(Ecofin Agency) - Zimbabwe bought two Boeing 777 aircraft and an Embraer from a Malaysian company. This was announced last April 11 by the finance minister Patrick Chinamasa (photo), who added that the planes would not be immediately leased to the national airline, Air Zimbabwe, which is currently unprofitable.
Speaking during the first Boeing’s reception ceremony in Harare, the official specified that the country has clinched a purchase agreement with the Malaysian company to acquire 4 Boeing 777 at $70 million but has paid, so far, for two planes.
Moreover, he said that Zimbabwe paid for a small Embraer and is considering buying 5 similar aircrafts. Mr. Chinamasa indicated that these new planes will be leased to local airline-Zimbabwe Airways- until the State-owned Air Zimbabwe recovers financially and returns to profitability.
“Air Zimbabwe must put their house in order and as long as they don’t put their house in order, these planes I can lease to any third party who can pay treasury the lease fees for the utilization of the aeroplanes,” he said adding that support from State to the national airlines would be like “putting resources into a bottomless pit.”
The minister refuted information from local media reporting that Zimbabwe Airways is either a State-owned airline or owned by former president Robert Mugabe’s family.