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Unpaid Debt Grounds Air Zimbabwe Flights


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 Ph

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 Ph

Zimbabwe's state-owned airline, Air Zimbabwe, has cancelled all regional flights after a creditor took back a plane because of unpaid debt.

The action is the latest blow to the national carrier, which is struggling with financial problems.

On Sunday, the International Air Transport Association suspended Zimbabwe from its flight booking services because of $280,000 in unpaid fees.

The problems deepened on Tuesday when Zambia-based Zambezi Airlines reclaimed a Boeing 737 it was leasing to Air Zimbabwe because of a $460,000 debt.

Air Zimbabwe leased the plane to replace several older planes it retired last month.

The airline's troubles have steadily increased in recent years because of mismanagement and an aging fleet. Critics say a failure to fix the problems has enabled competitors to take over Air Zimbabwe's routes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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