FLY Africa Zimbabwe has been taken to court by the Zimbabwe Association of Pension Fund (ZAPF), which is claiming $150 000 in compensation, after the airline allegedly failed to provide proper flight services and to reimburse the pension fund money borrowed to hire a plane.
BY CHARLES LAITON
ZAPF issued summons against the airline and one Cassidy Mugwagwa on August 24, 2018 through its lawyers Dube, Manikai and Hwacha Legal Practitioners and the airline is yet to enter appearance to defend.
In its declaration, ZAPF said on or about April 5, 2018 it entered into a written service contract with Fly Africa and in terms of the said service contract, the airline undertook to provide three return ferry flights from Harare to Victoria Falls and Victoria Falls to Harare, for ZAPF’s delegates on May 9 and 12, 2018 respectively.
“Flights were to commence in Harare on May 9, 2018 at 8am and plaintiff (ZAPF) undertook to pay $100 000 for services rendered by the first defendant (Fly Africa). On April 17, 2018 plaintiff paid defendant a deposit of $35 000 into first defendant’s designated bank account. On April 23, 2018 plaintiff made a further payment of $65 000, bringing the total to $100 000,” ZAPF said.
“On May 8, 2018, plaintiff advanced defendants with an additional payment of $50 000, which was paid again into defendant’s designated bank account. Payment of the advance was outside the terms of the service contract and was made at defendant’s instance and request to facilitate payment for plane hire by plaintiff.”
The pension fund further said the airline also undertook to refund the advance on or before May 9, 2018, but in breach of the service contract and the undertaking Fly Africa had refused, failed and/or neglected to honour the service contract agreement.
ZAPF further said Fly Africa had promised to start ferrying its delegates at 8am on May 9, 2018, but its first flight started eight hours late at or after 4pm, leaving passengers to wait for eight hours for service.
The pension fund also accused the airline of failing to provide the agreed three return flights, but only did two flights and also failed to reimburse the advanced $50 000 as agreed.
“As a result of the defendant’s breach and conduct, plaintiff suffered loss and incurred a further cost of $100 000 for engaging Air Zimbabwe for extra flights,” ZAPF said.
“By letter dated June 15, 2018, defendants, jointly and severally admitted liability to the plaintiff and undertook to; pay $50 000 to reimburse the advance, pay $100 000 being the cost incurred by plaintiff for the extra flights provided by Air Zimbabwe,” it said, adding the airline also failed “to provide; complimentary business class tickets for return flights from Harare to Johannesburg for plaintiff’s 36 delegates whose monitory value is $25 632, and to provide complimentary economy class tickets for return flights from Harare to Johannesburg for plaintiff’s 336 delegates”.