Zimbabwe’s newest commercial airline, Rainbow Airlines, which promises to offer travellers the best in both affordability and premium quality‚ will launch its inaugural flights from Harare International Airport to Johannesburg from January 25, 2017.
The airline that will start by servicing the Harare-Johannesburg route on a daily basis and the Harare-Victoria Falls route has also earmarked the Harare to Cape Town route.
Rainbow Airlines will be flying the 50 seat Bombardier CRJ100 aircraft — which is much smaller than the traditional aircraft used by other airlines on the Harare-Johannesburg route.
The company’s chief executive, Ed Berry, said they are expecting to get a second CRJ100 aircraft within the first four months of operation, to assist in servicing the increased routes and frequencies.
To enhance their service, Berry said, Rainbow Airline has gone into a business relationship with CemAir, a privately-owned airline operating in South Africa, which services popular tourist destinations and important business towns, and leases aircraft to other airlines across Africa and the Middle East.
The airline is based in Johannesburg.
“CemAir will be leasing the first Bombardier CRJ100 aircraft to Rainbow Airlines, and then later additional CRJ aircraft will be added to the Rainbow fleet — CemAir has also offered Rainbow Airlines use of their B1900D and Dash 8 Aircraft, to help service, and grow, the domestic routes in Zimbabwe,” he said.
CemAir will be providing full technical and maintenance support for the Zimbabwean-based aircraft. CemAir Aircraft, and their Maintenance Facility, has been fully inspected, and approved, by the Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority,” he added.
The Zimbabwean-born Berry started his career in aviation at Field Aircraft Services in Zimbabwe. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the Aviation Industry.
He served as Hunting Airmotive Zimbabwe marketing manager and was regional sales manager covering Africa for Pratt and Whitney Canada.
Berry also worked as the marketing consultant for Execujet Maintenance and more recently he directed the Fastjet Zimbabwe AOC process for Fastjet’s London head office, and was the accountable manager for Fastjet Zimbabwe. He has held numerous other aviation related positions.
Berry noted that there were prospects Rainbow Airlines will service other routes including the Harare to Nairobi, Harare to Lubumbashi and Kinshasa, Harare to Durban, Bulawayo to Johannesburg, Harare to Beira and Maputo.
“Later, international destinations and more domestic routes will be applied for, these will include Harare to Kariba, Bulawayo, Mutare, Hwange, Masvingo, Buffalo Range and Beitbridge,” he said.
The Rainbow Airlines boss said the airline has gone through the certification processes and all is now set for operations to begin.
“Rainbow Airlines hopes to become the most preferred airline in Zimbabwe and then in the region,” he said.