Harare – Qatar Airways will soon introduce flights to Harare, initially flying into Zimbabwe three times a week, the new envoy from the oil rich country said on Thursday.
Qatar’s new ambassador to Zimbabwe Salem Al- Jaber told journalists soon after presenting his credentials to President Robert Mugabe at State House that the move was part of a number of business ventures his country was prepared to bring to Zimbabwe.
“We are looking forward to bringing Qatar Airways soon because Qatar Airways as you know, is a big airline. Last week we opened the biggest airport in the Middle East,” he said.
“We have 10 flights a week to Johannesburg and we would like to extend it from Johannesburg to Harare at least three flights a week initially and then later on maybe as a direct flight.”
Qatar Airways is the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar, headquartered in the capital Doha.
Founded in 1993, it is one of the world’s leading five-star airlines, flying to over 125 destinations in six different continents using a fleet of more than 100 aircraft.
The airline has more than 30 000 staff, with 17 000 people employed directly and a further 13 000 in its subsidiaries.
Qatar Airways joins a host of other airlines that have introduced or resumed flights to Zimbabwe including Air Namibia, Emirates, KLM and Mozambique’s LAM.
Other airlines have also shown renewed interest to fly into Zimbabwe including Air France, Swiss Air, Bulgarian Airlines and Lufthansa of Germany.
In 1996 Zimbabwe had 45 international carriers servicing the country.
The renewed interest in Zimbabwe’s aviation industry is mainly as a result of the demise of Air Zimbabwe which has suspended most of its regional and international routes due to viability challenges and an inadequate fleet.-New Ziana