UM, based at Harare International (HRE)) is considering adding 2 ERJ-135 regional jets to its fleet in an effort to resume regional routes from Harare International (HRE). It currently only operates 1 767-200ER and 1 737-200 on domestic routes and a single international route linking Harare and Johannesburg Oliver Reginald Tambo International (JNB). According to a report by the "African Aviation Tribune," the ERJ-135s will likely replace the 3 MA-60 turboprops Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) has decided to withdraw from service.
June 2013: ERJ-145LR (607, ZS-BBH), Solenta Aviation leased and A320-211 (1973, Z-WPN), ex-(M-YWAU), South Jet One leased.
July 2013: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) has announced it has opened talks to acquire an A380, which would be used to restart (ZMB)'s Harare - Gatwick, UK link. (ZMB) spokesperson, Shingai Taruvinga said a deal for the new A380 was under way, but could not disclose the identity of the owner. The deal is supposed to be concluded this month.
"For us, it is about giving a better service because these are the latest modern airplanes. This is the way to go. We are hoping hat the A380 arrives before we start our international flights this month. Even if the current 767 restarts flying between Harare and Gatwick, we are hoping that the A380 will replace it.
(ZMB) also reported it has been licensed by the (IATA) to resume flying to intercontinental destinations after it finalized a safety audit on replacement airplanes and new services.
Regional flights have resumed initially with four airplanes: 2 A320s and 2 Embraer ERJ-145s.
February 2014: Air Zimbabwe ((IATA) Code: UM, based at Harare International) (ZMB) top management and high ranking government officials have been fingered by a damning forensic audit of (ZMB)'s book which claims they prejudiced the airline of nearly USD10 million over a 4-year period. In its latest exposé of rampant corruption, government mouth-piece, "The Herald" alleged that the Zimbabwean Permanent Secretary Transport & Infrastructural Development, Munesu Munodawafa, had protected the interests of his niece, Grace Pfumbidzayi, who is also (ZMB)'s Secretary, after she allegedly authorized irregular payments to a local Zimbabwean firm, Navistar Insurance Brokers. Among the claims leveled are that Ms Pfumbidzayi authorized a payment of USD360,448 to Navistar for insurance cover for 2 leased A320-200s, Z-WPM (630, Z-WPM) & (1973, Z-WPN), despite knowing they were already insured by the lessor. It is further claimed that (ZMB)'s operational fleet (1 737-200, 2 767-200ERs, and 1 MA-60) for a period of 2 months in 2009, flew uninsured after Navistar received but failed to remit the premiums. (BCA) Forensic Audit Services, which undertook the audit, has recommended that the matter be brought to the attention of President Robert Mugabe due to its magnitude. Also implicated in the scandal are Air Zimbabwe (ZMB)'s 2 previous (CEO)s, Patrick Chigumba and Innocent Mavhunga.
(ZMB) has had its 2 A320-200s (630, Z-WPM; 1973, Z-WPN) (1973), grounded in Johannesburg O R Tambo. “The Airbuses have been at O R Tambo for the last 4 weeks and are incurring storage charges which are rising by the day as they remain unfixed. They were taken to South Africa for "C"-Checks,” an unnamed source told Zimbabwe's "NewsDay." A (ZMB) official confirmed the problems stating that 1 of the A320s had problems with its landing gear which its lessor was looking at. Who actually owns both airplanes is still uncertain though previous reports have pointed to Hong Kong-based SouthJet Ltd. In order to make up for the operational shortfall, the Zimbabwean national carrier has resorted to using its a reactivated 737-200 (23677, Z-WPA), and a wet-leased Solenta Aviation ((IATA) Code: SL, based at Lanseria) ERJ-145. (ZMB)'s future is further in doubt given recent revelations that its debt has now ballooned to USD 230 million. The "Zimbabwe Independent" lists (ZMB)'s creditors as financial institutions, fuel suppliers, workers, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and trade creditors. (ZMB) has been rocked by a recent forensic audit which pointed to alleged fraudulent activity by the airline's management.
March 2014: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) shareholder, the Zimbabwean government, has issued an airplane operational lease contract tender for the supply of one ERJ-145 to the troubled national carrier. The (RfP) follows the recent conclusion of a contract with Solenta Aviation ((IAT) Code: SL, based at Lanseria) for one ERJ-145.
