Oliver Kazunga Acting Business Editor
PHOENIX Air has made a second application to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAA) for a commercial licence to service domestic and regional routes. If granted the permit, this could increase competition with the country’s national airline, Air Zimbabwe. Phoenix’s first application to CAAZ was made in 2012.
BH24 quoted the latest Government Gazette confirming the application by the airline to CAAZ.
“Notice is hereby that Phoenix Air (Private) Limited has applied to the Air Services Board, for the use of an Air Services Permit to provide commercial scheduled and non-scheduled air services for the carriage of passengers, dry and/or fresh cargo, and mail local, regional and international routes,” reads part of the notice.
In terms of Section 17 of the above Act (Chapter13:01), any objections to the airline’s application, must be made in the manner prescribed in Section 4 of the Air Services (General) Regulations, 1971, and within 28 days from the date of publication of the notice in the Government Gazette.”
The application by the private airline comes at a time when the government has adopted the “Open Skies” policy which in the past few years has seen entry of two low cost airlines Fastjet and Fly Africa into the local market.
However, Fly Africa which started flying from Harare to Johannesburg, and Victoria Falls to Johannesburg in August 2014 was recently suspended from operating by CAAZ following board room squabbles that erupted between the airline’s local and South African shareholders.
CAAZ has since cleared Fly Africa to resume operations. Fastjet, which is headquartered in Tanzania, made its domestic flight into Zimbabwe in October 2015.
As part of efforts to spruce up the country’s airports in light of the anticipated increased tourist arrivals due to competition posed by the “Open Skies” policy, the government has started upgrading airports such as the Harare International Airport, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport and Victoria Falls International Airport.
Last October, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority reported a seven percent increase in tourist arrivals during the first half of 2015 to 930, 276 from 876, 163 during the same period the previous year. The increase was mostly driven by the rise in mainland Africa at 87 percent. - BH24/Business Chronicle.