Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Engineer Walter Mzembi has underscored the need for the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe to open up the sector to more indigenous players in light of troubles at Air Zimbabwe.The remarks by the Tourism Minister come in the wake of challenges at the national airliner which has negatively affected service delivery.
The latest in the series of challenges at Air Zimbabwe is the seizure of a Boeing 727 at Gatwick Airport in London over a $1.2 million debt owed to American General Supplies.
Engineer Mzembi said foreign airlines are capitalising on the demise of Air Zimbabwe while locals are missing out.
â€œI would hope that transport authorities are able to liberalize lucrative routes for example the Harare – Bulawayo route, Harare to Johannesburg and the Harare to Victoria Falls, to close the gap left by Air Zimbabwe,â€ Engineer Mzembi said.
Minister Mzembi expressed hope that the relevant Ministry would be able to find a sustainable solution.
In October, management at the national airliner revealed that it requires $137, 7 million to pay off its domestic and international debts and a further 40 million working capital for the next six months for it to operate competitively.
The troubled airline also requires $40 million to perform a restructuring exercise that will see 400 employees retrenched.
The airline has faced several strikes which grounded flights during the course of the year.