Transport & Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation the move is part of efforts to re-equip (ZMB) with more modern airplanes. “We would want to ensure that there is no disruption in terms of service and therefore a decision has been taken to source airplanes for operational leasing. We are therefore inviting applications from those firms who can supply the necessary equipment,” said Dr Mpofu.
Under the Solenta contract, the ERJ-145 was used to service domestic flights between Harare International, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls as well as Johannesburg O R Tambo regionally.
August 2014: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) commenced its 4th link from its Harare (HRE) base on August 1st, adding 3x-weekly services to Kariba (KAB), a route which continues to Victoria Falls. With no competition provided on the new 282 km domestic airport pair, (ZMB) will operate it, using its 50-seat MA60s. (ZMB) is also flying from Harare to Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Johannesburg.
(ZMB) has reportedly opened negotiations with an undisclosed Chinese investor with the aim of resuming international flights to London Gatwick and Beijing Capital before year-end. “We are at an advanced stage, our technical team is engaging a technical partner, who is very keen to service operations with Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) to service the routes to China and London Gateway,” Zimbabwean Minister of Transport, Obert Mpofu, told "Newsday." “We are talking to the Chinese. In fact, (ZMB) will be flying to Shanghai Pudong and Beijing very soon. We have a serious invitation, with one serious big airline operation for flights to London and China.”
(ZMB) suspended its Gatwick services in late 2011, when 1 of its 2 767-200ERs was impounded by American General Suppliers over USD1.2 million in outstanding debts.
While the debt-ridden airline has announced plans to resume international flights at various points over the last 3 years, none have resulted in any concrete action.
Sources inform that with the poor quality of Air Zimbabwe (ZMB)'s 767 on-board product, (ZMB) is considering leasing an A340 from South Africa's Global Aviation Operations ((IATA) Code: QG, based at Johannesburg O R Tambo) for its long haul needs.
(ZMB) currently operates 10 airplanes and serves 2 countries, 5 destinations, 8 routes, and 13 daily flights.
December 2014: News Item A-1: While it is home to an estimated population of 13 million inhabitants, Zimbabwe covers an area of 390,757 sq kms (around 2x- the size of Belarus). Rich in natural resources, including >40 types of metals and minerals, the landlocked country in southern Africa achieved sovereignty from the UK in April 1980. In fact, the mining sector is the main catalyst for the country’s economy due to 40% of its foreign exchange being earned from the export of metals and minerals, while tourism is also an important industry for Zimbabwe. Therefore, the air transport sector plays a significant role in supporting the economic and social growth of the country, which is served through 4 commercial airports providing scheduled airline services this December, namely Harare, Victoria Falls, Bulawayo and Karibo.
Zimbabwe’s capacity is up +44% in 2014!
Around 1 million 1-way seats are offered on services involving Zimbabwean airports this year, representing an impressive increase of +44% over the previous year. Interestingly, all 3 major airports managed to post capacity growth, when compared to 2013 figures, with Bulawayo recording the largest increase (+287%), followed by Victoria Falls (+52%) and Harare (+28%). Interestingly, Kariba, which had not provided any commercial services since 2008, saw the return of scheduled services on August 1st, when Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) commenced 3x-weekly flights from Harare and Victoria Falls.
Overall, looking at the annual seat figures since 2005, the combined capacity of the Zimbabwean market grew by an average annual growth rate (CAGR) of +3.2%, with Harare outperforming (+4%) its airport peers from the country. Not surprisingly, considering the country’s political and economic instability in recent years, the Zimbabwean air transport saw an uneven development between the 2004 - 2014 time frame.
As of December 2014, Zimbabwe is served by a total of 12 airlines, with the national carrier Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) being the dominant player in this country market, as it controls 32% and 34% of all weekly seats and flights, respectively. Following financial difficulties, (ZMB) ceased operations in late February 2012, but has resumed flights on some domestic and international sectors this year. This month, (ZMB) operates 8 airport pairs, of which 3 are international services to Johannesburg, from Harare, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo. Close analysis of (ZMB)’s domestic operations reveals that Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) faces direct competition only on the 557 km sector between Harare and Victoria Falls, from flyafrica.com, Zimbabwe, which has introduced 3x-weekly flights on the route on December 1. Ranking second with a weekly seat share of 23%, South African Airways (SAA) serves Zimbabwe’s 3 major airports from Johannesburg and Durban.
