|Govt appoints consultant firm for Air Zimbabwe|
|Saturday, 26 May 2012 22:20|
THE Government has appointed a financial advisory firm, Ernst & Young Consultancy to ascertain the reasons which led to the demise of the country’s national airliner Air Zimbabwe and seek solutions to turn around its fortunes.
Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche said efforts were under way to turn around the company.“We have put in a consultant, Ernst and Young, to investigate and tell us what needs to be done about Air Zimbabwe and once that is complete we will then get the report and act accordingly.
“The consultancy company is going to look on various issues facing the company like what should be done with the workers who were supposed to be retrenched. Once they give us the recommendations I will take it to Cabinet,” said Minister Goche.
He said strategies of reviving the moribund airliner are being worked on as it services its domestic routes.
“At the moment we have decided to resume limited domestic services for Harare, Bulawayo and the Victoria Falls and definitely by the time the UNWTO starts next year the national airliner will be fully operational,” said Goche.
The company is also facing high operational costs emanating from the inefficiency of its aircraft and a bloated workforce.
Previously Air Zimbabwe was known for excellence in service provision, but was forced to suspend international flights due to operational constraints and protracted labour disputes.
The airliner has lost millions of dollars in potential revenue to competing airlines that include South African Airways, British Airways, Zambezi Airlines, Ethiopian Airways and Kenyan Airways, which are plying most of the routes that were previously serviced by it.
At the Annual General Meeting of Air Zimbabwe Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, held on 19 March, Government as the shareholder approved the hiving off National Handling Services (NHS) from Air Zimbabwe Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.
State Enterprises and Parastatals Minister Gorden Moyo said the seperation of NHS and Air Zimbabwe was in line with best practices in corporate governance that recognise the need to separate ownership functions from service delivery functions.
He also acknowledged that financial advisors had been appointed to look into the matter of Air Zimbabwe.
“NHS provides service to both Air Zimbabwe and other airlines that use Zimbabwe’s airports. This intervention creates a level playing field for all airlines using Zimbabwe’s airports.
“An NHS Interim Board has since been appointed. Financial advisors have been appointed to prepare a business plan, which will be used,” he said.