Zambia Airways re-enters the regional network with three weekly flights to Harare after 27 years.

Zambia Airways (ZN) resumes flights to Zimbabwe after 27 years. The airline was relaunched in December 2021 and has re-entered the regional network with a flight to Harare.

The inaugural flight took off on March 28 from Lusaka Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) and landed at Harare Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE), where a water cannon salute awaited. The flight was welcomed by government officials, news reporters, and various aviation, hospitality, and tourism stakeholders.

New regional route for the airline

Zambia Airways had been liquidated for more than 25 years but resumed operations on December 1, 2021, with the help of Ethiopian Airlines and the Zambian Industrial Development Corporation. Since then, it has been operating flights on domestic routes.

Last month, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) granted two Foreign Operator Permits (FOPs) to Eswatini Air and Zambia Airways. This gave ZN the green light to operate scheduled flights to Harare, which sees it re-enter the international network after nearly three decades.

Zambia Airways

Boris Mayer / Shutterstock

The 55-minute flight to Harare was operated on a DHC-8-400, the only aircraft in the carrier’s fleet. The airline will operate three weekly flights between Lusaka and Harare and plans to fly at least 1.9 million passengers annually by 2028.

Intra-Africa connectivity

Numerous stakeholders have been involved in the development of aviation in Africa. In line with the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and the Open Skies Policy, Zambia Airways is spreading its wings and promoting intra-Africa connectivity.

As the industry has almost fully recovered from the pandemic, it is the perfect time for African airlines to step up and serve the continent. About 70% of African air travel is served by international airlines. The LUN-HRE has been dominated by Qatar Airways and Emirates, which operate five and seven weekly flights.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350 oneworld livery

Photo: axell.rf / Shutterstock

Launching the Zambia Airways flight can significantly boost trade, tourism, and business opportunities between the two neighboring countries. At an event following the airline’s touchdown, Zimbabwe’s Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister said to NewsDay;

“Indeed, our two countries are Siamese twins who share a lot in common. Let us bear in mind that the opportunity offered by Zambia Airways creates copious room for scaling up our further co-operation in areas of aviation and deepening the people-to-people relations, as these are a catalyst for stronger relations between our two countries. To attain the desired middle-income status and fully modernize our countries, it is imperative that we develop reliable, adequate and appropriate aviation linkages.”

Zambia Airways expansion in the near future

The airline is delighted to have launched its first regional route since its restructuring. The route is expected to have a high demand; hence, the airline plans to launch a frequent flyer program in the near future. The program will be known as Zambezi Miles, allowing travelers to earn and spend rewards on Zambia Airways flights.

The Zambian government is eyeing a collaboration with other airlines operating the LUN-HRE route and fifth freedom flights to South Africa. Speaking at the welcoming event, acting Permanent Secretary for the Transport and Logistics Ministry of Zambia, Stephen Mbewe, said;

“We are very grateful for our two airport cooperation, in the collaboration we have been doing for so many years, we’ve seen this during the time British Airways used to fly here, Kenya Airways, and now we see it with Qatar and Emirates. We hope the collaboration will go on with several other airlines, but we also have a plea honorable minister. We would like a fifth freedom to do the Lusaka-Harare-Johannesburg route.”

The two states are active members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), founded in Lusaka, Zambia. SADC countries have substantial travel and trade partnerships, which the airline can leverage to enhance its regional connectivity.

Source: NewsDay


Napsat komentář

Vaše e-mailová adresa nebude zveřejněna.

You May Also Like

Airbus Helicopters Posts Strong Medevac Order Intake

Airbus Helicopters announced continuing strong sales into the U.S. medical market at…

The Complex Art of Aircraft Utilization

DALLAS – Aircraft are the most important and valuable assets of an…

Why Don’t Planes Use Reverse Thrust To Push Back?

When a plane departs an airport, its first movement will be to…

Quiz: 6 Questions To See How Well You Know Aircraft Systems

How’s your systems knowledge? 1) You’re performing an engine run-up before takeoff.…