New Zimbabwe cargo carrier fails to take off

HOPES for Zimbabwe’s first private cargo airline since 2000 have been dashed by the country’s aviation authority.

Former Air Zimbabwe pilot and chief executive officer, Oscar Madombwe, had leased an aircraft from South Africa pending approval of his permit to operate it. However, after deliberating for six months the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) has finally refused permission. Now Madombwe has sworn to take the airline to Mozambique instead.

The proposed carrier would have been the first private cargo airline to fly since Affretair ceased flying in 2000 after being taken over by state carrier, Air Zimbabwe.

The CAAZ said that the reason for refusal was that the aircraft was old and posed a threat to air safety in Zimbabwean airspace.

CAAZ chief executive officer David Chawota said: “Why has this become newsworthy when there are many other cases that we have dealt with and you have not questioned. If your car does not pass a VID [Vehicle Inspection Department] test, is it worth writing?”

Air Zimbabwe Cargo – “Africa’s most safe, innovative and competitive air cargo company” – remains the country’s only cargo operator.

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