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Info wanted: Air Zim flights cancelled???

This is a discussion on Info wanted: Air Zim flights cancelled??? within the Before & After the Hunt forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; We have a flight booked from Bulawayo to Johannesburg on Air Zim next month and I have recently read about ...

  1. #1
    JamieD is offline AH Veteran
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    Default Info wanted: Air Zim flights cancelled???

    We have a flight booked from Bulawayo to Johannesburg on Air Zim next month and I have recently read about many flights being canceled and extreme disorganization (flights may or may not happen and you may or may not go directly on the route you are booked for). I'm wondering if any of you locals could give me some updated information on this. Our flight from Joburg back to the States leaves the same day as our Bulawayo flight so it is kind of a concern.

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    James.Grage's Avatar
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    JamieD

    I would suggest you check with your travel agent...
    See what they have to say...
    Develop a contact phone number and person...

    May 16, 2011
    Zimbabwe's National Airline Defaults
    Peta Thornycroft

    A man poses with a copy of a newspaper containing an advert by airline company Ryanair, which used a photograph of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to illustrate its comparison of rival easyJet's punctuality with that of Air Zimbabwe, in London (File Photo)

    Zimbabwe’s national airline has been suspended from the International Air Transport Association for failing to pay its dues. Air Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s oldest airlines, has other major financial and operational difficulties.

    Top executives at Air Zimbabwe say they are trying to find about $280,000 from the government to pay the International Air Transport Association so it can resume foreign bookings.

    The International Air Transport Association has ordered international travel agents to refund foreign travelers with bookings placed with Air Zimbabwe.

    The airline, founded 47 years ago, has suffered several strikes this year when pilots refused to work until they were paid what they said were outstanding allowances.

    Several privately owned Zimbabwean newspapers have recently reported Air Zimbabwe is massively overstaffed for its small fleet of aircraft.

    The airline says its most profitable flight is its twice-weekly Harare to London run, as the airline is the only one in Zimbabwe flying directly to Britain. Most other major airlines pulled out of Zimbabwe under the former ZANU-PF government.

    Air Zimbabwe chairman Jonathan Kadzura said recently the pilots’ strike had hammered Air Zimbabwe’s liquidity.

    Earlier this year, when President Robert Mugabe regularly travelled to Asia for medical treatment, striking pilots were ordered to fly the 87-year-old leader on a charter Air Zimbabwe flight to Johannesburg to catch a connection to Singapore. Mugabe, unlike his colleagues in government, shuns medical treatment in Zimbabwe or South Africa.

    The Air Zimbabwe board said recently it needs to upgrade the small national fleet, but did not have sufficient funds to do so. Many economic analysts in Zimbabwe say that the airline is a financial drain on the economy and should be privatized.

    Air Zimbabwe officials in Harare and London say many travelers lost confidence in the airline’s reliability after the pilots' strike.

    But since Zimbabwe's unity government came to power 27 months ago, tourism has revived and many foreign tourists travelled to and around the country with Air Zimbabwe.

    The airline continues to operate locally and with its Johannesburg to Harare flights.

    Zimbabwe struggles to raise foreign loans to repair infrastructure devastated under Mugabe’s rule, before the unity government was formed. Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said that Zimbabwe has a cash economy, and that he has to run the country on tax revenues, which have slowed this year.

    The Zimbabwean government is unable to access loans from the International Monetary Fund because it is in arrears and because of U.S. and European sanctions imposed in 2002 after violent elections.
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    Jamie,

    This is a link to monitor flights out of SA.

    Airports Company South Africa

    Click "live flight information"

    On the right you can choose International and under airlines Air Zim is listed. Click either arrivals or departures at the top.

    Seems to be quite a few cancellations.

    Where did you decide to stay in Victoria Falls?

    Good luck during your travels.

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    Jamie

    Air Zimbabwe angers stranded passengers

    STAFF REPORTER

    Disgruntled Air Zimbabwe passengers who were left stranded after their flight was cancelled at the eleventh hour have lashed out at the airline’s management for asking them to complete their trips by bus.

