, HARARE, Dec 13 – Zimbabwe’s debt-ridden national carrier had its Boeing 737-500 seized by an American company in London for failure to repay a $1 million debt, state media said on Tuesday.
“The debt has been outstanding for some time now and it has been impounded after we failed to meet the deadline of November 30 to settle it,” Innocent Mavhunga, Airzim acting chief executive, told The Herald newspaper.
The plane was seized at Gatwick airport by American General Supplies (AGS) on Monday evening before departure for Zimbabwe.
The airline, already crippled by workers strikes and fuel shortages, needs about $40 million to clear some of its debts, according to Mavhunga.
In June, the airline cancelled flights to London and South Africa after gas firms stopped supplies over outstanding payments.
This month a South African aviation company seized one of Airzim’s planes over unpaid money for ground handling services.
The carrier is one of several state-owned firms that have posted losses and have been short-listed for a sell-off.
Airzim’s aging operational fleet now consists of two B767-200s, three B737-200s and three MA60s.