from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE is encouraged by the number of airlines interested in flying into the country.
This interest is spurring the agency to upgrade its airports.
Loveness Dumwa, the Acting Secretary for Transport and Infrastructural Development, reported on the eagerness of the airlines as she addressed a workshop organized by the Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) in Victoria Falls.
“We are happy to note the growing number of airlines that now patronize our airports,” Dumwa added.
“This should spur us to increase our efforts in modernizing our airport infrastructure together with the attendant processes and systems, so as to better serve this growing client base.”
Dumwa emphasised on the need to ensure local airports and infrastructure was in line with the rest of the aviation world.
“It is only with such kind of zeal, informed by robust strategies and fit-for-purpose plan, can we be able to compete in this high octane and very competitive business environment,” she said.
Dumwa commended ACZ for supporting the ministry in its vision of being a regional hub for world-class transport networks, logistics and services by the year 2030.
This is under the “Zimbabwe Skies are Open for Airlines” policy.
ACZ has a target to increase the number of passengers uplifted from 500 000 in 2020 to 2 million by the year 2025 as well increased the annual cargo handled from 15 000 tonnes in 2020 by 10 percent annually.
There are concerns about low intra-Africa connectivity as the continent is focused on international routes, especially from Europe and the Middle East.
“This situation has a bearing on other interlinked subsectors of our economy such as tourism.”
Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Yamoussoukro Decision, is a treaty adopted in 1999 by most members of the African Union.
It establishes a framework for the liberalisation of air transport services between African countries and fair competition among airlines.
“It is therefore imperative, that our infrastructure and services be unparalleled so that we are able to better serve these discerning markets and create demand in new markets,” Dumwa explained.
Zimbabwe’s major airports are RG Mugabe in Harare, JM Nkomo in Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Charles Prince outside Harare.
Airlink, Emirates, Ethiopian Airways, Eurowings Discover, Fastjet, Kenyan Airways, RwandaAir, Tanzania Airways and South African Airways are the major airlines flying into the Southern African country.
– CAJ News