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By Africa Moyo
Government says it is committed to supporting the aviation industry given its critical role in national development.
This was said yesterday by the director of aviation and rail, Mr Allowance Sango during the launch of Proflight Zambia’s Harare-Lusaka route.
Proflight Zambia landed at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport at about 8am, as the firm seeks to boost trade ties that exist between the two countries through improving connectivity of the key destinations.
Mr Sango said Government was happy that more airlines continue to see scope of flying into Zimbabwe, which has embarked on a journey of economic turnaround following the coming in of the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa.
“. . . I would like to take this opportunity to assure Proflight as well as other airlines here represented, of our continued support for the aviation industry.
He said the coming in of Proflight Zambia is a “great occasion” to the country, the aviation sector and business.
Proflight Zambia will be plying the Harare-Lusaka route four times a week using the Jetstream 41 aircraft on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Mr Sango said the route provides a “vital link” between the two countries, translating into increased connectivity, flexibility and convenience for travellers.
He explained that Proflight will bridge the gap left by the two countries’ national flag carriers,
which have already taken the initiative as part of promoting relations between the nations, which have historical relations dating back to the colonial
“We once shared the same surname Northern and Southern Rhodesia.
“So for the national airlines to ignore this very important connecting destination; I think that it is a disservice,” said Mr Sango.
Further, Mr Sango said the coming in of Proflight Zambia reaffirms the two countries’ commitment to the aspirations of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years.
Mr Sango encouraged Proflight to consider code-sharing arrangements and/ or partnerships with fellow airlines so as to promote and accelerate the growth of the African aviation industry.
Director of human resources and administration in the Zambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Kasonde Mwila, who came aboard the inaugural flight, said he was “excited” with the development.
He said his government continues to create an enabling environment for airlines to operate, and would want to see more of them landing in foreign capitals.
Meanwhile, the launch of the Harare-Lusaka route comes at a time when Government has engaged in the “managed liberalisation” of the air transport sector to enhance destination connectivity for the benefit of travellers.
In the spirit of opening up the skies, Cabinet has opened up domestic routes which were previously monopolised by Air Zimbabwe.
The Harare-Bulawayo and Harare-Victoria Falls routes have been opened up to other local players such as FlyAfrica Zimbabwe.