Zimbabwe state airline fires striking pilots, plans to charter outside carriers to take over

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's state airline says it has fired striking pilots for failing to meet a deadline to return to their posts.

Air Zimbabwe board chairman Jonathan Kadzura said Tuesday the airline invoked the nation's labor laws against 40 striking pilots and "so all of them are fired."

The pilots ignored a weekend deadline to return to duty.

Kadzura said plans were under way to charter other carriers to operate grounded regional and international routes.

The pilots say the indebted airline has not paid out operational allowances for nearly 20 months. They earn up to $2,500 a month, about one third of the international pay scale for airline pilots.