Zimbabwe buys used Boeing 777 planes in bid to rescue Air Zimbabwe

Pretoria – In a bid to resuscitate the national carrier Air Zimbabwe, the government in the southern African country has reportedly bought two second-hand Boeing 777-200 long haul aeroplanes from Malaysia to augment its fleet.

The state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Tuesday that the first plane landed at Robert Mugabe International Airport in the capital Harare on Monday, while the second one is due in a few weeks.

Acting President Constantino Chiwenga led the government delegation that received the plane, with much celebration and toasting.

Online publication ZimLive reported that the order for the US$16.5 million plane was initially placed in 2016 as part of an elaborate scheme by the government to create a debt-free state-owned airline, after which Air Zimbabwe, saddled with over US$300 million in debt, would be allowed to collapse.

But Zimbabwe Airways, which was headed by late former president Robert Mugabe’s son-in-law Simba Chikore, failed to take off after Air Zimbabwe’s creditors became aware of the apparent ploy by the government to create a proxy.