Local airlines remain grounded

Two local airlines remain grounded as they are yet to comply with the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), it has been revealed.

CAAZ general manager David Chaota said Sol Air and Phoenix were still in the process of complying with the authority’s regulations.

“Sol Air will fly when it is ready to fly,” Chawota said. “Having an aircraft doesn’t mean that you
will fly.

“There is need to meet the International Air Transport Association (IATA) conditions.

“These are some of the issues that they have to deal with. Phoenix falls in the same category as Sol Air.”

Sol Air managing director Nkosilathi Sibanda said the airline was waiting for final communication from the Transport ministry to start operations.

“We have done everything else, but we are waiting for the final letter of designation from the ministry. In the next few days it will be fine,” Sibanda said.

In February, Sibanda said the airline would ply domestic routes and offer competition to the troubled national airliner, Air Zimbabwe.

The airline was set to service the Harare-Bulawayo, Harare-Victoria Falls and Harare- Bulawayo routes. Sol Air plans to make use of four aircrafts including a 90-seater Beechcraft 1900D, a 70-seater CRJ700 plane, an ATR 72-500 and a 70-78

On the other hand Phoenix recently applied for a new permit to service domestic and regional routes.

According to a government gazette published last month the new airline lodged an application to the Air Services Board for use of an air services permit to provide commercial scheduled and non-scheduled air services for the carriage of passengers.

Turning to airlines that recently resumed plying the Zimbabwe route, Air Namibia and Emirates, Chaota said the two were doing well.
He, however, said there was still room for more players.

“We will be having two new airlines before year end,” he said. Chaota was not at liberty to divulge the names of the airlines.

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