Air Zimbabwe Suffers Another Setback with EASA Rejection
Air Zimbabwe's plan to establish a maintenance hub in Zimbabwe has suffered a setback, following the rejection of its application to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to be listed as a Third Country Operator (TCO), reports Ch-aviation. In 2015, the airline indicated that it planned to attain EASA certification and create a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) hub in Zimbabwe, hoping to draw on its expertise and low labour costs.
Speaking with ch-aviation in January 2016, then-CEO Ed Makona said that revenue diversification was key to the airline's success. "While flying will continue to be our priority, it will have to be sustained by other means which Air Zimbabwe has already looked at including establishing ourselves as a key MRO facility in Southern Africa given our existing IOSA certification," Makona said. "We have also started the process of securing European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification." However, Air Zimbabwe lost its IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) registration in December 2016. Air Zimbabwe has announced measures to make the airline viable again, including staff restructuring, and the establishment of a NewCo to house a potential fleet of B777-200(LR)s.
Air Zimbabwe is currently facing debts of over USD300 million.