AIR ZIMBABWE IN – ZIMBABWE AIRWAYS OUT?
(Posted 12th March 2018)
Information coming out of Harare suggests firmly that a decision has been taken by the government that it will support a full revival of national airline Air Zimbabwe and will not extend any special favours or support to upstart Zimbabwe Airways.
The latter was much in the news in the twilight days of the Mugabe regime when the owners of the company, said to be having close connections to State House in Harare, signed deals for four mothballed Boeing B777’s from Malaysia Airways to commence long haul flights to Europe and Asia, without however having any back up fleet for feeding passengers into such services.
A revived Air Zimbabwe is likely to see several short and medium haul aircraft added to its ageing fleet to ensure reliable domestic and regional flights while it is the proverbial million dollar question to what extent a long haul fleet will be created to link the country to key visitor markets like the UK and China.
Aviation pundits and observers, as is this correspondent, are clear in their understanding that it will be more viable to operate smaller regional jets or turboprop aircraft on domestic and regional routes and, at least initially, rather cooperate with long haul carriers flying into Harare to establish interline agreements to distribute and collect passengers within Zimbabwe and into the region.
This development was already being suggested here in December last year when it became clear that the new government meant business and was intent to restore national pride and boost local air transport in the country.