Zimbabwe’s newest airline start up is expected to take to the skies on August 26 joining five airlines servicing the lucrative Johannesburg Harare route.
Rainbow Airlines, a wholly Zimbabwean-owned airline, says it’s not deterred by a poor performing economy. Rainbow Airlines is aiming to cash in on the Johannesburg Harare route, one of the busiest regional routes and the most expensive in the world.
The airline received its Air Operators Certificate in February this year. Its introduction comes as the tourism industry is in the middle
of a slump. CEO Rainbow Airlines, Frank Humbe, says, “Some of you might wonder why we are launching an airline when the economy is not looking good. Well, like any optimistic Zimbabwean, we are hoping that the state of the economy is going to improve; it cannot be in this state forever.”
With a carrying capacity of 128 persons, the Boeing 737 aircraft is being leased together with a crew from South Africa’s Star Cargo. Sources say the plane has been leased for three months. Rainbow Airlines Shareholder, Panganai Sanangurai, says they have plans to acquire their own aircraft in the future.
With a return ticket of $299, Rainbow Airlines has priced itself between its two major competitors Air Zimbabwe and South African Airways. The airline says it plans to introduce a domestic service and additional regional routes.