Air Zimbabwe

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Air Zimbabwe
Air Zimbabwe.jpg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1 September 1967 (1967-09-01)
Commenced operations2 April 1980 (1980-04-02)
Company sloganZimbabwean hospitality in the skies
Parent companyAir Zimbabwe Private Limited
HeadquartersHarare International Airport, Harare, Zimbabwe
Key people
  • Ripton Muzenda (CEO)

Air Zimbabwe is the national airline of Zimbabwe. The airline has faced financial difficulties over the last decades owing to alleged mismanagement. In June 2017, the airline was rebranded to Zimbabwe Airways in an attempt to boost the national carrier’s fleet and increase its routes. Zimbabwe Airways leased four Boeing 777-200 planes from Malaysia Airlines on a long term lease. [1]

See Mutapa Investment Fund.


Air Zimbabwe was founded on 1 June 1946 as Central African Airways (CAA), a joint airline of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Nyasaland (now Malawi). These governments held 50%, 35%, and 15% respectively of CAA’s share capital. The tripartite airline operated for a period of approximately 21 years, and on 1 September 1967, Air Rhodesia Corporation was established. Having gained independence, Zambia operated separately to Rhodesia. Rhodesia and Malawi continued relations which enabled flights between Salisbury (now Harare) and Blantyre to continue. From 1969-1970, Air Rhodesia introduced services to Kariba, and upgraded from Dakota to Viscount Services to the town of Wankie. Post the internal Smith-Muzorewa settlement, Air Zimbabwe Rhodesia was born in 1979. The agreement was short-lived and gave way to Zimbabwe in 1980, and in February 1980 the airline settled on its permanent name: Air Zimbabwe.

Air Zimbabwe continued to utilise the Viscounts for domestic operations and regional operations to some extent. Four B707s were acquired from Lufthansa to operate long-haul and other regional routes. From 1984-1985, three new B737s were added to the fleet, as well as two new B767-200ER aircraft from 1989-1990. The Viscounts were phased out as the B737s; and the BAe 146 from the Air force; took over domestic and regional routes. In the mid-1990’s, Air Zimbabwe looked into utilising the Fokker 50 turbo aircraft on domestic routes, however the attempt proved that this would not be feasible.

The Air Zimbabwe Logo

Air Zimbabwe's national colours were introduced in September 1982 by the late Minister of Transport, Farai Masango. At this time it was also agreed that the cabin announcements were to be made in Shona, Ndebele and English.

The airline became a wholly government-owned private company, registered as Air Zimbabwe Pvt Limited, on 20 November 1997 (from Air Zimbabwe Corporation).

Key People

Past CEOs

  • Edmund Makoma (2013 -2015)
  • Innocent Mavhunga (2011 - 2013
  • Peter Chikumba

  1. Paidamoyo Muzulu (June 26, 2017). "Air Zimbabwe rebrands, acquires 4 Boeing 777-200 planes". NewsDay. AMH. Retrieved June 26, 2017.

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