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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

► ZIMBABWE: Startup "Sol Air" gets IATA code; plans to lease CRJ 900.

With the slow demise of Air Zimbabwe, a vast gap has been left in the Zimbabwean domestic market. Aside from South Africa's Solenta Aviation, and a few charter companies flying between Harare and the main tourist/safari areas (Bumi Hills, Hwange Park, Kariba and Victoria Falls) there has not been a regular large-scale service between Zimbabwe's two main cities - Harare and Bulawayo - for quite some time.

However, it was announced  recently by Managing Director, Nkosilathi Sibanda, that local start up "Sol Air" has obtained an IATA code (ZS) in addition to an operating licence from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), awarded in February of this year. 

According to it's licence mandate, Sol Air has been designated the Bulawayo-Francistown-Gaborone, Harare-Bulawayo, Bulawayo-Victoria Falls and the Harare-Masvingo-Buffalo Range routes, which Sibanda said, would likely be serviced with a leased Bombardier CRJ 900.
The question many people want to know is the answer to though, is will this airline survive where so many others have failed? In a market renowned for much talk and little substance, the Zimbabwean domestic airline scene is littered with the corpses of failed airlines like Zimbabwean Express Airlines, flyKumba, Vic-Falls Airways, Expedition Airways, Zambezi Airways and Mid Airlines, all of whom were unable to break the Air Zimbabwe monopoly.

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