ABN - Zimbabwe has bought two Boeing aircrafts and an Embraer plane from Malaysia and will lease them to a new local airline until national carrier Air Zimbabwe returns to profitability.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said Harare had agreed with an unnamed Malaysian firm to buy four Boeing 777 planes for US$70 million but had so far only paid for two.
He added that the government had also paid for a small Embraer plane and plans to add a further five similar aircrafts.
The leasing company currently in charge of the planes is a state-owned special purpose vehicle called Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company.
During a ceremony to receive the first Boeing 777 in Harare, Chinamasa refused to comment on speculation that the government could ultimately dissolve the struggling Air Zimbabwe, which has amassed debts of more than $300 million.
“Air Zimbabwe must put their house in order and as long as they don’t put their house in order, these planes I can lease to any third party who can pay treasury the lease fees for the utilisations of the aeroplanes,” said the minister.