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Pay strike by Air Zimbabwe pilots strands passengers

Business Materials 30 July 2011 16:39
A strike by Air Zimbabwe pilots in support for demands for payment of outstanding allowances and salaries left travellers stranded for the second day running on Saturday,
Pay strike by Air Zimbabwe pilots strands passengers

A strike by Air Zimbabwe pilots in support for demands for payment of outstanding allowances and salaries left travellers stranded for the second day running on Saturday, reported dpa.

The bankrupt airline has suspended all its flights from Harare International Airport.

"I was supposed to have flown to London from Johannesburg on Friday. I could not fly yesterday and it is the same story today," said Hendricks Dube, threatening never to use the airline again.

Moses Mapanda, Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer, could not be reached for comment, but the state-owned Herald daily newspaper quoted him as saying the airline had started negotiations with the pilots.

"We have not been able to pay the pilots their June and July salaries and allowances, so that is what they are demanding," he said.

"It was only the pilots who went on strike, everyone else is at work. In the meantime we are not offering any air service."

The airline has experienced several strikes recently and its flights have been grounded five times this year.

Air Zimbabwe operates a daily Harare-Johannesburg route, a twice-weekly flight to London and a weekly flight to Beijing as its only international routes.

In May, the airline, one of Africa's oldest, was suspended by the International Air Transit Association (IATA) over a debt of 280,000 dollars. This affected its ability to take bookings abroad.

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