Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE is committed to the implementation of the open skies policy in order to boost tourism as it was one of the first countries to sign the Yamoussoukro Declaration of 1988.
The Yamoussoukro Declaration advocated for the liberalisation of African air services and for open skies in Africa, which would translate into more competition and more continental players in the marketplace, greater options for travellers and lower fares.
The declaration was signed in 1998 in Yamoussoukro, Japan but the decision came into force in 2000.
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe public relations and communications manager Ms Annajulia Hungwe said Zimbabwe was one of the first 11 countries to sign the solemn commitment to the implementation of the Yamoussoukro which calls for open skies.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is one of the first 11 countries to sign the solemn commitment to the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision, effectively meaning that Zimbabwe is implementing the Open Skies Policy,” said Ms Hungwe.
Ms Hungwe said that this commitment by the Government to the Yamoussoukro Declaration was indicative of the country’s commitment to boost tourism.
“The Open Skies Policy has been adopted by the African Union at Heads of State and Government level, following the Yamoussoukro Declaration and the subsequent Yamoussoukro Decision at that level. This is a positive development for African Aviation in general and Zimbabwe in particular as the industry is poised for further growth. This is a positive development that will boost the aviation and tourism industry in the country and beyond,” Ms Hungwe said.
CAAZ has also indicated that there are plans to increase the number of airlines flying into the country’s airspace by 110 percent by 2020.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has been advocating for the licensing of more low cost airlines to ply local routes so as to boost domestic tourism. According to ZTA, the Government should come up with policies that open up the skies for other players who want to operate in the local routes particularly Harare and Bulawayo so as to boost domestic tourism.