Acsa suspends Air Zimbabwe service over cash issues
CAPE TOWN – Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) has confirmed that it has suspended Air Zimbabwe from using its airports with effect from Tuesday.
Acsa said in a statement that as a cash client, Air Zimbabwe was required to settle on each Monday the amounts owing for landing fees, parking fees and the passenger service charge for its weekly flights, as well as an amount towards settling arrears on its account.
“Air Zimbabwe has not adhered to the cash basis terms for the use of Acsa airports,” Acsa said.
Acsa said it informed Air Zimbabwe by letter on October 18, that it would not be allowed to depart from any of its nine airports and that the prohibition would remain in place until outstanding amounts were settled.
“Airports Company South Africa regrets that this decision became necessary. The suspension of an airline takes place only after considerable engagement with an airline’s management.
“Airports Company South Africa regrets the inconvenience to Air Zimbabwe passengers. However, as a well-run and profitable state-owned company, we are obliged to ensure that airlines and other business partners settle any outstanding accounts.
“The approach of Airports Company South Africa to our business relationship with Air Zimbabwe is consistent with our approach to airlines generally,” the company said.
Acsa said it would not disclose the specific amounts owed by Air Zimbabwe in line with its policy to maintain client confidentiality.
Acsa recently suspended state-owned airline SA Express from landing and taking off from its runways as a result of non-payment of airport fees accrued over a period of time.
Acsa maintained that confidentiality prevented it from disclosing exactly how much SA Express owed it, but said its executives had for several months been meeting with the airline's executives to get them to settle the outstanding payment for passenger service charges, landing and parking fees.
Acsa later lifted the suspension of the embattled airline, SA Express after the airline made a partial payment of its R71 million debt.
Meanwhile SA Express announced on Wednesday that it would commence flights from Johannesburg to Bulawayo from November 18.
SA Express Interim chief executive Siza Mzimela said the new route reinforced the airline’s already expansive network presence on the continent while offering the most convenient connections to business and leisure customers.