by WELLINGTON TONI
HARARE – AIR Zimbabwe, the national carrier, is uncertain when it would resume operations as the coronavirus (COVID-19) surges in the country.
It has adopted a wait-and-see attitude as COVID-19 negatively affects domestic tourism, which was earmarked for the revival of the airline.
Firstme Vitori, Air Zimbabwe spokesperson, confirmed the company was unsure when it would resume flights.
“Let’s see during the course of the month as to what happens and if there are any indications for a reopening. For now, there is nothing happening,” she said in an interview with CAJ News.
Air Zimbabwe was targeting, through its Flame Lily brand, prime resort areas including Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Matopos National Park, Kariba, Great Zimbabwe and the Gonarezhou as possible destinations.
Because of the spike in COVID-19 cases, the government cannot approve the resumption of flights.
Instead, the administration has banned inter-city travel and imposed further restrictions on travel.
There are even stricter World Health Organization (WHO) and International Association of Air Travel (IATA) protocols regards disinfection that have be followed at each stage of air travel.
In neighboring South Africa, a limited number of flights operate between cities. Leisure travel is prohibited.
In East Africa, Kenya Airways has reportedly started flights to 30 different locations.
Globally, Emirates and other major airlines are now flying although to restricted areas and under tougher WHO protocols.
After a slow rate in transmission, COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in Zimbabwe.
The country has 4 221 cases, including 81 deaths as of Wednesday (August 5).
– CAJ News