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New airline seeks licence


ANOTHER prospective airline has applied for a commercial licence to fly local and regional routes as more investors express keen interest in the country’s aviation sector despite capital constraints in the economy.

Report by Bernard Mpofu

According to the latest Government Gazette published last Friday, Rainbow Airlines applied to the country’s aviation licensing board seeking permission to fly within and outside the country.

This development comes at a time when the national carrier Air Zimbabwe early this month resumed domestic flights.

Transport secretary Munesu Munodawafa, who also doubles as Air Services Board chairpersons, told NewsDay that local investors had applied for licences although he could not divulge whether or not they had capacity to operate an efficient airline.

“Notice is hereby given that Rainbow Airlines (Private) Limited, has applied to the Air Services Board for the issue of an Air Services permit to provide commercial scheduled and non-scheduled air services for the carriage of passengers and cargo on local, regional and international routes,” reads the Government Gazette in part.

“Any objections to this application, in terms section 17 of the Air Services Act (Chapter 13:01), must be made in the manner prescribed in section 4 of the Air Services (General) Regulations, 1971, and within 28 days from the date of publication of this notice in this Gazette.”

While more and more little-known airlines have been licensed by the authorities, latest government figures show that out of the 30 licensed, none has been operational with some having been registered for 10 years.

Some locally-owned airlines that have struggled to fly after being licensed include Sol Air, Fly Kumba, Fresh Air and Royal Air.

Munodawafa last month said there were companies that had been allowed to fly, but failed even to acquire the planes.

“We don’t have anybody flying locally other than Air Zimbabwe. Some of the players get permits and they start to look for partners,” he said.

He said there were some players that had permits for 10 years, but had failed to activate them.

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