Finance and Economic Development minister Patrick Chinamasa has confirmed that the Zimbabwean government is considering waiving navigation and landing fees to lure new airlines into Zimbabwe. This is against the fact that tourism has grown by 22% and contributes 11% to the gross domestic product of the country. Minister Chinamasa confirmed this at the official opening of the 10th edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, alongside government and the tourism industry has been on a campaign to lure airlines into Zimbabwe. At its peak in 1999, forty-two airlines flew into Zimbabwe and the number included eight cargo planes. Currently twenty airlines are flying into Zimbabwe. Minister Chinamasa further added that funding has been secured for the expansion of Harare International Airport. Last year Victoria Falls International Airport was commissioned after a $150 million upgrade. The upgrade of the airport gave it latitude to land wide-bodied aircraft in the mould of B747, B777 and Airbus, A340 or the equivalent.
Since then Ethiopian Airlines introduced four weekly flights to Victoria Falls. In May, Kenyan Airways introduced three weekly flights to the resort town and Airlink began a six-day service per week to Victoria Falls from Cape Town in July.
The tourism sector aims to grow arrivals to 5 million in 2020 from 2,1 million last year. It also projects to grow tourism receipts to $5 billion from $1 billion. For more information please see article