Air Zimbabwe said Friday it had requested US$ 500 million from the government, its sole shareholder, to buy four new planes to improve operations.
Airline chairman Jonathan Kadzura said the carrier wanted to buy two regional jets and two long-haul aircraft to beef up its current fleet made up of 30-year-old planes.
He said the existing fleet was not viable to operate in terms of fuel consumption and costly regular servicing.
“We have taken our request for capital to the shareholder and we are still awaiting a response. We need to get two regional planes and two long-haul planes,” he said.
“That could cost half a billion dollars,” said Kadzura.
Air Zimbabwe flies to many regional routes in southern Africa, and internationally to United Arab Emirates, China and the United Kingdom.
But it is severely cash-strapped and unable to even pay its staff.
Last week, its pilots went on strike over pay, the latest in a series