Total weekly seat capacity in Zimbabwe has gone up +69%, with only Air Botswana recording capacity decline, when comparing data from this December with the same week last year, while Air Namibia (NMB), Air Mozambique and TAAG Angola (ANG) saw their operations unchanged. Over the past 12 months, Zimbabwe has seen the arrival of 2 new carriers (highlighted in bright green), namely fastjet (FSJ)’s 2x-weekly flights from Dar es Salaam on August 5th as well as flyafrica.com, Zimbabwe with 3 airport pairs, while (KLM) withdrew its 3x-weekly operations from Amsterdam operated via Lusaka.
Kenya Airways (KEN) is the fastest growing operator, increasing its weekly capacity by +19% or 309 weekly seats due to the addition of 3 further weekly fights on the 402 km link between Lusaka and Harare, a sector operated as part of its nine weekly Nairobi - Harare operations. By comparison, Air Botswana noted -33% capacity decline as a result of reducing its frequency from Gaborone to Harare from 3x-weekly to 2x-weekly.
A total of 10 country markets can be reached non-stop from Zimbabwe. At around 10,493 weekly seats and +59% more than in the corresponding week last year, neighboring South Africa tops the list of country markets served, with a combined total of 87 weekly flights operated by British Airways (BAB), South African (SAA), Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) and flyafrica.com Zimbabwe, with the former operating fully with its franchisee Comair (CML). Furthermore, the domestic sector represents 22% of all weekly capacity, being served by the flag carrier and flyafrica.com Zimbabwe.
South Africa is not only the biggest country market served from Zimbabwe, but also the fastest growing one, with a net growth of +3,874 weekly seats or +59% over the last 12 months. This is followed by Ethiopia with an increase of +8.8% and Kenya with +2.1%. On the other hand, operations to Botswana and Zambia posted decline of -33% (-47 seats) and -7.6% (-341 seats), respectively.
News Item A-2: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) resumes scheduled services to the southern towns of Chiredzi/Buffalo Range and Masvingo on December 16 following a 7 year hiatus. Initial services operate 2x-weekly using an MA-60. "The introduction of this flight will boost tourism activities in Chiredzi. We have Gonarezhou National Park, Agro Tourism, some wildlife conservancies, cultural tourism and all these sites would be of interest to visitors," (ZMB)'s Marketing & Sales Manager, Christopher Kwenda said.
(zmb), the Zimbabwean national carrier earlier this year resumed flights to the northern resort town of Kariba as part of its plans to redevelop its now tattered domestic network.
August 2015: Air Zimbabwe ((IATA) Code: UM, based at Harare International) (ZMB) has reinstated former acting Managing Director Grace Pfumbidzayi after a Zimbabwean labor arbitration tribunal ruled her dismissal to be procedural.
“In view of the facts and arguments, I award the following: The claimant was unfairly dismissed and should, therefore, be reinstated from the date of unfair dismissal without loss of salary and benefits," arbitrator, T Zimbudzana ruled. “The matter is remitted to the respondent (Air Zimbabwe (ZMB)) for the procedural irregularities to be put right.”
(ZMB) sacked Pfumbidzayi in February 2014 on charges of corruption and mal-administration, after a forensic audit revealed she had played a "pivotal role" in an aviation insurance fraud scandal, which milked the carrier of >USD10 million between 2009 and 2013.
The arbitrator's ruling, however, is moot, given that Pfumbidzayi is currently serving an effective 7-year jail sentence for her role in the scandal, alongside former (CEO) Peter Chikumba, who was also convicted.
September 2015: News Item A-1: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) is targeting a return to London and Beijing as soon as this year as part of a new push for network growth, (CEO) Edmund Makona said (see photo - "ZMB-1-Edmund Makona").
Speaking to "Airline Business Daily," Edmund Makona said (ZMB) will "continue to make efforts to engage the necessary stakeholders, so that it becomes a reality by the end of the year." He said (ZMB) is in the midst of its "re-launch phase" and that "at the heart of that strategy, is growth, so we really intend to grow our route network, and very soon, we will also be implementing our long-haul routes, including London and Beijing."
He continued saying (ZMB) is currently operating from Harare to Johannesburg, Lusaka, Victoria Falls, and Bulawayo. He said the Harare - Johannesburg was the most lucrative route in the network.
