Govt licences 30 local airlines

THE government has licenced at least 30 local airlines, but is worried by their failure to begin operations, Transport and Infrastructure Development secretary Munesu Munodawafa has said.

Report by Victoria Mtomba

Munodawafa last week castigated the airlines for failing to meet their end of the bargain after being giving the nod to commence operations.

He said most of his time was consumed by renewing and issuing of licences to domestic players yet there were no positive flying results.

“There are companies that have been allowed to fly, but they failed to do it, even to acquire the planes,” Munodawafa said.

“We don’t have anybody flying locally other than Air Zimbabwe. Some of the players get permits and they start to look for partners.”
Munodawafa said there were some players that had had permits for 10 years, but failed to activate them.

He said there were opportunities for domestic airlines, but capital was the major challenge, adding that the basic requisite when one starts an airline business was to have an aircraft.

He said some of the players that were given licences are Fly Kumba, Fresh Air, Royal Air, Sol Air, among others.

Sol Air was given a licence for the Harare-Kariba-Victoria Falls, and the Victoria Falls-Buffalo range route in February last year, but was still to fly.

In the rush for the local airspace, local companies Beks Safaris, Wilderness Safaris and diamond mining firm, Anjin, have also applied for licences to the Air Services Board for permission to ply various routes in the country and elsewhere.

He said some of the airlines were given permits and they flew for one day and then folded operations.

Turning to the national airline, Munodawafa said Air Zimbabwe was looking for partners for it to operate effectively.

“Air Zimbabwe is looking for potential partners, but some of the partners are limping, so you don’t want to have someone who is limping when you are already limping,” he said.

Air Zimbabwe has a debt of $180 million and workers have been going on for months without salaries.

The country has more than 10 foreign airlines operational that include South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Air Botswana, Ethiopian Airways, BA Comair, Air Namibia, South African Airlink, TAAG, Emirates and Zambezi Airlines.

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16 Responses to Govt licences 30 local airlines

  1. Porisi April 9, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    More airlines than radio stations, in a country with only 3 decent airports. Go figure

    • Oscar Habeenzu April 9, 2013 at 8:34 am #

      There are seeing what you may not be seeing sir. We have the money to fly.

      • commentator April 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

        seriously, dude..?

  2. Jonso April 9, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    3o Airlines?Munofunga kuti ndezverusero here izvi?

  3. M'lebeleli April 9, 2013 at 7:45 am #

    Due diligence will tell you it’s not feasible to run a profitable airline business in Zim right now. Yet alone 30.

  4. Green eye's %) April 9, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    For obvious reason?

  5. Martini April 9, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    And what happened to the proposed ZimAirlink?

  6. kunta kinte April 9, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Fly Kumba’s model was based on Joburg route together with Hre – Vic Falls . Lots of us locals would have used that cheap airline but it was given Byo Joburg route. how was it really meant to survive

  7. SHIBOBO April 9, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    I request government officials to be factual when saying things. Munodawafa knows very well that it is the Ministry that makes it difficult for the airlines to operate.

    As you say, Sol Air was given the Harare – Kariba – Vic Falls and Vic Falls – Buffallo Range routes. What business is there for an airline to be sustainable on those routes???

    There were reports that Sol Air was originaly granted the Harare – Bulawayo and Harare – Vic Falls routes. Why where those routes withdrawn when there were not being serviced by anyone? It was also reported that Sol Air had an aircraft parked at the airport for three months but were refused to operate by the Ministry. In fact, it is said Sol Air were only granted the Harare – Kariba Vic Falls routes in August last year, and not February, as the Pem Sec alleges.

    Airline business is capital intensive. For those huge investments, there must be reasonable returns, and the routes operated must have potential for commercial viability.

  8. marq April 9, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    ko daniel chingoma airlines yakawanawo licence

    • Charlieboy April 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      Oh dear, you almost me got choked on my lunch. Nice sense of humour, Marq.

  9. thanks God April 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    This just all wonderful

    • Charlieboy April 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

      Wonderful futi? Ask Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic Airlines boss and owner and he will tell you that the fastest way to become a millionaire is to invest a billion in the aviation industry.

  10. Charlieboy April 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Holy cow!!! Even the news that Air Zimbabwe will soon start daily flights is not good news to anyone who has heard about the “dying fly phenomenon”. For those not in the know, a dying fly (nhunzi) does not just dive and crash. No, dying fly drops a few centimeters, then levels off, tries to fly again with the little bit remaining energy but fails to hold altitude, it drops a few centimeters again, regains a bit of energy and repeats the cycle again until the fly eventually hits the ground, rolls over and breathes its last. This is what typical happens in the aviation industry, all over the world.

  11. easybunny April 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    Well said Charlie bwoy

  12. munya April 9, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    thts why we decide to persue aviation careers abroad thi is one of the main reasons, no salary so whts the purpose of working in such an environment

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