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Air Zimbabwe Overstaffed, Management Lacks Essential Skills - Pilots

  • Gibbs Dube

Air Zimbabwe pilots spokesman Charles Chikosi told a parliamentary committee that the national carrier will keep posting huge losses as long as technical staff are not engaged in decision-making

Striking Air Zimbabwe pilots have told a parliamentary committee that the national carrier is overstaffed while its management lacks essential business knowledge.

Pilot spokesman Charles Chikosi told the transport committee Monday that the airline will keep posting huge losses as long technical staff are not engaged in decision-making.

He said pilots are flying outdated aircraft while more than 280 workers service each jet compared with an international norm of 85 workers.

Transport committee member Gift Dzirutwe said such issues need urgent attention. “The national airline is facing a host of challenges that need to be tackled but this cannot be done overnight,” Dzirutwe told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube.

Economic commentator Bekithemba Mhlanga said Air Zimbabwe needs managers with a clear vision. “Right now we have an entity being run by a management board that lacks creativity and this is why the parastatal is making huge loses,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions has said Air Zimbabwe's problems can only be resolved if the entire management board is fired and replaced with professionals.

The strike by pilots, engineers and cabin crew entered its third week Thursday with no solution in sight. Despite a back-to-work order from the Labor Court, workers have not returned demanding payment of US$9 million in back salaries and allowances.

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