The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) and Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development have signed nine deals with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, several other West African states and airlines to make air travel simpler and easier.
This comes as CAAZ and the Ministry participated at the International Civil Aviation Organisation Air Services Negotiation Conference 2022 hosted by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority in December last year, as part of 63 ICAO member states who attended the conference.
The signing of the MoUs is in line with the authority’s mandate of promoting and facilitating the growth of the air transport industry as guided by the National Development Strategy 1.
In a statement, CAAZ director general Engineer Elijah Chingosho said four new air service agreements, compliant with the Yamoussoukro Decision, were negotiated and initialled with four Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) member states: Benin, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali.
“The four countries will provide multiple airline designations, unrestricted frequencies and capacity for both passenger and cargo services and unrestricted fifth freedom traffic rights on intra-Africa points in accordance with the Yamoussoukro Decision,” he said.
“One new service agreement negotiated with a non-SAATM state, Finland, will also provide multiple airline designations, unrestricted frequencies and capacity for both passenger and cargo services.”
The Authority said there was a review of four existing air service agreements for the Democratic Republic of Congo to allow the designation of Zimbabwean local airlines to commence services in DRC and Kenya to address some restrictions which affected operations between the two countries.
Mr Chingosho said there was also a review for India which followed an interest by Indian Airlines to include Victoria Falls as an entry point and a review with the United Kingdom to modernise the initial agreement promoting air services between the two countries.
“The activation of these air service agreements is part of CAAZ’s mandate, as the aviation industry regulator, to facilitate and ensure enabling instruments are in place for access of the Zimbabwean airspace to all aviation industry players in the movement of passengers and cargo in line with government’s open skies policy for the promotion of trade, investment and tourism,” he said.
The authority has applauded Government through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development for the support rendered in the engagements and efforts to attract more airlines into the country.