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NATIONAL carrier Air Zimbabwe expects to double its total passenger traffic to 365,000 in 2015 driven by a boom in the tourism sector, acting chief executive, Edmund Makona said on Friday.

Makona told guests attending International Civil Aviation celebrations that the airline would increase its frequencies to resort areas and re-introduce flights to other tourism centres as the performance of the tourism sector improves.

Tourism is one of the country’s economic drivers currently contributing 10 percent of the gross domestic product. Government also sees arrivals rising to 3,2 million in 2015 from 2,5 million this year.

“Air Zimbabwe in 2014 transported 186,365 passengers derived from its thin regional network and the domestic market,” Makona said.

“It is anticipated that in 2015 we anticipate to double this number to 365,000 passengers derived from our strategic intent where growth is an integral aspect of what we intend to do.

“We also intend to spread our tentacles into the Southern region. At an appropriate time, we will be doing Harare-Buffalo Range and Masvingo.”

Government projects the tourism sector to contribute 15 percent of GDP next year, generating over $1,8 billion in foreign currency receipts from the current $749 million. The administration also sees arrivals rising to 3,2 million in 2015 from 2,5 million this year.

Official figures show that on average, over one million passengers pass through Zimbabwe’s airports and over 65,000 commercial flights use her airspace every year.

Also speaking at the same event, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive officer David Chaota said the local aviation industry, which employs 5,000 people, is set to benefit from the growth of global travel.

“By 2030, air travellers will more than double from the current 2,7 billion passengers a year to six billion; while the number of flights should also double from 30 million to 60 million a year,” he said.


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