Air Zimbabwe resumes domestic flights today, initially between Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, after a long break from January last year due to operational challenges and the clampdown on intercity movement under the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona yesterday tweeted: “Our wings are back in the skies as we seek (to) promote domestic and international tourism as well as facilitating trade.”
Trade and re-engagement have been identified as critical ingredients for economic transformation by the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.
Some people responded to Minister Mhona’s tweet by praising the Government “for the great work in restoring our national pride”, while others asked for the introduction of flights that link other cities such as Mutare, Gweru, Masvingo.
In an interview yesterday, Air Zimbabwe spokesperson Ms Firstme Vitori said: “We are pleased to announce the resumption of domestic flights as a triangle Harare-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls initially, four times a week every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“We are deploying the Embraer (ERJ145) whose capacity is best suited for this route as we begin to rebuild a feeder into the regional network.
“The resumption of domestic flights is expected to bring convenience to the business community and a boost to the tourism sector.”
Air Zimbabwe remained alive to the threat of Covid-19 infection and so would continue to ensure strict adherence to all prevention protocols as guided by the International Air Transport Association, World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health and Childcare, to ensure the safety of both the passengers and crew members.
Air Zimbabwe had initially planned to resume additional flights, operated by the ERJ145 and B737-200, from March 28, but the plan did not work out.
Air Zimbabwe was also keen then to resume servicing the Harare-Johannesburg-Harare route twice daily, while the Harare-Dar es Salaam route would continue on schedule every Tuesday and Saturday.Air Zimbabwe, which is saddled with huge legacy debts, is rebuilding and has acquired “appropriate equipment” in the form of the EJR145 and two long haul aircraft — B777-200s, sourced from Malaysia.