EMBATTLED national airline, Air Zimbabwe has deferred the International Operational Safety Audit (Iosa) to the end of this year, as it battles to remain afloat.
REPORT BY MOSES CHIBAYA
Innocent Mavhunga, the airline’s acting group chief executive officer, said the existing operational challenges had seen the airline having to defer for the second time in one year, Iosa registration.
The audit is a two-year evaluation method designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.
The move by Air Zimbabwe effectively means the airline, which recently announced its renewed regional flight schedule ahead of the festive season, would be flying without one of requirements stipulated by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
“Iosa does not rank an airline in terms of being safe or unsafe and it is only used by international civil aviation authorities to ban airlines from flying,” said Mavhunga.
“However, Iosa registration is a pre-requisite for the retention of Iata membership, as it confirms that an airline complies with all Iata audit standards at the time of the audit. The airline took a deliberate action to defer the audit, owing to obtaining operational challenges.”
Mavhunga said it would be conducting the audit at the end of this year.
Air Zimbabwe suspended all flights indefinitely in February due to serious cashflow problems.
The airline is set to resume domestic flights next week.
Regional flights would resume on November 12.
Air Zimbabwe is saddled with a debt of over US$100 million and owes its employees in unpaid salaries.
Despite the problems, the airline took delivery of two Airbus aircrafts to beef up its depleted fleet.
Aviation experts say Iosa had been adopted by other countries as minimum safety requirements, adding that an airline has to get concurrence from Iata to defer the audit.