Airports Company South Africa confirmed that it has suspended Air Zimbabwe from using its airports with effect from Tuesday 22 October 2019.
As a cash client, Air Zimbabwe is required to settle on each Monday the amounts owed 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.
Air Zimbabwe has not adhered to the cash basis terms for using airports owned by Airports Company South Africa.
The company informed Air Zimbabwe by letter on 18 October that it will not be allowed to depart from any of Airports Company South Africa’s nine airports and that the prohibition will remain in place until outstanding amounts are settled.
“Airports Company South Africa regrets that this decision became necessary. The suspension of an airline takes place only after considerable engagement with an airline’s management,” the airport operator said in a statement.
“Airports Company South Africa regrets the inconvenience to Air Zimbabwe passengers. However, as a well-run and profitable state-owned company, we are obliged to ensure that airlines and other business partners settle any outstanding accounts.”
Airports Company South Africa maintains client confidentiality and will not disclose the specific amounts owed by Air Zimbabwe.
Following financial difficulties, Air Zimbabwe ceased operations in late February 2012. Serving a reduced domestic network, the carrier resumed operations for a short period between May and early July 2012, when flights were again discontinued. Some flights were restarted on a discontinuous basis in November that year. The airline resumed operating some domestic routes as well as the regional service to Johannesburg on a daily basis in April 2013.
[UPDATE 1 |October 29, 2019]
A spokesperson confirmed Airports Company South Africa reinstated permission for Air Zimbabwe to operate from O. R. Tambo International Airport from Friday 25 October 2019.
The company has written to Air Zimbabwe acknowledging receipt of a payment towards the amounts outstanding. Air Zimbabwe was thus able to re-commence operations from O. R. Tambo International Airport from Friday 25 October.
“Airports Company South Africa maintains client confidentiality with all of its airline customers and thus does not disclose details of accounts or amounts paid,” the spokesperson said.