Zimbabwe pilots end month long strike

April 21, 2011
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, HARARE, Apr 21 – Striking Air Zimbabwe pilots have resumed flights to South Africa, partially ending a crippling one-month strike after reaching a deal with the government, the airline said Thursday.

"Air Zimbabwe board and management wish to advise the public that whilst negotiations are still under way with our pilots to restore normal operations, we have resumed operations on the Harare-Johannesburg-Harare route," acting chief executive Innocent Mavhunga said in a statement.

The pilots went on strike last month demanding payment of their outstanding salaries and wages, which amounted to $4 million (2.8 million euros).

Air Zimbabwe is saddled with a $100-million debt that has forced it to cut its routes from 25 to seven. The state-owned carrier is also weighed down by an ageing fleet and high staff turnover.

The airline\’s problems have allowed other carriers such as South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways to take over routes that Air Zimbabwe used to dominate.

The carrier is one of several state-owned firms that have posted losses and been shortlisted for a sell-off.

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