JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ADV) – The Ethiopian Airlines and Air Zimbabwe has agreed on a deal that will see the former bring planes, train pilots and also turning Zimbabwe into an aircraft maintenance hub in Sadc, the Sunday mail reported.
Last year, the Ethiopian Airlines scooped the best African airline in 2018 and boasts of a significant fleet that is currently plying several regional and international routes.
Signed yesterday, the deal was reached between Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is in Addis Ababa for the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union and Ethiopian Airline Chief Executive Officer Tewolde Gebremarian.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo, has described the deal as a “very interesting proposal”.
“The group chief executive officer of the Ethiopian Airlines brought in a very interesting proposal. You know they are already flying to Zimbabwe and they are flying all over the world,” said Dr Moyo, who also attended the meeting between Mnangagwa and Gebremarian.
“What they want is to come in and sort of partner with Air Zimbabwe and they are prepared to bring planes to Air Zimbabwe in Harare. They are also prepared to train pilots so that pilots in Zimbabwe can actually be perfected.”
Dr Moyo added that the Ethiopians are also ready to assist in establishing an aircraft maintenance hub in Harare.
“They are also prepared to support the organisation in maintenance so that Zimbabwe becomes a maintenance hub for aircraft, just like Addis (Ababa) is. They will do that together with maintenance people of Air Zimbabwe so that we can get a clear partnership which will see them fly the Air Zimbabwe routes in code-sharing with Air Zimbabwe colours, and they will fly all over the world using that particular agreement,” said Dr Moyo.
Mnangagwa and Gebremarian also talked about the funds Ethiopian Airlines is failing to access from Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean government is working flat out to revive Air Zimbabwe, which has been struggling for some time now.
According to media reports, last week the Zimbabwean cabinet resolved to proceed with the acquisition of four Boeing 777 aircraft from Malaysia valued at $70 million as part of measures to revive the flag carrier.
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