International aviation consultancy Knighthood Global - led by former Etihad Airways executives James Hogan and James Rigney - is working on a strategic plan for the Zimbabwean government to jumpstart the country's aviation industry, including Air Zimbabwe (UM, Harare International), local airports, and ground handling services. A first feasibility study is scheduled for completion by the end of August 2023.

This is according to a disclosure in the 2Q 2023 report of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA), a state-owned entity responsible for promoting and facilitating local and foreign investment in the country, reports Zimbabwe's Business Standard newspaper.

"The government of Zimbabwe has engaged Knighthood Global Limited (Knighthood) to develop a 'bankable feasibility study' for the creation of the Zimbabwe Aviation Group," the report is cited by Business Standard.

"Knighthood is expected to finalise the BFS by the end of August 2023, which entails the completion of a diagnostic or business model review, a business plan for the aviation industry, and a strategic plan for the associated entities, namely the Airports Company of Zimbabwe; National Handling Services; and Air Zimbabwe."

ch-aviation has reached out to Knighthood Global for comment. Based in Abu Dhabi, Geneva, and Malta, the consultancy advises governments, airlines, airports, MROs, and travel companies to develop "synergies and economies of scale to create strategies that deliver real value to corporations and countries".

Knighthood reportedly engaged Air Zimbabwe in 2019 at the time offering to help the carrier secure leased aircraft in order to resume international flights. It also pitched its services to another moribund African carrier - CEIBA Intercontinental (C2, Malabo) in Equatorial Guinea - in March this year.

Business Standard reports the Zimbabwean government has embarked on a rehabilitation, expansion and modernisation programme of the country's aviation infrastructure to boost the local travel and tourism industry.

Zimbabwe has 13 airports, of which only Harare International, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls are practically available to commercial airlines. The report said the other ten airports are either out of commission or not well maintained or serviced enough to generate and support sufficient air travel demand.

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, the top ten airlines serving Harare (in order by weekly airline seat capacity) are Ethiopian Airlines, Airlink (South Africa), Emirates, Qatar Airways, South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Air Zimbabwe, RwandAir, Air Tanzania and LAM - Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique.