Air Zimbabwe Fires All Its Pilots

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Zimbabwe's national airline has fired all of its pilots after they ignored a Friday deadline to end their strike. Air Zimbabwe pilots stopped flying Wednesday to pressure the cash-strapped airline into restoring full monthly salaries of $2,500 a month. Wages were cut in half in February. The BBC reported the airline says it doesn't have the money to meet the pilots' demands and that they should "consider themselves fired" for staying off the job. To put a fine point on it, airline chairman Jonathan Kadzura said the pilots "fired themselves by embarking on an illegal protest." The BBC did not say how many pilots are involved. Air Zimbabwe flies three Boeing 737-200s and two 767-200s along with three Chinese-built Xian MA60 turboprops. Sacking the pilots doesn't necessarily mean everyone else at the airline is out of a job, however, since Plan B involves a deal with a South African airline.

Kadzura said it will hire aircraft and pilots from Quaries to fly its domestic and regional routes. Other airlines and flight crews may also be pressed into service. There is no word when the subcontracted service will begin. In the meantime, about 1,000 passengers stranded by the chain of events have been put up in hotels.