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RGM International Airport expansion 85pc complete.

The US$153 million expansion and upgrading of the terminal at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare is now 85 percent complete, as Zimbabwe’s “Open Skies Policy” also continues to attract more airlines into the country and sees airlines increasing the frequency of their flights.

The Government is accelerating the momentum through enhancing aviation infrastructure modernisation in line with global standards.

Open skies means that any foreign airline can make arrangements to open routes into Zimbabwe, or increase the frequency of their flights into Zimbabwe.

Developing an efficient air transport system is critical in enhancing economic growth in line with the country’s aspirations as expressed under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

The Government is upgrading airport infrastructure countrywide in an effort to meet international standards and attract more airlines.

This has seen the country attracting international airlines such as Qatar Airways, Eurowings Discover, Emirates, Ethiopian Airways, South African Airways, Kenyan Airways, South Africa’s Airlink and Fastjet among others.

In a statement, the Transport and Infrastructural Development Ministry yesterday said: “The RGM International Airport expansion project is now at 85 percent completion and is expected to be complete by June this year. On completion, the airport’s holding capacity will increase to six million people per annum from 2,5 million.”

Construction at the main terminal is almost complete and only a

few final touches are being made while the state-of-the-art VVIP pavilion is also almost ready.

The new arrivals and departure sections will be opened to the public this year while the rehabilitation of the existing international and domestic terminal buildings will also be carried out.

The Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport modernisation and expansion is one of the flagship projects being implemented by the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, who has placed emphasis on high impact projects in line with the NDS 1.

The upgrading of the RGM International Airport is expected to see more international airlines opening routes into Harare and a corresponding increase in tourist arrivals.

Under the Second Republic, the Government is pioneering a number of key projects in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision of attaining an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona recently said he was happy with the progress at the airport as the teams were working day and night.

The Airports Company of Zimbabwe also confirmed that Zimbabwe’s “Open Skies Policy” was also continuing to attract more airlines into the country.

Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest and most successful aviation group, has announced positive news for both Zambia and Zimbabwe, with traffic now reaching the level where the two countries will have their own daily non-stop services to Addis Ababa, rather than sharing flights.

Ethiopian Airlines has been working on increasing frequencies to daily flights, but to continue the expansion now needs to separate traffic to Lusaka and Harare.

“Flights from and to Addis Ababa will, effective March 26, be de-linked and turned into nonstop services. This will give visitors to either Zimbabwe or Zambia a one stop option from their original departure airport — when flying with Ethiopian Airlines all the way — making travel faster and more convenient. Services will operate daily on both routes,” ACZ said.

Qatar Airways is also bolstering its growing network with additional frequencies to southern Africa, including more flights between Doha and Lusaka and then on to Harare.

The airline now flies daily on the route, up from three flights a week

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