Eswatini Air begins maiden flight to Zimbabwe

Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter

Eswatini Air today began its maiden flight into the country as Government’s commitment to implementing the open skies policy is continuing to bear fruit as more airlines are flying into Zimbabwe.

Government’s adoption of the open skies policy and improved business environment anchored on the Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra has seen confidence to invest in the country growing.

The airline joins a growing list of airlines establishing routes between Harare and various destinations.

The Royal Eswatini National Airways Corporation, running Eswatini Air touched down at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport at 11.50am to a water canon salute.

Eswatini government and airline officials were this morning received at RGMIA by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona and other Government officials.

Last month, Eswatini Air and Zambia Airways applied for and obtained foreign operator permits from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.

The permits allow the airlines to offer passenger and cargo services at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare.

Eswatini Air recently started flying into the country using two ERJ145s aircraft that link Manzini in Eswatini with Johannesburg in South Africa and Harare will start with flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

“Our schedule is designed to offer connections via our hub, King Mswati III International Airport, for travelers between Durban and Harare as well as between Johannesburg and Harare,” the airline recently said in a statement.

Since the coming of the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa in 2017, more airlines, some of which had abandoned Harare, have been coming back. This has, in turn, considerably boosted tourist arrivals since the Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Zimbabwe is presently developing airports infrastructure as it angles Harare into a regional hub.

The US$153 million rehabilitation and modernisation of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is now 85 percent complete. Victoria Falls International Airport has already been upgraded and it dwarfs airports in neighbouring countries.

Wide-bodied aircraft can land at Victoria Falls following the upgrade.

Early this month, Zambia Airways also returned to Zimbabwe for the first time in 27 years as Government’s commitment to implementing the open skies policy continues to bear fruit.

The daily flights of Zambia Airways are expected to promote tourism, business and enhance travel between the two neighbouring countries.

The flights started recently, using a 77-seater Dash 8 Q400 aircraft flying between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka and Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.

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