Zim takes delivery of Boeing 777 for new state airline

Zim takes delivery of Boeing 777 for new state airline”

During a ceremony to receive the first Boeing 777 in Harare, Chinamasa said the aircraft would be used by Zimbabwe Airways, a new carrier whose ownership was not immediately disclosed.

Local media reports had linked Zimbabwe Airways and the new planes to former president Robert Mugabe's family, but Chinamasa said that was false.

One of the planes arrived on Wednesday.

The planes were procured by the Zimbabwe government and will be leased out to new entity Zim Airways, which incidentally has the same livery as Air Zimbabwe, which is saddled with debt running into millions.

In the same statement, it said Air Zimbabwe (UM, Harare Int'l) had approached the State Procurement Board (SPB) in October 2016 for permission to acquire four ex-Malaysia Airlines (MH, Kuala Lumpur Int'l) B777s, a request that was duly granted in November of that year. Chikore is married to Bona Mugabe.

"Simba Chikore assisted government in the acquisition of the planes with technical knowledge as an expert in the field", Chinamasa said. Chinamasa did not say when the aircraft would be delivered. The plane is part of the 10 planes expected with three, two Boeing 777s and one smaller one, already paid for.

The planes have a lifespan of 15-20years.

The new planes are owned by a state-owned special goal vehicle called Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company.

"Government also took the decision to lease the planes to third parties up to such a time as Air Zimbabwe develops a credible business plan to run the planes on a sustainable, profitable basis", it said.

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