Air Zimbabwe could soon rejoin the International Air Transport Association (IATA) after authorities said they would pay all monies owed to the pivotal trade body.

Announcing a new board for the ailing airline in Harare, Transport minister Felix Mhona said authorities would be clearing the US$1,4 million owed to IATA.

“Measures have been put in place to ensure that the debt which was in the First Republic is paid. I am happy to say that the funding has been secured.

“You will see us clearing that debt and once we are done with that then we will be able to rejoin IATA.

“IATA is important because we will be able to ticket from that platform where you can also be able to see connectivity of airlines from that platform,” Mhona said.

He also said authorities would soon be adding to the Air Zim fleet a new plane as part of the flag carrier’s revival plans.

“I am glad to say that within the next eight weeks we will have another new baby that we have procured. As we speak, the team is doing C-checks so that it then flies into the country,” he added.

Mhona also said the new Air Zim board would be chaired by Silvano Gwarinda, who has close to 40 years working experience in strategic positions in marketing, sales development, commercial planning, bilateral air services negotiations, route network development, tourism and aviation consultancy.

In his acceptance speech, Gwarinda said the board was going to work hard to get Air Zimbabwe back on the world map.

“We have to re-activate our IATA membership, otherwise we will lose the attractive interline business.

“As long as we are not an IATA member, the rest of the 290 IATA members who contribute 83 percent of the global air output would not want to do business with Air Zimbabwe.

“The second challenge we have is that we have to pass our IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) for Air Zimbabwe to freely fly within the global air space,” Gwarinda said.

The airline’s new six-member board also includes Ruth Hungwe-Rukarwa, Edmund Makona, Lawrence Musendekwa, Ticharwa Garabga and Mucharemba Kahombe. – Daily News