Acting public relations executive, Shingai Taruvinga, told The Financial Gazette yesterday that AirZim was optimistic it would recapture its lost market share following the re-launch of the Harare-Johannesburg flights in the wake of improved load factors.
A biting cash flow crisis and reluctance by AirZim's sole shareholder, the government, to inject cash and recapitalise the airline had triggered the collapse of the parastatal. But in the past nine months, considerable efforts have been made towards reviving the national flag-carrier.
"We are looking forward to more regional routes in three weeks," Taruvinga said.
"At the moment I can't say it will be Lusaka, or any other destination but we are finalising a few things. Once that is done we should start. We are looking forward to international routes by early next year, around April 2013. The numbers are picking up on the Johannesburg route. We are optimistic that the numbers will keep increasing because we are now more reliable," Taruvinga added.
Traditionally, AirZim's regional routes included the Harare-Lusaka, Harare-Lubumbashi in the Demo-cratic Republic of Congo and others in South Africa.
AirZim has a mammoth task of competing with a number of international airlines that have started landing into Harare.
These include Emirates and KLM Dutch Airlines. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air Namibia have also introduced scheduled flights into Harare, while Air France, Austrian Airlines, Egypt Air, Swiss Air, Bulgarian Airlines, Quantas and Lufthansa are reportedly on their way.
Improved connectivity, according to aviation experts, has been driving tourist arrivals into Zimbabwe this year thereby attracting interest from international airlines.-- Staff Reporter.