Air Zimbabwe (AirZim) plans to reintroduce flights to China as it battles to rebuild its operations following years of poor performance.
Runesu Kwaramba, the parastatal’s marketing and planning manager, said the Harare-Beijing flights, which were halted about seven years ago, were part of a string of new routes that the airline has been considering, including the cash spinning Harare-London routes.
“Since Zimbabwe is open for business we are going to open more routes including China and London,” he said in Nyanga last week.
“We don’t have the timelines as to when we are going to start the routes but very soon,” he said.
The national airline stopped flights into international destinations due to various reasons, including lack of efficient equipment to compete on the routes that are dominated by the world’s leading airlines. In 2011, the carrier struggled to provide its regional and overseas services amid aircraft impoundments over unpaid debts.
Air Zimbabwe has debts of more than $300 million and can no longer fly to most destinations due to threats by creditors to impound its aircraft.
Low passenger levels also meant that AirZim made losses on its international destinations.
The airline has not taken steps to acquire modern planes to fly on its international destinations, but Kwaramba told a Heroes Golf Tournament organised by CEO Africa Roundtable that it was ready to reintroduce these flights.
The carrier used to operate a network within southern Africa and into Asia and London.
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