UAE prince establishes FlyStream Airlines in Zimbabwe

A prince from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who arrived in Zimbabwe last month seeking investment opportunities, has set up a new airline, Standardbusiness reported on Friday.

Prince Sultan Khalil Ibrahim Albalishi, founder and managing director of Dubai-based Rind Properties, marked his first move to Zimbabwe with FlyStream Airlines.

FlyStream, which operates charter flights, still needs to pass some regulatory approvals before its official launch.

A spokesman said the airline had been gazetted and management would wait about a month before moving on to next steps.

Images of the airline’s planes seen by Standardbusiness showed an ultra-luxury Gulfstream bird that could reshape Zimbabwe’s aviation industry.

The country already has a fleet of small private airlines offering charter services.

But FlyStream, seems to be one step ahead, with its exclusive legroom interiors and other facilities.

The prince appears to have located a loophole that exists in a country where elites have rented chartered planes from abroad to go on vacation and seek treatment in advanced countries.

There has also been a steady stream of executive travel between countries like Dubai and Harare as economic ties strengthen.

A Flystream spokesperson said: “We are now registered as FlyStream Airlines, we have published in the Gazette. Good news for all of us and for the country as a whole.”

“Everything is now settled, we are waiting for 28 days to pass … then shortly after (it will be) the permit application and we are ready with the documents,” he said.

When Prince Sultan arrived with his team last month, he revealed he was targeting deals in the real estate and aviation sectors in Zimbabwe.

Sultan, who has previously lodged investment proposals with the Zimbabwe Investment Development Authority (Zida), said he was also keen to explore opportunities in the mining industry.

He has already established a real estate empire with a footprint in major global markets.

In an interview with Standardbusiness after landing at Robert Mugabe International Airport, he said his decision to join a string of Dubai tycoons seeking opportunities in the country was made after visiting the Zimbabwe pavilion at the Expo. of Dubai, an international exhibition. which has just ended.

He said he had options to visit Kenya and South Africa, but chose Zimbabwe on the advice of a local pilot who works with Emirates, the global airline.

“The purpose of this trip is to seek opportunities in real estate, mining and aviation – the commercial and private side of aviation, including the establishment of a flight school in Zimbabwe which will be the first in the gender,” Sultan said, speaking through a local representative.

“We had commitments at the Dubai exhibition. The value of the proposal (submitted to Zida) is that it will bring change here in Zimbabwe. Right now, after Zida’s clearance, I’m sure everyone will go as planned.We are looking at about a week (customs clearance time).

Sultan’s Rind Properties has extended its roots in Dubai to secure deals in several global markets including France, United States of America, Lebanon, Kuwait, Algeria, Libya and Great Britain.

His ambition is to replicate the firm’s success elsewhere in the Zimbabwean market.

It joins several companies from Dubai, which have recently traveled to Zimbabwe to tap deals across multiple industries, encouraged by better access since Emirates launched flights to Harare around a decade ago.

Zimbabwe has also launched an offensive to establish stronger diplomatic and commercial ties between the two countries, and trade between the two countries has increased significantly over the past decade.

One of Dubai’s biggest deals involved Albwardy Investments, which in 2020 took full control of the Meikles Hotel after paying US$20 million to run the iconic facility.

The transaction, which had been on the radar for years, was completed after the support of more than 70% of Meikles Limited shareholders.