Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Leonard Ncube in Vic­to­ria Falls Mor­ris Mpala

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL air­lines have ex­pressed ex­cite­ment over Zim­babwe’s in­vest­ment in up­grad­ing its air­port in­fra­struc­ture.

Rwanda Air and Ethiopian Air­ways have al­ready in­di­cated plans to start fly­ing into Harare and the new-look Vic­to­ria Falls in Jan­uary and April next year re­spec­tively.

Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity of Zim­babwe (CAAZ) gen­eral man­ager Mr David Cha­wota said they were seized with dis­cus­sions with dif­fer­ent air­lines as ap­petite to ser­vice lo­cal routes, espe­cially through Vic­to­ria Falls, in­creases.

In an in­ter­view on the side­lines of the 48th Africa Air­lines Association (AFRAA) An­nual Gen­eral As­sem­bly here, Mr Cha­wota said sev­eral air­lines were show­ing in­creased in­ter­est in Zim­babwe due to the state of the avi­a­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe last Fri­day of­fi­cially com­mis­sioned the new-look Vic­to­ria Falls In­ter­na­tional Air­port whose up­grad­ing cost $150 mil­lion.

“At a chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers’ ses­sion on Mon­day, par­tic­i­pants com­mended the Zim­bab­wean Govern­ment for putting up such mag­nif­i­cent and ap­peal­ing avi­a­tion struc­tures. Ev­ery­one ap­pre­ci­ates the air­port and some air­lines have picked our slo­gan that Vic­to­ria Falls is a game changer,” said Mr Cha­wota.

He added: “We have dis­cus­sions with some air­lines that would want to fly into the coun­try and there is a big pos­si­bil­ity that dur­ing the 1st or 2nd quar­ter of next year we may have a num­ber of air­lines com­ing into the coun­try espe­cially through Vic­to­ria Falls as there is keen in­ter­est.”

Mr Cha­wota said Ethiopian Air­ways has al­ready IN gen­eral it takes money to make money. The only dif­fer­ence is whose money it will be in the process. It could be your money or oth­er­wise but the fact still re­mains, it’s money. One way or the other this could come in as debt.

You have heard about good doc­tor /bad doc­tor or good cop/bad cop. The same can be said about debt. There is good/bad debt. By and large when we talk about debt we ex­plore the fol­low­ing: The type of debt and its quan­tum Rea­son for get­ting into debt Af­ford­abil­ity of the debt made a de­ci­sion to fly into Zim­babwe.

“Ethiopian Air­ways have made a de­ci­sion and will start fly­ing into Vic­to­ria Falls in the first two weeks of April next year,” he said.

The East African air­liner is one of the big­gest on the con­ti­nent and on Mon­day night it won an award cour­tesy of AFRAA for be­ing the best air­liner on the con­ti­nent.

The gi­ant air­liner is ex­pected to fly more than three times a week into the coun­try.

“Ethiopian Air­ways are big and I am ex­cited that we have just opened Vic­to­ria Falls In­ter­na­tional Air­port and we are al­ready mak­ing head­way,” Mr Cha­wota later told jour­nal­ists at a press con­fer­ence.

He said the in­ter­est shown by dif­fer­ent air­lines was an ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment as far as avi­a­tion is con­cerned.

“Our Govern­ment ex­pects us to in­te­grate air­lines and fa­cil­i­tate busi­ness and with these de­vel­op­ments tak­ing place, very soon there will be al­ter­na­tive routes to Europe, In­dia or Dubai with­out hav­ing to go via South Africa and the Emirates and this also brings com­pe­ti­tion,” said Mr Cha­wota.

Rwanda Air chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr John Mirenge, who takes over the pres­i­dency of AFRAA from Cap­tain Rip­ton Muzenda (Air Zim CEO), con­firmed they will be fly­ing into Harare early Jan­uary.

“We are start­ing flights into Harare in Jan­uary next year and we are look­ing at four times a week,” he said.

“We have had dis­cus­sions and the ball is in our court and I am very ex­cited about hav­ing come to this AFRAA. We are look­ing for­ward to ex­tend­ing some of the flights to Vic­to­ria Falls in fu­ture be­cause there is good in­fra­struc­ture here.”

Mr Mirenge said the new route will def­i­nitely open busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties be­tween the two coun­tries by

Debt isn’t nec­es­sar­ily all bad. There are times when debt is good. We can’t have all the fi­nan­cial re­sources at our dis­posal thus once in a while the need to bor­row. Like they say, if pos­si­ble and where it makes sense, “don’t use your own money” but make use of other peo­ple’s money.

But we need to bor­row re­spon­si­bly. Bor­row for a good rea­son. When you bor­row use the funds for the in­tended pur­pose. Fi­nally don’t stay bor­rowed for too long. Set­tle your debts to avoid debt over­hang that is if you bor­rowed for an ex­ist­ing gen­uine fi­nan­cial chal­lenge then set­tling wouldn’t be a stress.

Debt can be ad­dic­tive and as in ad­dic­tion cases with­drawal symp­toms can be se­vere. If it be­comes a prob­lem seek pro­fes­sional help to man­age your debts to avoid a vi­cious cir­cle of in and out of debt that might lead to poverty. MoB Cap­i­tal of­fers such ser­vices at nom­i­nal charges as they ne­go­ti­ate with your lenders and give a work­able plan to set­tle your obli­ga­tions with­out fur­ther strain. If you de­cide to go into debt, shop around to get the best terms and con­di­tions that suit you. Un­der­stand fully what you are get­ting your­self into and know all the short­en­ing trav­el­ling time and dis­tance where it takes 22 hours to fly from Ki­gali to Vic­to­ria Falls via Nairobi, Lusaka and Harare.

“With a di­rect prod­uct I have no doubt busi­ness be­tween the two coun­tries will start,” he said.

Rwanda Air cur­rently op­er­ates in 18 African coun­tries, with Dubai as the only out­side Africa des­ti­na­tion.

Mr Mirenge said they will early next year start Lon­don, In­dia and United States routes.

At the con­fer­ence, del­e­gates ap­pre­ci­ated the qual­ity of Vic­to­ria Falls In­ter­na­tional Air­port, which Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe com­mis­sioned last Fri­day.

CAAZ took some of the del­e­gates on a tour of the new look air­port on Sun­day re­sult­ing in many de­vel­op­ing in­ter­est in open­ing routes. The two air­lines will add to the 15 for­eign that op­er­ate in Zim­babwe where only three-Air Zim­babwe, Fast Jet and Cargo Air­line are lo­cal.

Mean­while, Mr Cha­wota was grate­ful for ef­forts of stake­hold­ers to­wards im­ple­men­ta­tion of CAAZ projects.

“As CAAZ we would want to com­mend the busi­ness com­mu­nity and tourism in­dus­try in Vic­to­ria Falls for the good work they are do­ing. They are with us and very ac­tive in this en­deav­our”.

While com­mis­sion­ing Vic­to­ria Falls In­ter­na­tional Air­port last Fri­day, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe chal­lenged the Min­istries of Trans­port and Tourism as well as CAAZ to mar­ket the air­port and bring in tourists and air­lines.

The Govern­ment has also fa­cil­i­tated the up­grad­ing of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Bu­l­awayo and Buf­falo Range Air­port in Masvingo prov­ince as part of its key in­fra­struc­ture projects un­der Zim-As­set.— @ncubeleon

Vic­to­ria Falls In­ter­na­tional Air­port

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