Local Air liner secures US$55 million working capital.
Harare- Zimbabwe privately owned Airliner, Sol Air ,says it has concluded a US$55 million financing deal with a Hong Kong financier which will see it taking off in the first quarter of 2017.
Sol Air had earlier indicated that they would start operations before end of this year.
In an interview, managing director, Nkosilathi Sibanda said he will end of this month sign a contract with Yaya Fan, the Hong Kong financier.
“We have been delayed by financing. Initially we were going with Singapore and Hong Kong but now Yaya Fan of Hong Kong have financed the US$55m we have been looking for and we will be signing the contract at the end of the month,” he said.
Sibanda said the sourced funds would enable them to sustain the business for at least a year by covering operating expenses.
“The funding is for paying suppliers of the aircrafts as well as working capital for a year thereafter we will start to self-finance operations, it’s important that one be in such a position for the success of a business,” he said.
Sibanda said as per requirement for funding, they have also managed to secure five planes.
“We have managed to secure five planes now from the United Kingdom which are just but six years old .We now await the inspection of the fleet as well the maintenance base. As you know this is a process that’s why we are targeting to take off by first quarter next year,” he said.
Zimbabwe is one of the countries with a good air craft safety record.
This comes at a time when demand for faster and efficient transport systems has been growing as over the years a number of private airlines have attempted and failed to start and maintain operations in Zimbabwe.
Sibanda said the planes will start with the local routes, which include Harare Bulawayo and Harare Victoria Falls then regional ones whilst working on getting permits for international flights.
“In terms of permits for local and regional ports everything is well and sorted out. We will then start working on obtaining ones for international permits,” he said.
Sibanda said they were launching a world class air service, which is not a low cost air liner.
Zimbabwe’s biggest airline, Air Zimbabwe has been facing quite a number of problems from mismanagement to financial.