AirZim commercialises technical services

HARARE - Air Zimbabwe (AirZim) has commercialised its technical and engineering services as part of measures to broaden revenue streams.

The airline, which advertised the services recently, is targeting the transport, mining, manufacturing, construction and printing industries, among others.

While there was no official comment by time of going to print, an AirZim official, who preferred anonymity, said “we (AirZim) are doing this for the extra income and because the warehouse is underutilised due to the challenges the airline is facing”.

“We have a big warehouse… but do not have the capacity to fully utilise it,” said the official, adding that, however, the airline had been offering the services to external players, but has intensified efforts to attract more business.

The services offered include non-destructive testing, electroplating, metrology, welding, precision machining and heat treatment.

This comes as last year, AirZim courted Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier to acquire a new fleet of airplanes to replace its aging fleet.

The talks are reportedly still in progress, but if successful, AirZim will for the first time use Bombardier aircraft, after Boeing; the British made Viscount and BAe, the Chinese made MA60s and Airbus.

Eric Harid, the acting AirZim board chairman also told Parliament last year that the company was planning to raise short and long-term capital as well as servicing debt as part of efforts to implement a turn-around strategy.

Harid noted that the national airline also wants to refurbish its existing fleet of aircraft as well as re-joining the International Air Transport Association (Iata) clearing house at a cost of $2,1 million.

The airliner is currently saddled with a $302 million debt accumulated over the years at a time when it is putting up efforts to restore viability following years of decline.

The huge debt overhang is also compounded by lawsuits from staff members and creditors who have been suing the national carrier for taking too long to pay them.

Harid is on record admitting that AirZim has a huge under-capitalisation and is struggling with high fuels costs, shrinking of route networks and poor corporate governance issues that needed to be dealt with.

AirZim had last audited accounts in 2008 while those for 2009 were done but are yet to be ratified.

The parastatal is aiming for optimum use of personnel in the first quarter of the year after which it will review progress.

Comments (2)

While efforts are being made to reduce the debt and attract customers, I wish to point out to Mr Harid the poor experience some Air Zimbabwe travelers are going through at the airport on separate payment of departure tax. This should be done on purchase of the ticket. Whatever problems Air Zimbabwe has encountered with the CAAZ need not be passed on to the innocent traveller but must be resolved some other level. Air Zimbabwe we are proud of you and want to see you turnaround but this sad and old practice is counter productive.

Kambiri - 16 February 2015

i am glad to write to you.i would like to ask if you take student for attachment for precision machining

joseph gowora - 19 May 2017

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