Harare - Zimbabwe's state-owned airline has suspended
flights to neighbouring South Africa over fears its planes could be seized for
outstanding debts, a senior airline official told state media.
Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive Innocent Mavhunga said
the corporation, which is struggling to pay off debts of over $140m, had decided
to temporarily stop its daily flights to Johannesburg to avoid creditors there.
"We are not flying into South Africa. We are trying to
secure funding to pay our debts in South Africa," he was reported as
Mavhunga however was unavailable on Friday to explain why
Air Zimbabwe was not worried about continuing flights to other foreign
destinations, Lusaka in Zambia and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of
Earlier this week, Air Zimbabwe scrambled for days for money
to save a Boeing 767-200 which had been impounded on landing at London's
Gatwick Airport after a US firm, American General Supplies, got a court order
for $1.2m owed for aircraft spares.
Last week, a South African airport support services company,
Bid Air, forced Air Zimbabwe to ground a plane in Johannesburg as it pressed
for payment of a $500 000 debt.
Economic analysts say Air Zimbabwe is on the verge of
collapse after years of mismanagement and poor funding by President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.
The suspension does not cut the Harare-Johannesburg route
since South African Airways has three flights daily and British Airways' Comair
also has a daily flight.