nicholas goche 09-10-11.pngThe Minister of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development, Cde Nicholas Goche says the government acknowledges that Air Zimbabwe is a strategic national brand that has to be supported and preserved.

In a statement, Cde Goche said cabinet has since resolved that the government assumes the national airline’s current debt, which stands at about US$140 million.

Cde Goche said it was also noted that there is urgent need to find a strategic partner for the national airline with proceeds from its equity contribution being used to pay up the debt.

He added that the disposal of the national handling services should also be pursued to secure financing and avoid overburdening treasury.

Minister Goche said cabinet also resolved that the retrenchment of staff is no longer an option but a necessity which government will finance in order to have a smaller and effective organisation.

Cde Goche added that the interim government continues to closely monitor and meet Air Zimbabwe’s operational requirements.

This comes just a day after the nation joined the world in commemorating the International Day of Air Traffic Controllers.

During the commemorations held in Masvingo, the Patron of the Air Traffic Controllers Association of Zimbabwe, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo reiterated the need to improve air traffic as it plays a big role in enhancing tourism arrivals.

“I believe that air travel and indeed tourism have a symbiotic relationship,” he said.

Ambassador Moyo added that he is optimistic that Zimbabwe will successfully co-host with Zambia, the 2013 World Tourism Organisation (WTO) General Assembly, given that the tourism sector, the government as well as the aviation authority work together.