Fastjet Zimbabwe (FN, Harare Int'l) has confirmed it will resume domestic flights on September 21, 2020, with three weekly services between Harare Int'l and Bulawayo.

Twice weekly flights between Harare and Victoria Falls will follow on October 1, 2020. The airline said it would operate on a reduced frequency and review its schedules in line with customer demand.

It said international flights between Zimbabwe and South Africa were planned from October 1, 2020, when that country re-opens its international borders.

Meanwhile, Air Zimbabwe (UM, Harare Int'l) in a statement announced the resumption of domestic and regional flights from September 23 and October 3 respectively. The airline will operate two flights a day thrice-weekly between Harare Int'l, Bulawayo, and Victoria Falls.

The regional schedule will see twice weekly flights from Harare Int'l to Dar es Salaam; with another frequency added towards year-end. The airline said it would also resume flights to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo when South Africa's borders re-open in October.

The airline suspended all flights, both domestic and international, in line with the lockdown on March 26. Spokesperson Firstme Vitori told ch-aviation the airline's B777-200(ER), Z-RGM (msn 28421) had undergone mandatory period maintenance work in Addis Ababa in April, but had returned to Harare where it was now undergoing local regulatory compliances. The airline earlier said it was hoping to lease out the B777 to generate enough revenue to acquire smaller aircraft, in line with its turnaround plan.

Zimbabwe reopened its domestic airspace on September 10, 2020, and reopens for international flights on October 1, 2020, but travellers will be required to have COVID-19 clearance certificates, the government said.

In a statement issued after a September 8 cabinet meeting, the government said all travellers would be required to have a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognised facility within 48 hours from the date of departure, in line with WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines.

It said standard operating procedures had been put in place for the re-opening of international and some domestic airports, while national guidelines for aviation safety and security had been developed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe. These were in addition to temperature testing, social distancing, sanitization, and mandatory wearing of masks.

Zimbabwe suspended flights and shut its borders in March to curb the spread of the virus, which to date has killed 206 people and infected 6, 837, of which 5, 345 have recovered, according to Zimbabwean government statistics.

Editorial Comment: Updated with Air Zimbabwe resuming operations. - 17.09.2020 - 12:30 UTC