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New airline seeks Zimbabwe permit

by Staff reporter
03 May 2017 at 07:01hrs | Views
A new commercial airline - Zimskies Airlines (Zimskies) - has applied for a Zimbabwean air service permit to service local, regional and international routes.

This comes as some local airlines are struggling to remain afloat due to a tough economic environment characterised by high airport taxes and a debilitating cash crunch, among other things.

Currently, national airline Air Zimbabwe (Air Zim) is on the verge of collapse due to a huge debt overhang of around $300 million, gross mismanagement and lack of confidence which has forced passengers to turn to other airlines.

The State-run Air Zim, which has struggled to secure an investor since it resumed operations in 2012, recently sank to a new low of issuing handwritten boarding passes.

Another domestic airline, FlyAfrica, was in 2015 forced to surrender its operating licence to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) after failing to meet statutory obligations.

However, despite all these challenges, Zimskies believes it has the financial muscle to succeed under the current harsh environment and is targeting to carry "passengers, and or fresh cargo, and mail on local, regional and international routes".

". . . Zimskies Airlines (Private Limited) has applied to the Air Services Board for the issue of an air services permit to provide scheduled air services," a notice in last Friday's government gazette read.

The coming in of Zimskies is on the back of renewed interest by international airlines to service the country's routes.

In the past few months, Kenya Airways, RwandAir and SA Airlink have all made a beeline to Zimbabwe amid strong indications that Turkish Airlines could also join the stampede to get its pound of flesh on the hotly-contested Victoria Falls route.

If discussions with Turkish Airlines succeed, this would open up Zimbabwe to a wider network of source markets.

Turkish Airlines flies to 47 domestic and 221 international destinations in 117 countries, excluding those only served by Turkish Airlines Cargo.

Source - dailynews