Zimbabwe, South Africa resolve row over airlines

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-21 20:18:13|Editor: ying
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HARARE, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe and South Africa have resolved a weekend row which saw the two countries' state airlines grounding the other's planes due to licensing issues.

South Africa's civil aviation authority grounded Zimbabwe's plane that was due to leave Johannesburg for Harare last Friday because it did not have a foreign operating license, leaving passengers stranded.

Zimbabwe's aviation authority retaliated by grounding a South African Airways (SAA) flight Saturday morning, resulting in SAA cancelling all its flights to Zimbabwe for that day.

Zimbabwe had also effected the ban on British Airways flights, forcing its aircraft that was due to land at Victoria Falls International Airport to land in neighboring Livingstone, Zambia.

The state-run Herald newspaper on Monday quoted Zimbabwean transport minister Joram Gumbo as saying that although authorities from the two countries were still sorting out the necessary paper work, they had resumed clearing flights from both sides, resulting in flights resuming Sunday.

"In the morning (Sunday) we cleared two South African Airways flights and two British Airways flights. An Air Zimbabwe flight to Johannesburg was also cleared in the morning so we want to believe that the impasse has been resolved," the minister was quoted as saying.

The row came as Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe was embroiled in an incident in which she allegedly assaulted a South Africa woman at a Johannesburg hotel a week ago, forcing her to request diplomatic immunity after South African police wanted to charge her for the crime.

South Africa announced the granting of diplomatic immunity to the First Lady on Sunday, the same day she returned home with her husband President Robert Mugabe after he attended the 37th Southern African Development Community summit in Pretoria, South Africa.