Zimbabwe and South Africa resolve flights row
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Zimbabwe and South Africa resolve flights row

Posted PETER DUBE in Pretoria

on  Tuesday, August 22   2017 at  11:39

The deadlock between South African Airways (SAA) and Air Zimbabwe has been resolved and all flights schedules are back to normal.

Thousands of travellers flying between Zimbabwe and South Africa were left stranded as civil aviation authorities from both countries grounded flights following a dispute over permits.

But SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali confirmed both airlines had been able to supply outstanding documents and flights resumed.
“It doesn’t matter how many times the issue is being raised.

Air service

"Making reference to history, harping on the same point. The reality is that we are providing air service transportation to people who are in need of it between the two countries. I think we should be forward-looking,” Mr Tlali said.

On Saturday, SAA cancelled all its flights after one of its planes was grounded in Harare because it did not have a valid foreign operating permit.

An Air Zimbabwe flight was also prevented from leaving the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, as it carried an expired foreign operators' permit.

The move to ground planes, thought to be “political interference”, coincidentally happened as the South African government was mulling on whether to grant Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe, diplomatic immunity.

Easy decision

Mrs Mugabe allegedly attacked a 21-year-old model at a Sandton Hotel in Johannesburg.

The matter was reported to the police, but International Relations and Corporation minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on Sunday confirmed that Mrs Mugabe had been granted diplomatic immunity.

The minister said she had “agonised’ over the matter and that it had not been an easy decision to make‚ but that diplomatic immunity was warranted after careful consideration of all the relevant factors.