The Air Zimbabwe Dilemna
The national airline Air Zimbabwe has been in the doldrums for a while now. It is in a sorry state with suspensions from IATA and planes being impounded, all for non-payment of fees of one nature or another.
This is of cause of concern for many people particularly who are of the opinion that the country needs its own national airline. That is all very well and good but the reality of it all, is that Air Zimbabwe like most companies in the country bar a few simply doesn’t have capital. The airline industry across the world is a mess already and some leading airlines are struggling. What more, Air Zimbabwe which at some point because of currency distortions used to fly people to Dubai for less than $50.
You see, people are happy to benefit even in the most dodgy way but when it comes to making sure that an institution exists beyond them, they are unwilling to put some work in.
Air Zimbabwe cannot even put a business plan together right now that will work because whatever solutions come up, it will involve a huge cash injection. This is a reality that must be addressed.
With a budget of just $4 billion to serve the whole country, it is hard to see that money coming from government. The Parliamentary committee dealing with transport has been of course silent and when it speaks it just says something that it hopes will make the story go away.
However, this story is not going away, and might realistically result in the closure of the national airline. We hear murmurs of privatisation and what-not? Question is, who would want to invest in the airline? Who would want to take that risk? And do you really want to sell when you are low, meaning you are going to peanuts?
Whatever happens, the Air Zimbabwe question is one that is hard to face, at least not with a smile. Do we think it can be solved? Yes we do. Whether someone is ready to do what is necessary to make sure that happens is a completely different story.