The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has impounded an Air Zimbabwe (UM, Harare Int'l) B767-200(ER) at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport after the carrier failed to settle its accounts on time. Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows Z-WPF (msn 24867), Air Zimbabwe's only operational aircraft at present, has been stuck in Johannesburg since October 23.

ACSA said in a statement on Thursday, October 24, that as a cash client, Air Zimbabwe was required to settle its accounts each Monday. Among the charges are its landing fees, parking fees, passenger service charges, as well as an amount towards settling arrears on its account.

However, according to ACSA, Air Zimbabwe failed to meet its commitments leading to it being banned from ACSA-operated airports.

"The company informed Air Zimbabwe by letter on October 18 that it will not be allowed to depart from any of Airports Company South Africa’s nine airports and that the prohibition will remain in place until outstanding amounts are settled," it said. "Airports Company South Africa regrets that this decision became necessary. The suspension of an airline takes place only after considerable engagement with an airline’s management."

Air Zimbabwe spokesperson Tafadzwa Mazonde later confirmed the development to The Sunday Times newspaper adding that airline officials had engaged ACSA over the release of the B767.

“That’s what is happening. It’s a temporary suspension over a cumulative debt. We are in discussion with our shareholder and we are hopeful that we will find a solution,” he said.

Air Zimbabwe has struggled to remain afloat given a lack of working capital needed to procure spare parts and pay for foreign services. The state-owned carrier is also burdened with a significant legacy debt said to total USD381 million of which USD30 million is owed to foreign creditors while USD292 million is government-to-government debt.