Govt waives duty on aircraft spares

A Government Gazette published on Friday stated that Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has in terms of section 235 of the Customs and Excise Act rescinded duty on engine spares for the national flag carrier.

This comes as Air Zimbabwe has been forced to hire planes from South Africa to service its routes as foreign currency shortages are delaying the acquisition of spare parts for its grounded fleet.

Consequently, it has resulted in long flight delays, cancellations and a long line of disgruntled travellers.

“Subject to this section and to such conditions as the commissioner-general may, fix a rebate of duty shall, with effect from 1st January 2017 to 31 December 2017, be granted on engine spares and components for Air Zimbabwe,” reads the gazette.

It further lists numerous engine spares’ tariff headings which have been approved by Chinamasa to benefit from the rebate in a bid to avert departure and arrival delays.

The national flag carrier, which at Independence in 1980 boasted a fleet of 18 planes, is technically insolvent and operating at less than a third of that capacity.

Struggling to operate its full complement of aircraft, Air Zimbabwe recently forced its single biggest customer, President Robert Mugabe, to hire private jets.

The airline is reeling under a debt in excess of $330 million that has hampered efforts to engage strategic partners in a bid to retain and grow market share.

The national carrier has over the past three decades struggled to shake off claims of corruption and ineptitude, which has led to the dismissals of several of its boards and senior managers.

The airline is battling to get readmission into the International Air Transport Association (Iata) after being kicked out in 2012 for failing to pay association fees.


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