Air Zimbabwe flew profitably through 23 years of United Nations imposed sanctions against what was then Rhodesia. It carried on without any halt after nationalist guerrillas shot down two of its Viscounts in the late 1970’s.
The airline changed its name from Air Rhodesia to Air Zimbabwe after the country's independence in 1980, and still continued profitably with 16 aircraft and a great reputation.
However, after 31 years without either war or economic sanctions, it seems President Mugabe has finally driven the company into the ground.
The Sunday Mail in Harare and The Monitor reported in January this year:
“National airline Air Zimbabwe, which is reeling under a US$140 million debt, is facing possible liquidation after the High Court placed it under judicial management.”
According to the Zimbabwe Mail:
"The judicial manager will assess if AirZim is still a going entity, but as the way things stand all is not well he is likely to recommend liquidation. That is the process. Whenever a judicial manager comes in, the next step is liquidation."
As at 6 February, bizcommunity.com reports: "Air Zimbabwe's international flights to London and South Africa have been suspended, allowing South African Airways to be the dominant carrier for the country. "
A very sad ending for an excellent small airline.