The Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) has impounded Air Zimbabwe’s only working plane over debt.
Sources close to the development told Techunzipped that one of the national airline’s aircraft, a Boeing 767-200, was impounded at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport yesterday (Wednesday).
The amount due by Air Zimbabwe was, however, not disclosed to maintain client confidentiality.
Air Zimbabwe owes Acsa payments for landing, parking and passenger services for flights into Johannesburg.
“As a cash client, Air Zimbabwe is required to settle on each Monday the amounts owing for landing fees, parking fees and the passenger service charge for its weekly flights, as well as an amount towards settling arrears on its account,” ACSA said.
“Air Zimbabwe has not adhered to the cash basis terms for using airports owned by ACSA.”
ACSA says it informed Air Zimbabwe in writing last Friday that it would not be allowed to depart from any of ACSA’s nine airports and that the prohibition would remain in place until outstanding amounts are settled.
Apart from Acsa, Air Zimbabwe has over the years had aircraft seized by creditors — including Bid Air Services in South Africa and American General Suppliers in London — for debts which it had neglected to pay.
Reconstruction cushions the troubled airline from litigious creditors seeking to attach property. AirZim has is in the past indicated that its defunct aircraft will be auctioned to service part of the debt.
Of the US$381 million debt, US$30 million is owed to foreign creditors, while US$292 million is government-to-government debt.