New, debt-free national airline for Zimbabwe?

Troubled national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, is set to undergo a name change and acquire a new aircraft, in an effort to rebrand itself and restore confidence in its operations.

According to Inside Travel News, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Transport, Jorum Gumbo, confirmed last week that the state-owned airline would be renamed Zimbabwe Airways, and would introduce a new leased aircraft from ECC Leasing, a Brazilian aircraft leasing company, to coincide with the renaming of Harare International Airport to R.G. Mugabe International Airport on November 9.

However, it is unclear whether it is just a rebranding or an entirely new company, as Gumbo confirmed that a new company called Zimbabwe Airways was set to be established, according to the Sunday Mail.

TAM made contact with Air Zimbabwe multiple times, however all relevant persons contacted refused to comment or confirm the rebranding, however PR executive, Hazel Zisanhi, said she was unsure of the rebranding.

SaleseExecutive – pricing and yield management for Air Zimbabwe, Everjoy Musara, said: “I don’t think I am the rightful person to respond, especially on the rebranding and renaming as I am not privy to that information.”

Musara did mention, however, that Air Zimbabwe passengers still had to pay the tax themselves at the airport. “Negotiations to have the taxes collected on the ticket are at an advanced stage,” she said.

Marketing officer for the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Njabulo Moyo, declined to comment, saying: “It is better to hear it from the horse’s mouth.”

Air Zimbabwe recently posted recruitment advertisements, with positions to be filled ranging from coo, cfo, and executive assistant to the ceo, marketing executive, chief pilot and so on.

In the past, Air Zimbabwe leased aircraft from Solenta Aviation. In 2013 the carrier leased its first 50-seat Embraer jet from Solenta. Michael Adams, business development manager at Solenta Aviation and senior executive: sales, leasing and marketing at ACIA Aero Leasing, said Air Zimbabwe was not leasing aircraft from them at this time. 

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