(ZMB) currently has 8 airplanes, of which 6 are operational, including 3 Boeing 767S, 2 737s and an A320. He said (ZMB) is currently evaluating its fleet expansion options, with both Airbus A320s and A330s, or alternatively, the Boeing 787.
He said (ZMB) is currently in a "transformation from non-profit to profitability," adding that since relaunching operations in 2013, (ZMB) has managed to reduce some of its losses.
News Item A-2: "Routes 2015: African Headwinds" by (ATW) Victoria Moores in "Need I say Moores," September 25, 2015.
At the recent "World Routes" meeting in Durban, Air Zimbabwe (ZMB)’s acting (CEO) Edmund Makona summed up the African challenge perfectly: “You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails to reach your destination.”
Doing business in Africa is tough. The market is bound hand and foot with red tape. Safety and infrastructure are not where they should be. Non-African carriers dominate the continent’s air links.
Airlines must work together to succeed. This summarizes at least 10 years of African airline conferences (and quite a bit of the discussion at the "World Routes" meeting too).
There is optimism that the direction of the wind is about to change. After decades of inaction, 11 countries have committed to intra-African air transport liberalization by 2017. Granted, these are 11 of 44 states, which already committed to the same thing, 2x, >20 years ago. In the words of one of the "World Routes" panelists, Africa is good at putting plans together; it’s terrible at implementing them.
So why should things change now? That question is best answered by African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) Secretary General Iyabo Sosina, who is leading the intra-African liberalization process.
“Airlines were reluctant [for their states] to implement [liberalization] because they thought they were going to die, so they called on the state to protect them. The states willingly did that, but things have got to a stage where they have been protected, and they are still dying,” Sosina said at the (AFRAA) (AGM) in Algiers last November.
It’s an old quote, but I like it. A handful of weak airlines cannot be protected at the expense of an entire continent’s connectivity, trade, and economic growth.
But equally, the continent’s airlines cannot afford to sit back and wait for liberalization to happen. As we heard at "World Routes," the time for thinking and meeting is over.
African carriers need to recognize that success is not a fleet of Airbus A380s flying to Europe, Asia, and the USA in their national livery. Success is flying a 3-hour intra-African route in 3 hours, rather than 24 hours via Europe. Success is smaller aircraft, flown at higher frequencies, with a reasonable load factor created by an equally reasonable ticket price.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
African carriers need to be realists, or the colors on those sails will not be theirs.
November 2016: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe this month commissioned the upgraded Victoria Falls International Airport that was built with support from China. He said the renovation could turn the airport into a regional tourist hub if aggressively marketed.
Completion of the airport project was also a major milestone in the country's development efforts, partnered by China which he described as "a great partner and friend."
Expansion of the airport, which began in 2013, was done by China Jiangsu International and financed through a 150 million-dollar-loan from the China Export Import Bank.
The upgraded airport now handles 1.5 million passengers per year, up from 500,000 and boasts of modern passenger facilities, a new international terminal building, a new 4 km runway, extended parking areas for aircraft, a new control tower, new fire station, new road networks, a new state of the art international passenger terminal building, and a refurbished domestic terminal.
The new airport can now accommodate long haul flights from around the globe, which is expected to increase inflow of tourists to Zimbabwe.
The airport is the gateway to Victoria Falls, a world heritage site and 1 of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
Mugabe commended China Jiangsu International for good work and pledged to engage the company for similar construction projects in the future. He added that Harare and other airports in the country need to be further expanded and upgraded.
May 2017: The European Commission (EC) has added 4 airlines to the European Union (EU) Air Safety List, including Air Zimbabwe (ZMB), but at the same time lifted an earlier ban on all carriers from Benin and Mozambique.
In the May 16 update, all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique were cleared from the list, following safety oversight improvements.
“Their reforms have paid off. This is also a signal to the 16 countries that remain on the list. It shows that work and cooperation pays off. The Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency [EASA] are ready to assist them and raise the safety standards worldwide,” European transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said.
Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) was the highest profile of the 4 newly banned carriers, sitting alongside Nigeria’s Medview Airline, Mustique Airways from St Vincent and the Grenadines and Ukrainian carrier Air Urga.
The (EC) said the 4 failed to address safety deficiencies picked up during an (EASA) 3rd-country operator audit.
Banned airlines on the (EU) Air Safety List cannot operate to, from or within the (EU), but many of the 181 blacklisted carriers do not have European operations.
