BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
NATIONAL carrier Air Zimbabwe will resume its domestic flights next Wednesday, the company said in a statement.Zimbabwe suspended flights and shut its borders in March this year as it sought to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has so far infected about 7 532 people and claimed 224 lives.
Resumption of flights follows government’s nod for resumption of domestic flights on Thursday last week, while international flights are expected to resume on October 1.
In a statement, Air Zimbabwe said regional flights would resume on October 3, 2020.
“The domestic flight schedule features HRE/BUQ/VFA/HRE morning schedule and HRE/VFA/BUQ/HRE evening schedule every Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” the statement read in part.
“The regional HRE/DAR/HRE schedule shall initially operate every Tuesday and Saturday with an additional frequency expected towards the end of the year. The airline still awaits confirmation of the opening of South African airspace and airports, whereinafter dates for resumption of flights into Johannesburg shall be announced.”
Air Zimbabwe said it would publish guidelines issued by the Health and Child Care ministry, World Health Organisation and International Air Transport Association for air travel from time to time.
At the moment, these guidelines include personal masking up, sanitising, regular washing of hands, temperature checks as well as regular disinfection of the aircrafts.
“The airline shall continue to review its business focus in line with market trends,” it said.
As part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, government demands that all travellers must have a polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognised facility within 48 hours from the date of departure.
COVID-19 has affected the tourism industry in the country, closing all tourist attractions and forcing some hotels and resorts to lay off workers.Due to this, the government expects the tourism sector to contract 7,4% this year.