ZIMBABWE’S NATIONAL AIRLINE SET UP FOR MAJOR CHANGES
(Posted 04th April 2017)
Reports are emerging from Harare that the Zimbabwean government appears keen to inject a new lease of life into Air Zimbabwe, the national airline of the country. The source from Harare made a case that the government, while attempting to find ways and means – given the budgetary constraints the country is faced with – to procure additional aircraft for the airline but was at the same time also open to taking in a strategic investor with the proven capacity to turn ailing national carriers around.
The subsequent speculation was fueled to a large part by comments attributed to a very senior Ethiopian Airlines executive who reportedly said: ‘It all depends on the political will of the government of Zimbabwe, and on how they want to put it, whether it is going to be a joint venture or management consultancy. Ethiopian Airlines is ready for all that‘.
In the past has Ethiopian turned around the national airline of Malawi, after Air Malawi was liquidates and a joint venture carrier, Malawian Airlines, launched two years ago. Also has the source in Harare not ruled out a name change for the national airline should a joint venture emerge from present behind the scenes talks similar to what happened in Malawi.
Given other ventures Ethiopian has entered into, such as West Africa’s most successful airline ASKY, are Zimbabweans now looking forward to hearing substantive announcements being made by both parties soon, in regard of new aircraft as well as in regard of a closer cooperation with Ethiopian Airlines.
Notably has a recent visit by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister to Tanzania also prompted speculation that Africa’s most successful airline may offer support to Air Tanzania, which is undergoing a government prompted revival with the acquisition of new aircraft including two Bombardier CS300 and one Boeing B787 Dreamliner.