Zim targets 40 airlines by 2018

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ZIMBABWE plans to have 40 airlines flying into the country by 2018, nearly trebling the current figures, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) general manager David Chawota said yesterday.

Business Reporter

At the country’s aviation peak in the period 1999-2003, 34 airlines were flying into Zimbabwe.

The number dwindled as the economic crisis prevailing then did not make economic sense for airlines to continue flying into the country.
Currently 14 airlines are flying into Zimbabwe.

“We are saying if we could reach 34 [airlines] then, we can make it high. What we need to have is the necessary conditions for us to be able to accommodate other planes,” Chawota said.

Chawota said: “Capacity is there, it’s about efficiency.

“If Victoria Falls becomes an entry point for long haul, already that will give us capacity as a destination,” he said.

CAAZ is currently carrying out expansion works at Victoria Falls International Airport so that bigger planes are able to land. The cost of the expansion is $150 million and work would be completed next year.

Chawota said Zimbabwe would use next month’s Routes Africa Forum to lure more airlines.

Zimbabwe is hosting the 9th edition of the annual meetings of airlines, airports, aviation suppliers and tourism authorities from June 22 to 24 in Victoria Falls.

In an update to stakeholders on the preparations for the event, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development Munesu Munodawafa said government expects 400 delegates for the annual meeting. Last year’s meeting in Uganda attracted 330 delegates.

Notable airlines that have confirmed participation include American Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.

Eight international airports have confirmed participation at next month’s event notable among them Birmingham, Munich, Frankfurt and Copenhagen.
Chawota said Zimbabwe has passed the final assessment test to host the event.

Since the inception of the multicurrency regime in 2009, Zimbabwe has been on a charm offensive to international airlines to fly into the country.

“We continue talking to airlines all over the world. We have got American Airlines, they are coming here so we will engage them to know their interest in Africa,” Chawota said.

A representative of EgyptAir noted that the push to lure more airlines should work alongside the expansion of Harare International Airport which only has three aerobridges. This, the representative said, had created problems in parking.

An aerobridge is an enclosed, movable connector which extends from an airport terminal gate to the plane, allowing passengers to board and disembark without going outside.

In response, Chawota said the original design of seven aerobridges would be pursued on the international terminal.

He said there are discussions underway with stakeholders for future expansion beyond the seven aerobridges.

17 COMMENTS

  1. The caaz is daydreaming as usual. Unlike Air Zim, the rest of the airlines in the world operate for profit. As long as the economy & tourism remain in intensive care then there wil be few passengers in & out of Zim & where there are few passengers there wil be few airlines

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  2. It is very possible to meet the target of 40 airlines by 2018 and even surpass it. The Buffalo Range airport also has a huge potential as it services the Gonarezhou National Park and Great Zimbabwe. Airport upgrades should be complimented with highway upgrades as well especially the ones from the airports to tourist spots. The way we potray ourselves to the outside world is also a major factor, the recent ban by police on Journalists from marching on the World Press Freedom Day doesn’t help us in that regard.

  3. That target is very achievable and can even be surpassed. The way we are viewed by the outside world is also a major factor to consider, the recent events when police stopped Journalists from marching to celebrate World Press Freedom Day doesn’t help us in that regard. The Buffalo Range airport is another airport with huge potential that needs an upgrade as it is the gateway to Gonarezhou National Park and Great Zimbabwe. Highways from airports to tourist spots also need to be upgraded.

  4. . I am a regular traveller i admire Jomokenyata in Nairobi and Bole airport in Addis ababa. It is serious business in Africa. There is nothing impossible create favorable conditions big giants like Etihad Turkish Airlines and American Airlines landing in Harare is a good sign of reform . You can not do business without foreign investors. Prioritize roads to the Airports as well.

  5. If we can be like adis ababa,i tell you we will be very far,of late i always thought s.a had the greatest airlines but still far from adis ababa.

  6. I was at the Harare international airport at 9 pm last night, when only one ,half full , plane of people was being sorted by customs and what a joke it was. The slow pace at which the officials dealt with passengers was nauseating to watch. So many of the lights in the conveyor area were not working. The 2nd luggage conveyer is still not working ( in pieces actually ) for some time now . And of course the loud speaker system, which has never worked properly since new, is STILL not working, there has never been any clarity, I cant tell you how irritating that is.
    AND WE ARE BOLD ENOUGH TO SAY WE CAN COPE WITH 40 AIRLINES ???????
    Come on Zim airlines, wake up and get the basics right on one airline before you think about 40.

  7. Absolute rubbish, Chawota, British Airways will make their own decisions after careful market research, not through your pathetic invitations. Its surprising that you really don’t know how international airlines operate, no wonder the country is this predicament, what with people like you at the helm!

  8. I like Dr. Know’s posts about Buffalo Range. Imagine Buffalo Range as an international airport! LOL I’d like to be there the day the first jet lands… which would also be the day the LAST one lands.

  9. Things will have to change in Zimbabwe before this desirable target is realized. With the senior level of governments hating the west and investments this will be difficult.

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