Friday, 14 July 2017

Air Zimbabwe Lays Off Half its Workforce

Zimbabwe's state-owned airline has laid off 200 workers, roughly half of its staff, with immediate effect.

The job losses are part of a turnaround strategy to bring struggling Air Zimbabwe back to profitability from a $300m (£230m) debt.

Last month the EU banned it from using its airspace, citing safety concerns.  There have been major changes at the national airline since President Robert Mugabe's son-in-law took over as chief operating officer last year.  Money has been hemorrhaging from the company ever since. 

"We were overstaffed by a lot and we are also trying to weed out people without the right qualifications," the airline's chairwoman Chipo Dyanda said on Wednesday.  "The retrenchment is meant to give space to the airline so that we can redeploy the money saved back into the company."
An Air Zimbabwe spokesperson told state media that management has also been trimmed from 28 to just 12 and the finance department from 36 to 17.

The airline has struggled to keep afloat over the last decade and plans to carry out a restructuring exercise that will include retraining for all staff, including top management.  The airline in in the process of renaming itself to prevent aircraft from being seized by creditors.