#Zimbabwe to lease 15 aircraft for troubled national carrier

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The Zimbabwe government is planning to lease 15 aircraft from Malaysia Airlines for Air Zimbabwe, the ailing national carrier.

Zimbabwe’s Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister, Joram Gumbo, told the state-run Herald that government was in talks with the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) about the transaction, as the group was offering to help with the acquisition.

DIDG is spearheaded by Zimbabweans in South Africa to expand the shareholder base to Zimbabwean residents and unlock foreign capital and knowledge inflows to develop Zimbabwe.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe is representing the government in the deal as Air Zimbabwe is not creditworthy due to its debts. Under the agreement, DIDG would facilitate the acquisition of the aircraft under a lease agreement, renewable after five years, said Gumbo.

The lease is one of the measures government is adopting in an effort to restore Air Zimbabwe, which reportedly has debts of around $300 million.