Air Zimbabwe set to resume London flights

Air Zimbabwe (AirZim) is set to restart flights to London in November this year, almost two years after the national carrier stopped flights, citing feasibility issues.

The Zimbabwean airline had stopped flights to London in December 2011 after creditors took custody of one of its planes at Gatwick Airport. After grounding its planes for nearly two years due to financial troubles, the carrier is now looking for a turnaround with the proposed recommencement of flights.

AirZim has recently resumed domestic and regional flights to Johannesburg, and domestically the carrier flies to Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. Flights leave daily to Johannesburg and twice a week on the Johannesburg-Victoria Falls route.

In a recent interview, AirZim public relations executive, Shingai Taruvinga-Dhliwayo, said: ‘We have re-strategised to become one of the best airliners to service the Victoria Falls route. This place is one of the best in Africa and the world as a whole. It’s our duty to see the growth of our tourism sector by providing a reliable service to tourists visiting the resort town to watch the falls.

‘We are going to resume international flights in mid-November. We will start by direct flights to London. At the moment we are fully servicing domestic and regional routes, at times having two flights per day in each of the destinations,’ she added.

The resumption of flights comes at a time when the country is making preparations ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly set for Victoria Falls and Livingstone. Zimbabwe and Zambia are co-hosting the 20th session of the UNWTO from August 24 to 29.

In a bid to attract passengers, the airline has launched a massive campaign offering reduced fares on its routes. ‘Air Zimbabwe is currently facing an increase in the use of services following the launch of the Cruising Altitude promotion,’ Taruvinga-Dhliwayo reportedly told Standardbusiness.

‘The upsurge growth of air traffic in and out of the country should make us play a leading role in the provision of air travel services once again.’

AirZim resumed domestic and regional flights last year after taking delivery of two Airbus aircraft.