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AIR ZIMBABWE TO REVIEW ITS LANDING RIGHTS, PARTICULARLY FOR MATEBELELAND NORTH, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls International Airport, and force all international flights into the Zimbabwe to be rerouted to Harare Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport from Victoria Falls International Airport and Bulawayo city thereby develop Harare (the RGM International Airport) into a regional hub, as other airlines fly direct into Victoria Falls, into Bulawayo.
This strategy is designed to generate business for Air Zimbabwe, to distribute all those passengers delivered to Harare RG Mugabe International Airport around Zimbabwe. Its sad to note that in this day and age, Zimbabwe still implements such poor business policies, when we are exactly 100 years since that iconic transAtlantic first flight in a primitive plane by by World War 1 Airforce Captain Alcock and World War 1 Airforce pilot Brown, both military pilots and prisoners of war during World War I in a 16 hour flight, in a rudimentary airplane in fog, clouds and snow with no stars in sight , but Harare Bambazonke wants it all, nothing for Matebeleland North, so shut down Bulawayo and Victoria falls incoming flights and force them to Harare direct then redistribution of passengers on Air Zimbabwe to local destinations.
Victoria Falls Airport is currently directly accessible through the fifth freedom rights arrangement to all the major airline networks which allows an airline to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as a part of services connecting the airline’s own country. It is the right of the respective airlines to carry passengers from their own country to a second country, and from that country onward to a third country and so on, which goes against Zimbabwe plans. According to the Air Zimbabwe administrator Reggie Saruchera of Grant Thornton the direct accessibility of Victoria Falls Airport works against the Air Zimbabwe’s long-term goal of setting Harare’s RGM International Airport as a regional hub.
“Yes, we had not capacitated our airline, and it was good wisdom for the Government at that time to let them just go straight and land at Victoria Falls, there was no choice.
“But now, once we have capacitated our airline we can then begin to run all our Harare to Bulawayo, Harare to Victoria Falls, Victoria Falls to Harare, and then the international airlines can come and connect from RGM. We then create the kind of hub that South Africa is creating,” he said.
Since the completion of Victoria Falls Airport’s refurbishment in 2016 in tandem with the granting of the fifth freedom, international and regional airlines have added over 80 000 seats to Victoria Falls. And there are downstream benefits for hotels and lodges in the resort town in terms of improvement in their room occupancy and bookings for the various activities.
Mr Saruchera believes the benefits can be even wider if Harare RGM International Airport becomes the hub.
“South Africa’s OR Tambo International Airport, for example, currently handles around 55 200 people a day. You can imagine a person spending a dollar or two a day if they are 55 200 of them, the impact that it will have on the economy even when the airline makes huge losses. But it will only work when the airline has appropriate aircraft,” he said.
But then Zimbabwe is signatory to the Yamoussoukro Decision.
The Yamoussoukro Decision was a treaty that allowed for open skies among most African countries. The decision was endorsed by 44 members of the African Union in 1999, and became binding in 2002.
The treaty grants fifth freedom transit rights between all of its signatories. It also sought to eliminate restrictions on ownership of airlines and frequency limits on international routes between signatory states. The practical implementation and application of its policies, however, faced a number of setbacks and was not completed by all African Union members. And in 2018, the Single African Air Transport Market was launched with the intent of fully implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision.
Air Zimbabwe executive manager for airline systems and administration Captain Harry Madangure, says some airlines in the region are not in strict adherence to the open skies policy and that a modicum of protection is required for the national airline.
“We are signatories to this Yamoussoukro Decision, which allows fifth freedom rights to carriers within Africa, so we can go and say we want to fly between Johannesburg and Durban, we actually have our airline flying those routes,” he said.
“But in reality even though South Africa is a signatory if we try and do that you will find that there are a lot of stumbling blocks. It will take even five years before we are granted those rights, but with Zimbabwe we just opened up, there was no protection of the national carrier and that needs to be revised.”Source – sundaymail
www.newzimbabwevision.com says Bulawayo has always been a regional travel hub for roads and rail to South Africa, Zambia and Botswana and the potential of growth through tourist arrivals on International flights, is alarming to the centralised Zimbabwe Zanu pf regime because it means Harare slowly becomes a white elephant if the current Matebeleland North International flight arrivals into Bulawayo and Victoria falls airports continues. This generates business through hotel accomodation, tourism, and all associated income generation for local mainstream and small businesses in Matebeleland North.
Lest you forget, this is the very principle upon which Mugabe and his nephew Phillip Chiyangwa using the Affirmative Action Group (AAG), destroyed Bulawayo business and employment while making millions out of it all. Now most of Bulawayo’s industries and movie theatres are church buildings, Matebeleland people are unemployed, marginalised by this ‘everything to Harare Bambazonke’ mentality. People wrongly celebrated the removal of Mugabe as the arrival of change, but forgot that Mnangagwa is the chief architect of gukurahundi which saw over 20,000unarmed Ndebeles butchered by the Shona tribalist 5th brigade under Mugabe’s nephew, the former 5th Brigade commandeer and Air force of Zimbabwe general Perrance Shiri, now Minister of lands and Agriculture.
This is what Matebeleland voters need to resolve with those they elect into power. The hive of activity at Bulawayo airport and Victoria falls airports are all in line with the principles of Devolution, where local income from tourism goes into local business and investments and employment creation for the local youth but because it is clearly benefiting Matebeleland North, the Militarised Mnangagwa Zanu pf regime is bent on shutting down the flow of revenue to the region by rerouting all flights to Harae before redistribution on Air Zimbabwe, mind you, a business with only one plane in service as all other planes are broken and beyond any hope of going back into service.
As reported less than a month ago by www.newzimbabwevision.com, AirZimbabwe is seeking government authority to sell off the brken down planes. It is also alarming as we mentioned then, that the only plane in use, is currently offf air as its under repair, meaning that at that very time less than a month ago, air Zimbabwe had no planes at all, yet, here we are with the militarised mnangagwa Zanu pf regime seeking to reroute Matebeleland North flights to Harare for passenger redistribution, without even a single Air Zimbabwe plane in service,..welcome to the centralised Harare, monopolisation of wealth and power system under the militarised Mnangagwa Zanu pf regime.: DISCUSS! Sibusiso Ngwenya
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