By World Airnews correspondent Wallace Mawire
South Africa’s privately owned airline CemAir has launched flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls, with four scheduled frequencies per week.
An Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) spokesperson confirmed that the airline will either use the CRJ200 model which accommodates at least 50 passengers or the CRJ700 which can accommodate 70 passengers.
The ACZ spokesperson said that there has been excitement about the new development, especially following the successful launch of Fastjet Zimbabwe’s services to Hwange and Victoria Falls, which also connects to Victoria Falls.
ACZ said that since then, Victoria Falls has seen an increase in traffic and airline performance, surpassing pre-Covid-19 levels.
“This is certainly a positive development for the Zimbabwean skies,” said an ACZ spokesperson.
The launch of the airline’s flights follows a recent approval by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) which granted Foreign Operator Permits (FOPs) to South African registered airlines including CemAir to operate passenger and cargo operations in and outbound Harare and Victoria Falls.
CAAZ director general Elijah Chingosho expressed his confidence in the government’s push for aviation as a growth strategy towards Vision 2030 relating to the expansion of air connectivity.
“As the aviation regulator, we are fully committed to the growth of the aviation industry, positioning our economy for more trade, investment and tourism. Granting of FOPs to airlines will provide substantial benefits to the passenger such as fare savings, increased connectivity, more frequencies resulting in greater convenience and time savings”, he said.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe was established in 1999 and regulates the aviation industry and provides oversight of aviation safety and security, development of air transport and provision of air navigation services within Zimbabwe.
On October 4 last year at the 41st International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly in Montreal Canada, Zimbabwe was elected as the SADC representative, into the ICAO Council under Part III category, giving Zimbabwe an opportunity to sit as part of the Council’s 36 member states, the highest decision-making body in aviation.