Transport minister resolves SAA/Air Zimbabwe deadlock

2017-08-20 17:13
Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi. (GCIS)

Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi. (GCIS)

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Johannesburg - A deadlock between Air Zimbabwe and South African Airways (SAA) has been resolved following a meeting with all aviation entities, Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi announced on Sunday afternoon.

Maswanganyi said the meeting resolved that the airline should comply with the applicable legislation.

"Upon receipt of the relevant documentation, the Civil Aviation Authority will release the Air Zimbabwe aircraft. It can be confirmed that during the meeting, Air Zimbabwe did submit the required documents which are being assessed by [the SA Civil Aviation Authority] and if found to be in order, a recommendation will be made to the department to issue the [Foreign Operator's Permit]. It is anticipated that the whole matter will be resolved within a day," he said.

On Friday, an Air Zimbabwe flight was set to take off for Harare shortly after 18:00 but was cancelled.

Read more: Planes grounded in SAA-Air Zim standoff

The Zimbabwean aviation authority fired back on Saturday morning by preventing one of SAA’s scheduled flights departing from Harare, City Press reported.

Maswanganyi said the South African civil aviation regulations require an operator to be in possession of a Foreign Operator’s Permit in order to conduct operations in South Africa.

A copy of the permit, together with other documents, must be on-board an aircraft at all times, and made available for inspection on request by the relevant authorities, he added.

However, both airlines failed to produce documentation.

"The meeting implored SAA to move swiftly and work around the clock to comply with all Zimbabwean civil aviation regulations and prescribed ICAO international standards.

"The meeting was assured by SAA that the required documentations have since been submitted to the Zimbabwean authorities, who confirmed that the documentation is in order and they are in the process of issuing an FOP to SAA, a process which will then lead to the release of the restricted SAA aircraft."

The ministry claims that the SAA issue was a coincidence and had nothing to do with the restriction of the Air Zimbabwe aircraft by Sacaa.

Maswanganyi apologised for the inconveniences caused to passengers of both carriers.

Read more on:    saa  |  air zimbabwe  |  joe maswanganyi

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