Air Zimbabwe is targeting a return to London and Beijing as soon as this year as part of a new push for network growth, according to chief executive Edmund Makona.
Speaking to Flightglobal at the World Routes conference in Durban, the airline boss says the Harare-based carrier will “continue to make efforts to engage the necessary stakeholders so that it comes to fruition by the end of the year”.
Makona says the Zimbabwean flag carrier is in the midst of its “relaunch phase” and says that “at the heart of that strategy is growth so we really intend to grow our route network and very soon we will also be implementing our long-haul routes, London Beijing very soon”.
The airline chief says Air Zimbabwe is currently operating from Harare to Johannesburg, Lusaka, Victoria Falls andBulawayo. Makona says the the Harare-Joahnnesburg route is the most lucrative in the network.
The African airline currently has eight aircraft of which six are operational says Makona. This includes three Boeing 767s, two 737s and an Airbus A320.
Makona says the carrier is currently evaluating its fleet expansion options, with both Airbus A320s and A330s or alternatively the Boeing 787 under consideration.
The airline executive says the carrier is currently in a “transformative process of transforming the airline from non-profit to profitability” adding that since relaunching operations in 2013 Air Zimbabwe has managed to reduce its losses.
Air Zimbabwe is targeting break even this year with Makona adding: “This is our intention we believe we can achieve that”