Africa airlines prepare for 2010 World Cup

Plans are underway for southern Africa to provide about 19 airlines for the World Cup that SA will host in 2010, Zimbabwe’s state-controlled Herald newspaper said. Experts from the Southern African Development Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa are due to meet in SA later this month to map the way forward, the newspaper said.

Air Zimbabwe chief executive Dr Peter Chikumba will participate at the meeting.

He said that the airlines had made an undertaking to ensure that adequate transport would be available.

“There will be sufficient capacity to move the passengers to their destinations of choice,” Chikumba was quoted as saying.

About three million tourists are expected to visit Africa for the global world soccer showcase, the report said.


Meanwhile, Chikumba said Air Zimbabwe would introduce new routes soon.

He said the carrier would start flying to Brussels from this month while an internal flight within the Democratic Republic of Congo would commence soon.

He said the moves “were part of efforts to generate foreign currency for the national airline, which was struggling to meet its requirements,” the Herald reported.

About 70 percent of the airline’s expenses were paid in foreign currency while the remainder was settled in local currency.

Chikumba said the airline was holding talks to use its cargo service to carry produce on behalf of the Horticultural Promotion Council.

In December, the International Air Transport Association rated Air Zimbabwe as meeting safety and other standards set by the global representative body of airlines.