An Air Zimbabwe Airbus A320 has been sitting in South Africa for over three years after it came in for a major service.
According to a report by the Sunday Times, the airline cannot afford to pay for the service – resulting in the plane being stranded.
The plane is reportedly at SAA’s workshops at OR Tambo International, with sources telling the newspaper that the service is yet to start.
The Airbus was brought to South Africa as Air Zimbabwe does not have technicians who can service the plane.
The standard service fee is $500,000 (R6 million), stated the report.
New parts for the plane then come to $1.2 million – with a total bill of $1.7 million (R20 million).
Air Zimbabwe spokesman Tafadzwa Mazonde told the Sunday Times that “an acute shortage of foreign currency” was the cause of the non-payment.
“The last time Air Zimbabwe procured spare parts, it did so on a hire-purchase basis with a US supplier. The flag carrier failed to pay, resulting in the aircraft’s seizure at Gatwick airport in the UK in 2012,” stated the report.
It added that eight of 10 planes at Air Zimbabwe are currently out of service.