RAINBOW Airlines will be relying on shareholders in the coming two months to carry them through the slow period for the air transport industry, its chief executive officer has said.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
This comes as Rainbow Airlines, a wholly-owned local airline, was officially launched yesterday with a flight on the Harare-Victoria Falls route.
Rainbow Airlines CEO, Ed Berry told NewsDay that the costs might be huge and that they would not go the low cost way to avoid closing down.
“We are not going the low cost way. We feel that we are going to price ourselves lower than the most expensive airlines that are coming in, so we are still reasonably priced. We have a smaller aircraft, which is a 50 seater CRJ and that means we are hoping to have fuller loads and start doing more frequent flights to destinations unlike what the other airlines do,” he said.
The local airline will start off with Harare to Johannesburg flights in the first week of February. The return tickets will be about $285.
It will start with three weekly flights gradually moving to daily and twice daily depending on the response from the passengers.
The Harare to Johannesburg route is currently being serviced by Air Zimbabwe, South African Airways, British Airways (through Comair), Airlink and low-cost carrier fastjet. South African Airways enjoys the lion’s share of the market.
Berry said they had not priced Harare to Victoria Falls flights, as it was a new route for the airline. He said Rainbow was also exploring the Victoria Falls to Cape Town and Johannesburg routes.
Later, Rainbow Airlines is expected to spread its air route in the country to Masvingo and Kariba, with a smaller aircraft than they recently purchased CRJ.
“Regionally, we will be doing Harare to Cape Town in six months. Further on, we will do Harare to Nairobi, Botswana and Malawi,” Berry said.
The airlines took to the skies after an injection from shareholders.