A new Zimbabwean airline, Rainbow Airlines, took to the skies yesterday at a conference and demo flight for press.
Members of the press were met by a friendly and professional team of air hostesses and the 30 minute demonstration flight was a comfortable and a relaxing experience as the Zimbabwean landscape unrolled below.
The airline is owned by CEO Frank Humbe, Mr JaniJani and Mr Panganai Sanangurai, and is a wholly Zimbabwean company. Mr Humbe says that he was motivated to start the company after his experience as a trainee pilot which captured his imagination and led him to fulfil his dream of launching an airline.
The company acquired an air service permit in June 2013 through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development followed by an Air Operators Certificate, which was issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe in February 2015.
When asked why they decided to launch an Airline during a time where the economy in Zimbabwe is struggling, Mr Humbe stated that, “We, like any other optimistic citizens of Zimbabwe, are hoping that the state of the economy is going to improve. As a mountain becomes more difficult to climb, it’s a sign that you are almost there.”
Rainbow Airlines inaugural flight schedule will be launched on 26 August, with flights commencing the next day. Initially, the airline will offer the Harare- Johannesburg route on a daily basis, as it is among the busiest routes in the region. They hope to expand later on, especially domestically with the inclusion of the Harare- Vic Falls route to their schedule.
Currently the company is leasing one airplane from Star Cargo South Africa – a Boeing 737-300 with a carrying capacity of 128 passengers.
Mr Humbe described Rainbow Airlines as a “high standard airline” that will provide affordable, safe and efficient services, with competitive rates which from $299 for a return ticket to Johannesburg, all fees and taxes included. The company is also excited that it will be working with most of the registered travel agents in Zimbabwe who will be selling their tickets. Tickets will also be sold from their offices at the international departures terminal of the Harare International Airport. They are also offering online ticketing via their new (and at first glance, fairly decent) website: http://www.rainbowairlines.co.zw/
The launch of the airline comes at a time when Air Zimbabwe is undergoing fresh rounds of controversy for mismanagement and poor service. News of Rainbow Airlines was thus met with interest on Twitter.
@hararenews air zim is screwed
— TheChocolateMan (@Tinos_11) July 21, 2015
@hararenews A rainbow with 2 colours? They could have done a better job with the livery, is that not AirZim in disguise?
— PatriotZW (@PatriotZW) July 21, 2015
@hararenews it's about time this route had some competing airlines. For too long we've paid exorbitant prices for the short hop to HRE!
— KEG (@gwanz_official) July 21, 2015
I will not board this one, thank you. Loyal to Air Zimbabwe. https://t.co/KoYILDv5ob
— D_ (@llissaluv) July 21, 2015
— Nobert Tich (@Tichmia) July 21, 2015