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Air Zimbabwe Pilots Pursue Strike, Grounding International & Domestic Flights

  • Gibbs Dube

Airline management suspended flights to Britain, China, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo and hired private carrier Air Quarius to provide service between Harare and Johannesburg

Air Zimbabwe on Monday suspended international and regional flights as the national airline’s pilots vowed to continue a crippling six-day strike.

Sources informed on Air Zimbabwe operations said the airline suspended flights to Britain, China, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They said it has hired private carrier Air Quarius to service its Harare-Johannesburg run and its most important domestic routes.

The sources said pilots were in closed-door talks Monday with management but indications were that they would not heed an ultimatum to return to work or risk dismissal.

The pilots are demanding payment of outstanding salaries and allowances.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Deputy Secretary General Japhet Moyo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the strike is a wake-up call for Air Zimbabwe management.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce President Trust Chikohora said the strike is affecting regional transactions. “There are many businesses that will be affected by this strike and businesspeople have to use alternative international and national routes,” he said.

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze said the strike will hit Air Zimbabwe’s finances hard.

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