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FlySafair, Cemair enter Zimbabwe market

by Staff reporter
04 Aug 2023 at 06:42hrs | Views
THE Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) has approved applications from the South African low-cost carriers FlySafair and Cemair to start flying into Harare and Victoria Falls.

The aviation regulator issued both FlySafair and Cemair airlines with foreign operator permits (FOPs) to ply the Harare and Victoria Falls routes.

In statement sent to NewsDay Business yesterday, CAAZ director general Elijah Chingosho expressed confidence in the government thrust for the aviation sector as a growth strategy towards Vision 2030 in relation to expansion of air connectivity.

"As the aviation regulator, we are fully committed to the growth of the aviation industry, positioning our economy for more trade, investment and tourism," he said.

"Granting of FOPs to these airlines will provide substantial benefits to the passenger such as fare savings, increased connectivity, more frequencies resulting in greater convenience and time savings."

He said the authority wished both airlines the best of success.

CAAZ, through the FOPs, allows the respective South African registered airlines to operate passenger and cargo operations in and outbound Harare and Victoria Falls.

CAAZ said the finer details on the commencement date and frequencies of flights would be announced by the respective airlines in due course.

However, a representative from FlySafair, who wished not to be named, told this paper that it would begin servicing the Johannesburg to Harare and Johannesburg to Victoria Falls flight routes in October.

"I believe that marketing will still have an official launch in terms of the flight routes et cetera. In terms of prices, I cannot advise on that as I don't know how much the ticket prices are going to be, I don't know which days they are going to fly," the representative said.

"We are all just going to have to wait for communication from our marketing team. I can only advise that it is going to be from October. That is the only information that I have as well."

The flying of South African airlines into Zimbabwe comes after the neighbouring country's carrier, South African Airways (SAA), drastically cut its flight routes globally owing to a reported debt of nearly US$191 million.

This forced the South African government to issue a US$55 million bailout in February.

While it flies into Zimbabwe, plying the Harare and Victoria Falls route, SAA has cut the number of flights allowing for smaller players such as Cemair and FlySafair to ply those routes.

The granting of an operator's licences to these South African airlines comes more than a year after Eurowings Discover, a subsidiary of German airline Lufthansa, began flying into the country.

It also comes after the Qatari state-owned airline Qatar Airways began flying into the country in 2021.

The Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, in Harare, is undergoing a major upgrade to accommodate more flights. The upgrade is being financed by a China Exim Bank loan.

Source - newsday