Zimbabwe Aviation Aims For Full Recovery – CAJ News Africa

from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – Zimbabwe’s aviation industry has seen significant growth over the past five years, with airlines serving the country growing from three to 17.

This is for the period 2017 to the current year.

However, this is well below the 45 regional and international airlines in 1999, at the height of tourism in the country.

“With respect to tourism and hospitality, the increase in the number of airlines from three at the start of the Second Republic to 17 currently is a testament to the growth trajectory of the sector as well as the undeniable success of our efforts to engagement and re-engagement,” said President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

He was speaking during the 42nd Independence Day speech on April 18.

Airlines operating in Zimbabwe include Air Zimbabwe, Airlink, Air Botswana, Air Tanzania, BA Comair, DHL, Emirates, Ethiopian Airways, Eurowings Discover, Fastjet, Kenyan Airways, LAVA, MacAir, Martinair, Qatar, Rwandair and South African Airways ( AAS).

The majority of them had gone out of business during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns and have since resumed.

The return of Eurowings Discover, owned by the Lufthansa group, is seen as a sign of a thaw in relations between Zimbabwe and Western countries.

Relations had hit rock bottom from 2000 when the country introduced the land reform program which, combined with alleged political and human rights abuses, saw the southern African country alienated and subject to penalties.

Wengai Nhau, chairman of the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe, said the industry was aiming to bring back the golden age.

“In 1999, we had 45 international airlines. We are now at number 17. So 45 out of 17 is what the industry is aiming for. We will not disappoint,” Nhau assured.

– CAJ News