By Andrew Kunambura
Government has granted traffic rights to rising airline, Rwanda Air, to service the Kigali-Harare-Cape Town route.The flights, given on a fifth freedom basis, will commence on May 16, this year.
The freedoms of the air are a set of commercial aviation rights granting a country’s airlines the privilege to enter and land in another country’s airspace, formulated as a result of disagreements over the extent of aviation liberalisation in the Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944, known as the Chicago Convention.
The fifth freedom allows an airline to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as a part of services connecting the airline’s own country. It is the right to carry passengers from one’s own country to a second country and from that country to a third country and so on.
A source in the aviation industry said: “Rwanda Air has been given the traffic rights to service the Kigali-Harare-Cape Town route on a fifth freedom basis. The flights will resume on May 16, 2018.”
Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joram Gumbo confirmed the move would help make it easier for local travellers, who currently have to catch connecting flights in Johannesburg to get to Cape Town.
“Yes, we did issue the traffic rights to Rwanda Air which will greatly assist our people to travel to Cape Town. This will be the first airline to travel directly to the Cape from Harare.
“Of course we already have the Ethiopian Airways flight which takes off from the Victoria Falls International Airport but from Harare, this will be the first one,” he said.
Gumbo said the new flight will also come with increased revenue, especially in ticket and departure fees.
He also said government, in the spirit of open to country for business in line with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mantra, will consider all airlines that may be interested in servicing routes that link Zimbabwe.
The country’s aviation industry has in recent years suffered greatly as very few airlines remained in operation after image issues crashed confidence in Harare. DailyNews