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SAA hopeful Zimbabwe operations will resume

In what now looks like a tit-for-tat move, the SAA plane was not allowed to leave Zimbabwe after South Africa grounded an Air Zimbabwe plane on Friday.

FILE: A South African Airways flight takes off as another one is parked in a bay on the tarmac at OR Tambo International airport in Johannesburg. Picture: AFP.

HARARE – South African Airways (SAA) says it hopes flights to and from Zimbabwe will resume operations today after an SAA plane was barred from leaving Harare International Airport yesterday.

In what now looks like a tit-for-tat move, the SAA plane was not allowed to leave Zimbabwe after South Africa grounded an Air Zimbabwe plane on Friday.

Zimbabwe's transport minister Joram Gumbo says the move had nothing to do with politics and is because neither airline has renewed its international operating license.

The head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, David Chawota, has told the state broadcaster that his organisation stands ready to help South Africa comply with international civil aviation regulations.

That offer may not help calm tempers.

There is anger in Zimbabwe over what looks like a worsening spat between the two countries.

On Twitter, Zimbabweans are complaining that ordinary passengers are being used as pawns in a bigger fight.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)