Air Tanzania has begun scheduled flights to Harare after the airline stopped the operations to the Zimbabwean capital some two decades ago.
At the launch of the flight, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Priscah Mupfumira said this is is indeed a momentous occasion for our two great nations, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, which share a very close history and enjoy good bilateral relations. The re-opening of this route by Air Tanzania bears testimony to these relations.
“This historic re-launch is expected to open a whole chapter from an economic point of view as it enables our citizens to enjoy our diverse tourist attractions, which include Mt Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar in Tanzania and locally the majestic Victoria Falls and the Great Zimbabwe, as well as improved trade and commerce between the two countries. This increased connectivity will make it easier for tourists around the world to visit these attractions for the benefit of our states,” she said.
The aviation industry plays a critical role and is indispensable for tourism, which anchors on reliable and convenient air services to facilitate the arrival of larger numbers of tourists to a region or country. It is estimated that just over half of all tourists travel by air. Aviation-related tourism supports 35 million jobs worldwide, in total, thereby contributing more than $800 billion to global GDP. Regionally, the impact of tourism can be even more profound with new air services increasing the propensity to travel.
Forecasts from the industry body International Air Transport Association (IATA) suggest that by 2034, 7.3 billion airline passengers will be travelling globally, more than double the 3.5 billion passengers that travelled by air in 2015, with a significant number of these additional passengers flying. The re-introduction of flights on this route, by Air Tanzania, is a confidence boosting gesture which serves to demonstrate the airline’s Pan-African vision and outlook. We, therefore, greatly welcome this development in the spirit of Africa Agenda 2063 for enhanced intra-Africa trade and tourism.
The Honourable Minister said that she is urging all “African airlines to consider code-sharing arrangements and/or strategic partnerships to promote the growth of Africa’s Aviation industry in order for it to become a major player on the global aviation stage.
“I therefore appeal for Air Tanzania and Air Zimbabwe to work closely together to expand complementary transport links and connectivity while ensuring a safe and efficient air travel. This is more critical now, as our national airline Air Zimbabwe is undergoing revitalization.” She added The Zimbabwean Government is committed to supporting growth of the air transport industry has been demonstrated in a number ways including the following:
• Direct funding for aviation infrastructure or mobilization of the required resources.
• Introduction and implementation of an Aviation Development Fund (AIDEF).
• Putting in place legal and institutional frameworks to ensure the safety and security of aviation in Zimbabwe, and that
• Our Government has engaged in the liberalization of air transport markets with the aim of enhancing destination connectivity for the benefit of travellers. This is evidenced by our signing the Solemn Commitment on the Single African Air Transport Market a testimony to Zimbabwe’s commitment to the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision.”
She impressed on the local travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors to take advantage of this addition traffic and increase their business visibility and growth.