Wednesday, March 27, 2013

► ZIMBABWE: Egyptair in talks to lease aircraft to Air Zimbabwe?

EgyptairEgyptian national carrier, Egyptair (MS), says it is in talks with Zimbabwean national carrier, Air Zimbabwe (UM), over a possible code-share deal as well as a lease arrangement for an unspecified number of aircraft, for use during the upcoming XXth United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly to be co-hosted by both Livingstone, Zambia and its Zimbabwean counterpart, Victoria Falls, from 24 to 30 August.

Harare International Airport
Harare International Airport
According to Egypt Air country general manager, Hamdy Elghaffar, in addition to the launch of 4x weekly flights from Cairo to Harare via Dar es Salaam in June, a new Bilateral Air Service Agreement between the two countries is also be signed:
We will avail four flights during that week that will go via Dar-es-Salaam. We want to have good corporate relations with Air Zimbabwe on code sharing and renting them aircraft. Between April 1 and 2 we will sign a bilateral agreement to introduce four flights per week at competitive rates for those willing to link Zimbabwe and European countries,” he said.
Source [The Herald]

Zimbabwean Minister of Tourism, Walter Mzembi, said that Egyptair, KLM, Emirates, LAM Mozambique, South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Tanzania (possibly, though more likely Precision Air) and "yet-to-be-named" airlines would provide added air services to the UNWTO.

While Air Zimbabwe is currently undergoing a rebirth of sorts, with numerous new aircraft (including Embraer ERJ145s) set to join the fleet, it is unlikely the airline would be able to successfully handle all the logistics needed for the UNWTO by itself.