The government is planning to lease out the jumbo jet (the Boeing 777-200ERs acquired from Malaysia) previously ascribed to the late President Robert Mugabe’s son in law as Simba Chikore’s jet.
The development was revealed in a state media interview citing Air Zimbabwe’s assistant administrator, Mr Tonderai Mukubvu of Grant Thornton.
The state report says nine airlines have shown interest in leasing Air Zimbabwe’s two long-haul jet in a deal expected to generate up to US$400 000 a month.
Ethiopian Airlines is said to be leading the pack in lease negotiations.
Mukubvu was yesterday quoted saying leasing the planes and using the revenue to acquire smaller aircraft to re-establish strong domestic and regional services made more sense at the moment than rushing to establish international routes that are expensive to develop.
Mr Mukubvu reportedly: “Government has not made any decision on the final lessee, but we have nine suitors that have shown interest. We are at advanced stages of discussions with all suitors and they all seem capable to lease the planes from a financial capacity perspective.”
Air Zimbabwe was placed under reconstruction on October 5, 2018, under reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act.
The company is operating one plane, a Boeing 767 — servicing Harare-Bulawayo; Harare-Victoria Falls and the Harare-Johannesburg and Harare-Dar es Salaam routes.