Saturday, August 04, 2012

Air Zimbabwe pilots face bleak future

Pilots and flight attendants of beleaguered national carrier Air Zimbabwe face a bleak future as they have gone for months without pay and cannot seek alternative employment because their licenses expired in January when the airline stopped operating. 

The airline suspended all international and regional flights and is currently only servicing the Harare-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls route.

The Boeing 737 is only flying three hours a day, which is far less than the minimum 10 hours it must do to operate viably.

Disgruntled pilots and flight attendants say they last received full salaries in July last year, consequently they are finding it difficult to make ends meet.

“We last received payment in May and that was only a third of our normal salaries,” said a flight attendant. “Some of us are currently roaming the streets and that includes pilots.”

One pilot told the Zimbabwe Independent that lack of flying time in the 2012 calendar year has made it hard for them to look for employment elsewhere because flying hours are per-requisites.

Air Zimbabwe marketing and public relations executive, Shingai Taruvinga, acknowledged the airline was not generating enough income to meet most of its obligations, including salaries. 


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