Air Zimbabwe (Airzim) on Monday resumed direct flights between Harare and Lusaka after a three-year hiatus as the national airline continues to increase its route network Obert Mpofu, Transport minister, told delegates boarding the flight to Lusaka that the latest development would greatly improve Airzim’s route networks as the national airline has been facing several operational challenges, among them a limited route network.
“Certainly this move is a real game changer for the national airline and the travelling public. With schedule integrity this is a potentially lucrative route,” he said.
The national flag carrier will be using the MA60 turboprop aircraft to carry passengers to Zambia on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Sources at Airzim say the development, which is set to increase connectivity — a key factor in regional integration and national economic development — was motivated by the strong ties that exist between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
“This route will ease travel arrangements and business transactions between Lusaka and Harare thus stimulating economic activity and growth,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu noted that the resumption of the Harare-Lusaka route is a precursor for more regional and international routes which will be opening soon.
He also revealed that as part of efforts by the national carrier to ease transactions when buying its services, AirZim had introduced EcoCash and IBE payment platforms for convenience.
“Passengers are now able to use this EcoCash platform to buy tickets on Airzim and that process is quite simple and convenient to the customers,” he said.
The latest development also comes after Cabinet recently approved that a strategic partner be engaged as part of Airzim’s turnaround strategy.
“Following that directive we have and are still receiving some positive responses from potential partners. Although government will continue rendering its support, the airline is at the same time expected to begin working towards self-sustenance through strategic alliances and maximum utilisation of its equipment,” Mpofu said.