New local commercial airline

Source: New local commercial airline – Sunday News Jan 1, 2017

Harare Bureau
A NEW commercial airline, Rainbow Airlines is set to hit the skies this month as Government moves to improve the investment climate, which include a proposed US$150 million face-lift of the Harare International Airport, begin to bear fruits.

A wholly-owned Zimbabwean company, Rainbow Airlines will commence its first flights on 25 January servicing the Harare-Johannesburg and Harare-Victoria Falls routes after it was granted the requisite licences.

At the same time Government is negotiation for a U$150 million loan with a Chinese investor to uplift the Harare International Airport and transform it into one of the top airports in Africa.

The airline, which has previously attempted to hit the skies without success was granted the go-ahead to operate by the Civil Aviation Authority Zimbabwe last month. In an interview yesterday, Rainbow Airlines chief executive Mr Ed Berry said the company had decided to invest in Zimbabwe because the climate was ripe for investment.

“Contrary to what people have been saying, Zimbabwe’s climate is very good for investment. The tourism sector is growing and Government has been putting in a lot of effort in addressing reforms on the ease of doing business,” he said.

Mr Berry lauded the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development for creating the enabling environment to allow the company to operate.

“I must commend the Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority for the swift nature with which they managed to facilitate the processes,” he said.

“The CAAZ maintains standards equal to, or higher than those required by the International Aviation Authorities. ”During the AOC certification process Rainbow Airlines was required by CAAZ to go through the five- phase inspection process-being pre-application, formal application, document evaluation, demonstration, inspection and finally certification.”

Asked if the airline would be able to stand the heat in the competitive industry, which has seen airlines such as Fly Africa falling by the wayside, Mr Berry said his company was in for the long haul.

“We are pretty confident of our capabilities. Our aircraft will be the 50 seater Bombardier CRJ100 aircraft within the first four months of operation, to assist in servicing the increased routes and frequencies.”

He said the airline would be flying more routes outside the region to earn foreign currency for the country.

“We are hoping that once we have established ourselves we can add other routes like Harare to Nairobi, Harare to Lubumbashi, Harare to Kinshasa, Harare to Durban, Bulawayo to Johannesburg and Harare to Beira and Maputo.”

Speaking to our Harare Bureau last week, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said Government was finalising negotiations for the face-lift of the Harare International Airport.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 10
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    “At the same time Government is negotiation for a U$150 million loan with a Chinese investor to uplift the Harare International Airport and transform it into one of the top airports in Africa.”

    Do we still need to feed off China’s hand? What’s the complexion of the economic blueprint to date? What happened to homegrown solutions? Are the Masiyiwas of this land not interested in such ventures? Is one Chivayo too broke to invest in such a noble cause? Are Zimbabweans not capable? Are we not able?

    http://www.bacossi.com

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    “A new commercial airline set to hit the skies”!!!!!! Terrible reporting – why not say that “it will take to the skies”? But you can’t expect too much more from an antagonist but (pro-) government propagandist newspaper.
    I thought that Zimbabwe and in particular Air Mugabe would never allow ANY competition on the Harare Vic falls route. Haven’t we read another story on Mr Ed Berry before ????????? His aircraft cockpit windows must be shrouded in fog if he thinks that everything looks hanky-dory in this country. All the other destinations he wants to fly to are not very tourist-filled places, especially from his Harare base. He needs to fly Vic falls to Nairobi, Vic falls to Durban. we’ll see how long he lasts for. Zhuwao will indigenize him soon!

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    Dunlop Munjanja 5 years ago

    Whoa!
    A new commercial airline in a Zim of these times?
    Anything performing successfully, falls victim to ZANU’s greed and is soon destroyed.
    Unless of course, the owners of this airline are part of the machine destroying our country.

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    Simbarashe 5 years ago

    But all Air Zim plane (x1) have a rainbow painted on them. It’s just a rebranding exercise. Like trying to polish a turd into a gold bar.

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    nelson moyo 5 years ago

    And who is Ed Berry – the Rainbow airlines MD ?
    Does he have any cash and or airline experience ?

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      The CAAZ maintains standards equal to, or higher than those required by the International Aviation Authorities. ”During the AOC certification process Rainbow Airlines was required by CAAZ to go through the five- phase inspection process-being pre-application, formal application, document evaluation, demonstration, inspection and finally certification.”

      Nelson, can we be objective for a change, maturity demands that we engage in thought lines which can either build, maintain or break. We are in this conundrum together and the earlier we realise it the better.

      People are FREE to choose a party to belong to, whether Ed is a Zanu Pf member or not, the statistics on membership of political parties’ membership tell a story of a people divided in their unity of purpose, a provision of the supreme law being in full effect. Be that as it may, if we esteem a person’s political affiliation higher than the bread and butter issues at hand we will miss the flight.

      A wholly owned Zimbabwean company, that is what we should zoom into. We need more of such across all spectrums of industry. We are capable as Zimbabweans, we have the intellect, we have the art, we have that golden touch,,yes we can do anything. We are just not brave enough,, not daring enough, we are so fond of pointing to other players who are not even playing on our turf, let alone playing our game.

      Yes indeed victims of communism we are, but that is but an ideology.. Why not adopt a different approach to wealth generation and creation and distribution.. Why not create our own economy? Why not look at ourselves from optimistic disposition.. Is that impossible? Is it illegal?

      Where are well-meaning Zimbabweans? What happened to us?

  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 5 years ago

    I think Mr Ed Berry has some very close ZanuPF ties and a membership card. Pamberi, Ed!

  • comment-avatar
    Harper 5 years ago

    Good luck Ed with your new venture. Its certainly needed. We have been warned not to use hire cars for our next visit and will have to take the bus until there is a viable alternative.

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    Actually, the whole story about Rainbow airlines has not been published here; R A is in partnership with Cem Air, which is a South African Low Cost carrier. It will use their planes, and presumeably their crew. RA may be a ‘wholy owned Zimbabwe company’, meaning that Ed who might be the sole Zim partner is a Zim citizen. Where Ed gets the capital to be able to hire these planes and crew and buy the fuel during these really tight liquidity times is anybody’s guess. Ed was at one time some senior guy in the Low cost carrier FastJet, which currently plies the East and Central African skies. My question to Ed: why did FastJet, both in 2015 and 2016 stop flying the JHB-VFA-JHB route in the period leading up to the Xmas holidays, giving very short notice of doing so, and now necessitating travel through Harare? Did you accede to spurious demands by Air Mugabe, or did you not pay enough ‘money’ to the ‘Route Mafia’? (who incidentally have absolutely nothing to do with aviation – they are just greedy ‘king pins’). Good luck to you, Ed, you will need lots of it (and lots of forex), but I fear you will be stopped in your tracks by the greedy hyeanas of Harare, who incidentally, have absolutely no idea on how to run an airline, let alone why you should have an airline.