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Zimbabwe's Low-Cost Airline Suspends Operations, Irate Passengers Demand Refunds

  • Gibbs Dube

Fly Kumba directors Patrick Chapwanya and Lloyd Muchaka could not be reached for comment and staff in the airline's offices in Harare and Johannesburg were not picking up the phone

Low-cost Zimbabwean airline Fly Kumba has been grounded due to what observers say are serious financial problems and skewed marketing strategies. But the airline’s management did not immediately state reasons for the suspension of its operations.

Airline directors Patrick Chapwanya and Lloyd Muchaka could not be reached for comment and Kumba offices in Harare and Johannesburg were not picking up phones.

The airline rolled out last year with fares less than half those of Air Zimbabwe on regional and domestic routes. More than 30 workers are said to have lost their jobs.

Bulawayo resident Rebecca Spencer said her son had to switch flights to Johannesburg this week after being informed Fly Kumba was grounded.

“I have been trying in vain to get a refund as the airline management has not yet made indications on how they will do it,” Spencer said.

Economist Eric Bloch said it is not surprising that Fly Kumba has suspended operations as many airlines currently are facing serious financial problems.

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