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Air Zimbabwe Said to Face IATA Suspension IATA Over Past-Due Membership Fees

  • Gibbs Dube

If the Zimbabwean national carrier were to be suspended from the IATA, the international authority would stop clearing goods and honoring fares for onward flights for Air Zimbabwe passengers

Air Zimbabwe is reported to face suspension from the International Air Transport Association if it fails to make at least partial payment of US$2 million by the end of this week on US$4 million of overdue fees.

If the Zimbabwean national carrier is suspended, the international authority would stop clearing goods and honoring fares for onward flights for Air Zimbabwe passengers, sources said.

Air Zimbabwe Chairman Jonathan Kadzura denied that the carrier owes money to the IATA . But he told VOA that the long-troubled airline intends to pay the association a deposit of more than US$2 million.

He said the Zimbabwean Treasury is expected to make the deposit. However, sources said the government has declined to do so, citing its own straitened financial circumstances.

IATA Vice President Lance Brogden would neither confirm nor deny Air Zimbabwe owes US$4 million.

The government has targeted Air Zimbabwe for privatization amid indications it could soon collapse due to financial problems. The airline has been posting monthly operating losses of US$2 million.

Chairman Kadzura told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that he is confident the government will come up with the funds necessary to pay IATA fees.

Economic commentator Rejoice Ngwenya said Air Zimbabwe should be privatized so that it does not continue to be a drain on public funds.

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