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CAAZ moves to tackle regional competition

by Staff reporter
22 Nov 2017 at 05:59hrs | Views
THE Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) has set up a route development committee to shrug off competition in the region by attracting some international airlines into the country to improve air connectivity.

CAAZ general manager Mr David Chawota said this was against a background that some international airlines such as Qatar Airlines and Turkish Airways were set to introduce flights before the end of the year.

"The assumption was that Qatar Airways, Turkish Airways ….were supposed to commence operations by December 31, 2017.  We do have quite competition in the region and to mitigate these challenges, we are forming a route development committee so that we improve our connectivity," he said in his presentation during the strategic planning workshop in Bulawayo last week.

Mr Chawota said airlines such as RwandAir, FlyAfrica, Kenya Airways and South Africa launched operations in the country recently.

"Kenya Airways and RwandAir introduced flights to Victoria Falls connecting to Cape Town from their base in Nairobi and Kigali via Victoria Falls. This alone has seen Victoria Falls passenger traffic increasing by 29 percent," he said.

Mr Chawota said international flights at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport have since improved by 21.9 percent as airlines such as fastjet, Angolan Airways, Kenya Airways have increased their flight frequencies in the country.

Meanwhile, Air Zimbabwe is working towards attaining the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification, which will see the airline resuming flights into the European Union.

The flag carrier has not been plying the Harare-London route since 2012 and together with four other airlines was this year blacklisted by the EU for failing to address safety concerns raised by the EASA operator audits.

Other airlines that were affected by the EASA decision included Nigeria, Ukraine, St Vincent and Grenadines.

Air Zimbabwe is working to ensure the EASA concerns are addressed by April 30 next year to allow it to be able to fly into Europe.

Source - chronicle