Strategy Loss-making Air Zimbabwe cuts half of its workforce

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200 Air Zimbabwe workers to lose jobs in the fourth layoff due to mismanagement, high operating costs, old aircraft and equipment.

play Air Zimbabwe airplane (File Photo)

Chairwoman of the loss-making Air Zimbabwe Chipo Dyanda says the airline is cutting half of its 400 jobs as part of a restructuring plan to revive the ailing national carrier.

The airline has been hit with numerous losses for years due to mismanagement, high operating costs, old aircraft and equipment.

Dyanda explains that Air Zimbabwe would cut 200 jobs in its fourth round of layoffs in eight years.

“We were overstaffed by a lot and we are also trying to weed out people without the right qualifications. The retrenchment is meant to give space to the airline so that we can redeploy the money saved back into the company.”

In August 2015, Air Zimbabwe cut 300 jobs as well as in 2009 and 2013.

Last October there were accusations of nepotism from the opposition and critics of the government as president Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore was appointed chief operating officer.

The chairwoman states that Air Zimbabwe needs 45 workers per aircraft. Currently, the airline flies four planes which make Mugabe to at times hire private jets for his foreign travels.

“As part of the strategic plan, we would like to get more reliable planes and expand our routes,” Dyanda said, without giving details".

The airline, which has debts of more than $300 million, is looking to lease aircraft from Malaysia says an official at Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Transport.

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