AIR Zimbabwe (AirZim) will soon exploit the flocking of several Zimbabweans to Nigeria on religious missions by introducing flights to the West African country.
Report by Feluna Nleya
Informed sources at the airline told NewsDay that AirZim was set to introduce flights from Harare to Lagos by March this year.
The new route is likely to be serviced by one of the airline’s two airbuses, according to the sources.
“Our assessment is that quite a significant number of Zimbabweans are travelling to Nigeria and so we are taking advantage of this development,” said one of the sources.
AirZim acquired two airbuses under unclear circumstances and at one time the airline management professed ignorance over the acquisition of the planes.
The flights to Nigeria will be introduced at the same time AirZim will start flying to Ghana, another West African country.
Several Zimbabweans, among them Zanu PF leaders and senior officials in MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s party, are frequently travelling to Nigeria to attend church and healing services offered by Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua.
The airline is also expected to re-introduce the Harare-London route.
Air Zimbabwe stopped flying to London in December 2011 after fears its planes would be seized over a $2,8 million debt.
The national flag carrier resumed servicing the Harare–Johannesburg route in November last year, having suspended operations 10 months earlier.
The airline is also set to re-introduce the Bulawayo-Johannesburg route.
Air Zimbabwe spokesperson Shingai Taruvinga yesterday was, however, not willing to divulge the new routes the airline would service, but confirmed Air Zimbabwe would expand its operations soon.
“We are not yet clear on which routes we will take. We are still finalising a few things, but we have plans to introduce regional and international flights sometime in March, so once we finalise we will give you the information.”