Government says the grounding of Air Zimbabwe and South African Airways planes on both sides of the Limpopo is a compliance issue and not political as both airlines had an oversight and failed to renew the foreign operating licences as required by the international regulations.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Dr Joram Gumbo confirmed the grounding of the airplanes describing the issue as operational and not political.

According to the Zimbabwean government official, it is unfortunate that both parties failed to renew the operating licences as required under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations.

The cabinet minister is optimistic the issue which is being handled by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) and the South African Civil Aviation Authority will be urgently addressed to ensure the resumption of the flights for the convenience of the passengers.

According to Dr Gumbo he has had communication with his counterpart South Africa’s Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi adding that they cannot interfere with the process but only urged the two aviation authorities to move with speed in addressing the issue.

CAAZ general manager, Mr David Chawota said the authority is ready to assist South African Airways comply with the requirements and is confident the issue will be resolved soon.