• Chidozie Uzoezie

Restructuring: Air Zimbabwe Sacks Half of its Workforce

As part of its ongoing restructuring exercise, the Zimbabwe's national airline has laid off 200 workers, roughly half of its staff, with immediate effect reports the BBC.

The job losses are part of a turnaround strategy to bring struggling Air Zimbabwe back to profitability from a $300m (£230m) debt.

There have been major changes at the national airline since President Robert Mugabe's son-in-law took over as chief operating officer last year.

"We were overstaffed by a lot and we are also trying to weed out people without the right qualifications," the airline's chairwoman Chipo Dyanda said on Wednesday.

"The retrenchment is meant to give space to the airline so that we can redeploy the money saved back into the company."

An Air Zimbabwe spokesperson told state media that management has also been trimmed from 28 to just 12 and the finance department from 36 to 17.

The airline has struggled to keep afloat over the last decade and plans to carry out a restructuring exercise that will include retraining for all staff, including top management.

According to Reuters, this is the fourth round of retrenchments the struggling airline has carried out in eight years.

Last month, the US embassy in Zimbabwe ordered its citizens and staff to stop flying Air Zimbabwe. The ban came two weeks after the European Union banned five African airlines including Air Zimbabwe, due to safety concerns.

In June, the Zimbabwean government acquired an ex-Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER for the airline's long-haul flights after re-branding it to Zimbabwe Airways.


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