    The irate passengers said Air Zimbabwe management should have organised alternative transport by other airlines or at least apologise for the inconvenience caused.

    NewsDay was yesterday innundated with telephone calls from disgruntled passengers who were dumped by the airline on Thursday.

    “We do not expect such shoddy service from the national airline,” said one of the callers.

    “We expect a sound management system in place. As a national airliner, it carries our national pride, but we cannot say so if they offer mediocre services like this. If they are failing they should simply stop or call in private partners. Air Zimbabwe should know that as passengers generate income for the national airline hence they should respect us and not tell us to jump onto the bus.”

    However, Air Zimbabwe acting group chief executive officer Moses Mapanda said they had resolved to limit their flights in and out of Harare because of the Boeing 737s which are grounded but said they always advised their passengers in advance of any cancellations.

    “We have had to reduce our trips to Johannesburg, Bulawayo and Harare because of shortage of equipment. We do advise our passengers prior to the cancellation. We do communicate with our passengers because of the limited service we are offering,” said Mapanda.
    Mapanda said they however did not book people on buses as alleged.

    “We contact our clients in advance and we give them three options. The options we offered them were either they are refunded, book on the next flight or we put them on another airline,” said Mapanda.

    “We have a flying time schedule which we have adopted since the Boeing 737 were grounded, otherwise we are flying.”
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    JamieD is offline AH Veteran
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    Hi guys,
    Jamie's wife here. I am the one most concerned about this flight (Jamie is more concerned about his loads).
    I just read about these issues this morning and we do have a call in to our travel agent (she is not at work today). It just seems that we have limited knowledge of what is actually occurring in the States. We are just wondering what the locals have to say about what is occurring in reality. I'm sure if our agent contacted the airlines they would say there is no problem.

    As for Victoria Falls, this will all be a surprise. It seems that our outfitter will not make reservations until a few days before we need them. And this all with limited phone service. He claims that many places do not hold to their reservations anyway and so waiting is the best option.

    Val
    24 days until we experience Africa again!

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    I just did the Bula-Joberg thing up and back, on South African's Airlink flight. No problems so you might check with SAA.

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    It's terrible to hear about these issue! Thanks James, for the updates.

  8. #8
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    I had a bad experience with Air Zim in May. Following our hunt south of Bulawayo we planned to fly to Vic Falls for a couple of days. We would then fly SAA from Vic Falls to J'burg and home. When we got to the airport for our flight we were advised that it was cancelled. Mechanical problems with their wonderful Chinese aircraft. They told us they couldn't guarantee a flight the next day either. We had no choice but to change our itinerary with SAA to fly back from Bulawayo rather than Vic Falls. SAA dinged us $600 in fees for the change. I am still fighting with Air Zim trying to get a refund for our cancelled flights. I will not book any more flights with Air Zim.
    One other thing. We originally booked the flight from Bulawayo to Vic Falls for 7 am departure to be at Vic Falls around noon. When we got to the airport we found out that we couldn't to Vic Falls at all that day. We were going to have to overnight in Harare. This outfit is a total disaster. Don't anything you are told in advance. Your booking agent won't have a clue either.
    Have had nothing but good luck with SAA other than the change fees which I wasn't very happy about.

  9. #9
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    Jamie,

    If you have not left you must be close to your departure date. This is a little updated info on Air Zim. The good news is they are lowering their ticket fares.

    Good luck with with hunt and safe travels.

    Air Zimbabwe - Cheap Flights | Cheap Deals | Bookings - Air Zimbabwe Flights

    Due to the strike of Air Zimbabwe pilots, Air Zimbabwe has once again gone through services termination to some of its destinations. Reports states that the company has not paid the salaries of its pilots for the months of June and July which is the reason the pilots has announced their strike against the company.

    Because of its pilots strike, airline has announced its flights termination from Harare International Airport for the next whole week.

    Due to flights suspension, Air Zimbabwe Flights feels sorry to its customers for any inconvenience they might be facing. Our customers can call Air Zimbabwe Flights at 0208 432 9581 for any available alternative and information regarding Air Zimbabwe strike.

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