Johannesburg - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says it has met Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa to discuss, among other issues, the release of US$196 million in revenue owed to airlines by the cash-strapped southern African country.
Zimbabwe's economy has been in crisis for the greater part of two decades, partly manifested in acute foreign currency shortages as the export sector struggles.
The government recently banned the local use of foreign currencies including the US dollar and the rand, a system it had adopted in 2009 after hyperinflation rendered the Zimbabwe dollar virtually worthless.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, IATA director-general Alexandre du Juniac said aviation was a key contributor to Zimbabwe's prosperity, but funds from the sale of air tickets in the country currently could not be repatriated to airlines.
"It will be negative for business, trade and tourism if airlines are forced to reduce their service to Zimbabwe," he said.