The (EU) sometimes bans every airline from a country because of poor regulatory oversight; this applies to the vast majority of banned airlines (174 airlines in 16 states) even though the airline itself may have a safe operation.
The remaining 7 airlines are blacklisted because specific safety concerns with their operation. Alongside the 4 new additions, these comprise Iran Aseman Airlines, Iraqi Airways (IRQ) and Suriname carrier Blue Wing Airlines.
Finally, 6 airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can only fly to the (EU) with specific aircraft types: Gabonese carriers Afrijet and Nouvelle Air Affaires SN2AG, Korean carrier Air Koryo, Air Service Comores from the Comoros, Iran Air (IRN) and (TAAG) Angola Airlines.
July 2017: Air Zimbabwe (ZMB), the national carrier of the southern African nation, has reportedly made almost half of its 400-plus staff redundant as it battles chronic financial problems.
(ZMB), the Zimbabwe flag carrier has been in a perilous position for years, with debts estimated at $330 million. Its fleet has shrunk to just a few aircraft. The Harare-headquartered airline has also been banned from operating to the European Union (EU) because of safety concerns, although it gave up its sole route to the continent, from the Zimbabwean capital Harare to London some time ago.
Multiple media reports have said the redundancies will be immediate.
“We were overstaffed by a lot and we are also trying to weed out people without the right qualifications,” (ZMB) Chairwoman Chipo Dyanda was quoted by the (BBC) as saying.
“The retrenchment is meant to give space to the airline so that we can redeploy the money saved back into the company.”
(ZMB) is believed to have arranged for the lease of 4 Boeing 777-200ERs from Malaysia Airlines (MAS). A photograph of one appeared in Zimbabwean publications wearing a new color scheme and Zimbabwe Airways markings, leading some commentators to suggest that the country’s government plans to close down the current carrier and set up a new one, ring-fencing the existing company’s debts.
August 2017: Scheduled passenger services between South Africa and its northern neighbor, Zimbabwe, were disrupted this month after either country's civil aviation authority sanctioned commercial airplanes registered in the other's jurisdiction.
The stand-off began on August 18, when the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) grounded Air Zimbabwe (ZMB) 767-200ER (24713, Z-WPE) at Johannesburg O R Tambo just prior to its departure for Harare International as UM462.
The (SACAA) said a pre-flight ramp inspection revealed the airplane did not comply with its regulations and safety requirements thus necessitating its grounding. “The ramp inspection conducted by (SACAA) personnel discovered that (ZMB) was not compliant with both international civil aviation standards, and Part 129 of the South African civil aviation regulations. Part 129, among others, requires an operator to be in possession of a Foreign Operator’s Permit in order to conduct operations into, and within South Africa. A copy of the Foreign Operator’s Permit, together with other documents, must be on board an airplane at all times, and made available for inspection on request by the relevant authorities."
In an apparently retaliatory move, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) grounded a South African Airways (SAA) 737-800 (30476, ZS-SJM), at Harare International just prior to the departure of its return service (SA25) to Johannesburg O R Tambo on August 19, citing the same reasons (a lack of a Foreign Operators Permit (FOP)).
"(SAA) was notified of the decision and flight SA025 from Harare to Johannesburg could not operate at 0700. SA022, which was scheduled to depart at 10h45 from Johannesburg to Harare, has also been cancelled."
Zimbabwean media reports state the embargo also affected Comair (South Africa), which operates as a British Airways franchise.
Zimbabwean Minister of Transport, Jorum Gumbo, subsequently engaged his counterpart in South Africa, Joe Maswanganyi, to resolve the impasse which ended on August 20.
Flightradar24 (ADS-B) data shows (Z-WPE) returned to Harare on the evening of August 19 in time to conduct its Sunday milk run between Harare and Johannesburg as UM467/8. For its part, (ZS-SJM) returned to service on Sunday as SA25 Harare to Johannesburg.
"Since the grounding of (SAA)’s aircraft in Harare, (SAA) prepared and submitted all required documentation in compliance with the instruction from the Zimbabwean authorities," a follow-up (SAA) statement issued on Sunday, August 20, said. "Following the clearance and approval received, (SAA) started recovering its schedule."
