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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
Zimbabwe halts flights over fuel
Robert Mugabe and Air Zimbabwe plane
President Mugabe regularly uses Air Zimbabwe flights
A shortage of fuel has forced Zimbabwe's national airline to cancel some of its domestic and international flights, state media reports.

Two weeks ago, two Air Zimbabwe planes were grounded because of a shortage of spare parts, the official Herald newspaper reports.

There have been extreme fuel shortages in Zimbabwe for months, with petrol stations remaining dry for weeks.

Last week, Zimbabwe requested emergency economic help from South Africa.

Zimbabwe has had a shortfall of foreign currency for several years and has been struggling to pay for imports, such as fuel.


On Wednesday, Air Zimbabwe confirmed it was forced to suspend some of its flights because of the fuel shortages.

"We did not have our full operation because we didn't have sufficient fuel," spokesman David Mwenga told the Herald.

"Some flights were suspended while some are operational as usual," he added without giving further details.

The Herald quoted an official at the national carrier as saying the cancelled flights included those to the resort town of Victoria Falls, South Africa and London.

A London-bound flight was delayed on Wednesday for nearly seven hours as "officials ran around to find the scarce commodity", the paper said.

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