Wednesday, June 20, 2012

► ZIMBABWE: Air Zimbabwe suspended from IATA - again.

Air ZimbabweThe International Air Transport Association, IATA, has suspended ailing Zimbabwean airline Air Zimbabwe from its registry following Air Zimbabwe's failure to renew its registration with IATA's Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), a fundamental requirement of IATA membership.

Part of the letter from Quality and IOSA Project Coordinator, Catalin Cotrut, IATA's director for Global to Air Zimbabwe's Edmund Makona, Air Zimbabwe's Lead Auditor, read:

"Please be advised that tomorrow, June 14, 2012, Air Zimbabwe will be removed from the IOSA registry as the operator failed to renew its registration before the expiry date."

So what exactly is this IOSA, and what does it entail?

According to IATA's website
Air Zimbabwe 737
Air Zimbabwe in better days (Savvas Garozis)
"IOSA provides a standardised audit programme for cost-effectiveness and safety based on internationally-recognised standards and a structured system for the sharing of audits. IOSA audits are conducted by a select group of experienced Audit Organisations that have each undergone a rigorous and consistent IATA accreditation process. IATA Member Airlines are committed to being audited to IOSA standards."

The consequences of the suspension however, are unclear, seeing as Air Zimbabwe's operational mandate is at present, also unclear. Rumours and unconfirmed press reports claim the airline is still flying domestic Zimbabwean routes, albeit using leased aircraft, though these reports are still to be corroborated. If that is the case, then an IATA suspension may not necessarily hurt the airline internationally, though the damage to its already shoddy image, will have been done.