RWANDAIR made its debut flight to Harare yesterday, with the carrier promising to fly daily starting next month.
The airline will be flying four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
RwandAir general manager (commercial), Mikael Gobena told NewsDay yesterday that the schedules were already in the airline’s system and it would be flying daily.
He said the increase in frequency will also be tied to the airline’s plans to introduce flights to London next month.
Gobena said the carrier was on an expansion programme, which would see the airline flying 700 000 passengers in the financial year ending June 30.
In the next financial year, the airline would have flown one million passengers, Gobena said.
He said the expansion programme was on the realisation that, as a landlocked country, it required an international air transport service.
Transport and Infrastructure Development permanent secretary, Munesu Munodawafa said negotiations had taken 10 years and Zimbabwe skies had been waiting for RwandAir to come.
“It was courtship, it is the results that matters,” he said.
Munodawafa said the airline should consider synergies with local airlines, possibly, Air Zimbabwe.
“Consider other partnerships with local airlines if it makes business sense, which I hope it will. This can be done in the context of business arrangements,” he said.
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) board chairman, Thembinkosi Magwaliba said the coming of RwandAir showed that Zimbabwe “is on the rebound and coming back to reclaim its space in the world of aviation”.
The coming on board of RwandAir is on the back of concerted efforts by CAAZ to lure airlines that used to fly to Zimbabwe and new carriers.
At its peak in 1999, 42 airlines used to fly into Zimbabwe. The number included eight cargo planes. Currently 20 airlines are flying into Zimbabwe.
RwandAir operates one of the youngest fleet on the African continent and flies to over 20 destinations across Africa.
Its fleet include two wide-bodied planes (A330-300 and A330-200), three Boeing 737-800, two Boeing 737-700, two Bombadier CRJ-900 and two Bombadier Q400.