Bankrupt Zimbabwe Purchases 2 777s for Its Bankrupt Airline

Apr 13, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A bankrupt country has purchased two wide-body jets for a bankrupt airline. On Wednesday, Zimbabwe’s finance minister announced it purchased two Boeing 777s meant for Air Zimbabwe, the country’s national carrier.

It plans on purchasing two more from an “unidentified Malaysian firm” according to Reuters, but it has yet to put up the cash for the two other aircraft. The deal cost a total of $70 million and reports indicate the wide-body’s were previously owned by Malaysia Airlines.

Air Zimbabwe also purchased a “small Embraer plane” and plans on taking delivery of five more similar aircraft.

The aircraft will be owned by Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company, a special government-run firm. During the delivery ceremony the finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, said that the aircraft would be operated by a new private airline, Zimbabwe Airways.

Local media has reported that the purchase of the aircraft is linked to former president Robert Mugabe’s family although Chinamasa disputes the claim. In fact, the aircraft’s call sign is Z-RGM, which stands for Zimbabwe – Robert Gabriel Mugabe, according to

Air Zimbabwe is in about $330 million of debt, and Chinamasa said it couldn’t continue to support the failing airline, comparing investing in it to “putting resources into a bottomless pit.” Chinamasa wouldn’t comment on whether the new private airline would lead to the end of the state-owned Air Zimbabwe. Air Zimbabwe currently flies two Boeing 767s and one 737.

“Air Zimbabwe must put their house in order, and as long as they don’t put their house in order, these planes I can lease to any third party who can pay treasury the lease fees for the utilizations of the aeroplanes,” Chinamasa said.

According to other local reports, Chinamasa added that the 777s will be used on their “traditional routes” like Harare (HRE) to London, and he hopes that they will fly to China and other countries.  Government inspectors said the jets should be able to operate efficiently for the next 15 to 20 years.

Featured image courtesy of Harumutasa / aljazeera / Twitter.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.