Promotions boost Air Zimbabwe

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NATIONAL CARRIER Air Zimbabwe says its passenger patronage per flight is set to increase to between 90 and 95% courtesy of its on-going promotion which has seen a reduction in airfares by more than half.

Own Correspondent

It has emerged local and regional passengers have been lining up to the national carrier, taking advantage of its promotion which kicked off in July.

AirZim, reeling from heavy debt, has since extended the promotion until the end of September.
In an interview with Southern Eye Business, Air Zimbabwe public relations manager Shingai Taruvinga said the response to the promotion had been overwhelming following the reduction in flight charges.

“Our load factor has improved to around 90-95% with the running promotion,” Taruvinga said.
“We were nothing near 60% before the promotion started.”

AirZim in July reduced fares for its local and regional flights by as much as 60% as part of efforts to regain the market share it had lost during the time it was grounded.

A Harare-Bulawayo return ticket was reduced to $105 from $300 while a Harare-Victoria Falls
return ticket is now $180, down from $421.

Bulawayo-Johannesburg returns and Harare-Johannesburg route now costs $275 down from $420 while one-way tickets for Harare-Bulawayo, Harare-Victoria Fall and Harare-Johannesburg were reduced to $61, $140 and $150 respectively.

AirZim suffered a massive plunge in market share to 0,7% in 2012, from 8,8% in 2011.
The debt-ridden airline bounced back to the skyways in November last year following a dramatic collapse two years ago, fuelled by
excessive government interference.

As part of the measures to expand its market, AirZim recently introduced a 150-seater fly-by-wire mid-range Airbus A320 on its Johannesburg route. Another 50-seater Embracer jet on its domestic routes was introduced as part of efforts to regain market share.

Taruvinga said the national carrier will soon be reintroducing flights to other regional countries although she could not be drawn into divulging the new destinations, saying paper work was still to be finalised to seal the deal.

“It is still work in progress and it is too early to give you the actual destinations at the moment,” Taruvinga added.
State media on Monday reported that a deal to allow direct flights from Zimbabwe to Malawi had been signed and this was expected to create capacity demand and allow greater market access to support growth and competition in the aviation sector.

Taruvinga declined to shed more light on the deal.
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