Air Zimbabwe sacks half its workforce

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Local media reported that the company laid off 200 employees, amid an ailing national economy which has halved since 2000. Image courtesy: African Aerospace
Local media reported that the company laid off 200 employees, amid an ailing national economy which has halved since 2000. Image courtesy: African Aerospace

Air Zimbabwe has released almost half its workforce in able to stay in the air.

Local media reported that the company laid off 200 employees, amid an ailing national economy which has halved since 2000.

“We have retrenched 200 employees out of the 424,” Air Zimbabwe chairman Chipo Dyanda was quoted as saying in the Herald newspaper.

“The organisation is over-bloated.”

This is the latest of a number of bad headlines to form about the troubled national carrier, which in May was added to a list of airlines banned from E.U. airspace over safety concerns.

The airline currently operates international flights to South Africa and Tanzania, as well as domestic routes between Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, and is said to be in over $300 million in debt.

According to a letter seen by AFP, the state-owned company said it was acting “to contain operational costs and save the national airline’s viability as a going concern.”

Affected workers were sent on paid leave on Tuesday and will receive three months’ salary and compensation for loss of employment, the letter said.

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