ZAMBEZI Airlines’ aircraft have been repossessed by the owners, General Electric Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) for failing to pay arrears amounting to over US$2 million.
The three planes were hired from GECAS, an American company, when the airline started its operations and were repossessed on February 10, 2012.
Two Zambezi Airlines planes were flown out from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and are now parked at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The third aircraft was already in South Africa where it was taken last year for repairs.
Reliable sources told Daily Mail, the planes were seen parked at Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg.
The three planes are registered 9J-AJB Spirit of Mosi-o-Tunya, the other 9J-AJC Spirit of Limpopo while the third is 9J-AJA Spirit of Kafue.
“The airline ‘Zambezi’ cannot fly anymore because the owners have repossessed the planes. The two planes that were in Zambia were flown out and are in South Africa waiting to be deregistered”.
The source said the development is saddening, revealing that most of the pilots had left the airline to join other carriers like Air Namibia, while others had moved to Tanzania and India. Zambezi Airlines has a workforce of about 170 workers.
Late last month, the company moved its head offices from Petroda House on Great East Road to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. Zambezi Airlines chairperson Maurice Jangulo yesterday, referred all queries to the company’s managing director Maureen Dlamini when contacted for a comment. Attempts to get a comment from the managing director were unsuccessful.
“If she is not picking the phone, maybe it could be she is in a meeting, keep trying and make an appointment to get proper details on what is happening with the airline,” Dr Jangulo later commented.
Government last year suspended Zambezi Airlines’ operating certificate citing safety concerns.
Then former Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, permanent secretary Dominic Sichinga said Government would institute a tribunal to make inquiries on the airlines operations.
During that period Zambezi Airlines Mr Jangulo said the airline adhered to safety and aviation regulations relating to aircraft maintenance. Dr Jangulo said all its aircraft were maintained and certified by a South African, company, Jetworx./Daily Mail