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Under fifth freedom rights the airline is allowed to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as a part of services connecting the airline’s own country. It is the right to carry passengers from one’s own country to a second country and from that country to a third country and so on.
Bulawayo24 reported that a source in the aviation industry said: “Rwandair has been given the traffic rights to service the Kigali-Harare-Cape Town route on a fifth freedom basis. The flights will resume on May 16, 2018.”
The flights between Harare and Cape Town will operate four times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The outbound flight will depart Harare at 11h45 and arrive in Cape Town at 14h45. The inbound flight will depart Cape Town at 16h00 and arrive back in Harare at 19h00.
Zimbabwe’s Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joram Gumbo confirmed the move would help make it easier for local travellers, who currently have to catch connecting flights in Johannesburg to get to Cape Town.
“Yes, we did issue the traffic rights to Rwanda Air which will greatly assist our people to travel to Cape Town. This will be the first airline to travel directly to the Cape from Harare.
“Of course we already have the Ethiopian Airways flight which takes off from the Victoria Falls International Airport but from Harare, this will be the first one,” he said.
Gumbo said the new flight will also come with increased revenue, especially in ticket and departure fees.
He also said government, in the spirit of open to country for business in line with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mantra, will consider all airlines that may be interested in servicing routes that link Zimbabwe.