Air Zimbabwe Ban: Gumbo Says Its Nothing Unusual

Zimbabwe’s national airline, the Air Zimbabwe was recently been banned from traveling to Europe.

The ban which was publicized in a press release from the European Commission was put in place over safety concerns.

The European Commission has a list of airlines which do not meet its safety criteria and standards, as a result, these airlines are barred from flying to Europe.

Air Zimbabwe was not the only airline on the list, as others including Nigeria’s Medview airlines, Angola’s SONAIR and more made the list of 181 banned airlines from 16 countries.

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Air Zimbabwe which currently flies to SA has often come under backlash for offering below par services

The airline is currently run by President Mugabe’s son-in-law, Simba Chikore who was appointed as the Chief Operations Officer in October 2016.

Nonethless, the ban could be lifted if Air Zimbabwe meets with the European Commission’s requirements.

“Where an airline which is currently included in the Community list deems itself to be in conformity with the necessary technical elements and requirements prescribed by the applicable international safety standards, it may request the Commission to commence the procedure for its removal from the list,” a statement by the commission read.

On Tuesday, carriers from Benin and Mozambique were taken off the banned list for their cooperation with meeting the safety criteria of the European Commission.

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Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s Minister Joram Gumbo told New Zimbabwe that the cause of the ban was nothing unusual. According to him:

“It’s not anything unusual. Air Zimbabwe went to the EU when it had published new conditions. It had two planes, 767s, and they were told to comply with the conditions.”

Air Zimbabwe in its prime was popular for its direct flights to London. It is frequently used by President Mugabe for his frequent trips abroad.

Zimbabwe’s national carrier stopped flying to London in 2012 after one of its planes was seized due to unpaid debts. The airline currently does not fly to Europe.