New airlines favour Zimbabwe’s skies
By Wallace Mawire
HARARE – Zimbabwe is witnessing an increasing number of new airlines registering to service the country’s skies.
For almost a decade now, a number of passenger airlines had ceased servicing the Harare route due to the country’s economic challenges.
Ethiopian airlines on 26 March started flying into Victoria Falls.
According to Nunurai Ndawana, Civil Aviation of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) spokesperson, Ethiopian Airlines introduced a four times weekly service on 26 March 2017, from Addis Ababa to Victoria Falls and Gaborone.
It is reported that the flights will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays using a Boeing 737-800.
According to Karikoga Kaseke, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Chief Executive Officer, on 18 May 2017, Kenyan airways is expected to also start flying into Victoria Falls.
Kaseke has also revealed that South African Airways have also introduced an A330-200 Airbus to ply the Johannesburg-Victoria Falls route.
The airbus has a passenger carrying capacity of 300 and will fly daily into Victoria Falls.
Kaseke added that Turkish airlines are planning to introduce a flight into Victoria Falls.
He said that Rwanda Air has also registered to fly into Harare and there is also an indication that the airline would consider an additional flight into Victoria Falls.
The CAAZ spokesperson also said that Rwanda national carrier Rwand Air has introduced a four times weekly service between Kigali and Harare from 05 April 2017.
It is reported that Rwanda Air operates one of the youngest fleet on the African continent and flies to over 20 destinations across Africa.
Kaseke commended the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) which he said was doing a splendid job of developing the country’s airports most of which can accommodate long-haul and wide-bodied aircraft.
According to Munesu Munodawafa, Permanent Secretary for the ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, at its peak, Zimbabwe used to have 42 airlines plying the route.
He said that currently the country has 17 or so airlines plying the route. A spokesperson for CAAZ said that in 1999 the country had 29 airlines plying the route.