Click below for photos:
ZMB-737-23NO - 2014-09
ZMB-A320 - 2017-06.jpg
ZMB-ERJ 145LR - 2013-07
0 707-330B (JT3D-3B) (464-18930, /66 3D-WKU), EX-(DLH), INTERFLIGHT MARKETING LEASED. RETURNED.
2 737-2NO (JT8D-17A) (1313-23677, /86 Z-WPA "MBUYA NEHANDA;" 405-23678, /87 Z-WPB "GREAT ZIMBABWE;" 415-23679, /87 Z-WPC "MATOJENI" - - SEE PHOTO - - "ZMB-LNA-737-2NO-2009-04"), OPERATIONS FOR (CQC). 23677 LEASED TO (LAM) (C9-BAG) 2001-04 & RETURNED FROM (LAM) 2005-07. 12C, 93Y
2 767-2NOER (PW4056) (287-24713, /89 Z-WPE "VICTORIA FALLS;" 333-24867, /90 Z-WPF "CHIMANIMANI"), (ETOPS) EQUIPPED, OPERATIONS FOR (CQC) 2000-12. 30C, 167Y.
0 767-38EER (CF6) (24798, HS-PBH), (PBJ) 2 MONTHS WET-LEASED 2005-08. RETURNED. 245 PAX.
4 777-200ER, MALAYSIA AIRLINES (MAS) LEASED (2017-06).
1 A320-211 (607, ZS-BBH; 630, Z-WPM; 1763, Z-WPN), EX-(M-YWAU), 607; RETURNED. SOUTH JET ONE LEASED 2013-07.
1 ORDER IL-96-300, 259 PASSENGERS.
2 ORDERS IL-96-400F, FREIGHTER.
5 OPTIONS TU-204.
1 B AE 146-200 (ALF502R-5) (E2065, /87 Z-WPD "JONGU'E"), EX-AIR BOTSWANA, PRESIDENTIAL (VIP). 91Y.
0 ORDERS ATR42-500, AIR LITTORAL 2 LEASED CANCELED 2003-04.
2 BOMBARDIER CRJ, EX-AIR LITTORAL 2003-03, 3 YEAR LEASED.
3 +1 ORDER XIAN AVIC I MA60 (PW127J) (03-02, /05 Z-WPJ, "NYAMI-NYAMI;" 03-03, /05 Z-WPK "A'SAMBENI"; 03-04, /05 Z-WPL), 2 GROUNDED 2006-06 AWAITING PARTS. 52Y.
2 EMBRAER ERJ-145.
1 F28-4000 (SPEY 555-15P) (11239, /86 ZS-DRF - - SEE PHOTO - - "ZMB-F28-2010-09"), AIRQUARIUS (AQU) LEASED 2010-08. 75Y.
Click below for photos:
MS CHIPO DYANDA, CHAIRWOMAN.
EDMUND MAKONA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO)
INNOCENT MAVHUNGA, ACTING CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
MS GRACE PFUMBIDZAYI, MANAGING DIRECTOR (2015-08 - EFFECTIVE 2014-02), HOWEVER, SHE IS STILL SERVING A 7-YEAR JAIL SENTENCE!
NICHOLAS NYANDORO, MANAGING DIRECTOR.
DR PETER CHIKUMBA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) (2007-02), ALSO SERVING A JAIL SENTENCE (2015-08).
HENRY DUBE, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR.
D TARUVINGA, FLIGHT OPERATIONS MANAGER.
ELIJAH CHINGOSHO, GENERAL MANAGER ENGINEERING (email@example.com).
STEVEN NHUTA, GENERAL MANAGER MARKETING.
NGONIDZASHE GUMBO, GENERAL MANAGER ADMINISTRATION.
MS ANNA-MARIA HURUNE, GENERAL MANAGER FINANCE.
GEORGE MWASE, GENERAL MANAGER OPERATIONS.
DAVID MWENGA, SENIOR MANAGER PUBLIC RELATIONS & ADVERTISING.
BOSTON ODONGO, SENIOR MANAGER QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA).
EDDIE MANADA, SENIOR MANAGER MAINTENANCE.
DAVID TOMBO, SENIOR MANAGER ENGINEERING SERVICES (2001-10).
CHRISTOPHER KWENDA, MARKETING & SALES MANAGER.
K NARE, MAINTENANCE MANAGER.
J KAMUDYARIWA, MANAGER AVIONICS.
R BIHL, FOREMAN LINE MAINTENANCE.