The Zimbabwean government has approved plans to grant up to 1.5 billion Zimbabwean dollars (USD4.1 million) for the recapitalisation of Air Zimbabwe.
Disclosed by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube during his 2022 national budget speech on November 25, the grant will be used towards the acquisition of new aircraft, route expansion, digitalisation, and a lean workforce, in support of the national airline’s six-year strategic turn-around plan.
“Air Zimbabwe is now a commercially viable company following the conclusion of the scheme of reconstruction in June 2021. This was achieved after approval by Cabinet of the national airline’s debt assumption and the settlement of its domestic debt and part of its foreign debt,” Ncube said.
The government had previously approved the airline’s reconstruction scheme in May 2021, with the carrier’s liabilities amounting to USD30 million in foreign debt and ZWL349 million (USD873,000) in local exposure. Domestic creditors were awed USD349 million, but their debts were converted to new Zimbabwe dollars at the official 1:1 rate.
“Going forward, the thrust is implementation and execution of the airline’s plan to ensure that it acquires requisite equipment, routes network expansion, invests inappropriate information communication technology (ICT) systems, and strengthens its competitiveness through the strategic deployment of a lean and professional workforce,” Ncube added.
“In support of the turnaround plan, the 2022 National Budget is allocating ZWD1.5 billion for recapitalisation of the national airline towards operational costs and the acquisition of aircraft.”
The minister also noted that the allocation formed part of a ZWD60.8 billion (USD166 million) budget allocation to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development to modernise the country’s transport network.
Apart from the recapitalisation of Air Zimbabwe, other ongoing projects included the upgrading and rehabilitation of airports; road rehabilitation and development; modernising technologies on tollgates; and upgrading railway infrastructure and border posts.