New Charter Airline Plans London-Harare Flights by June

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LONDON, UK – A UK-based virtual carrier, Fly Phoenix Direct Limited, is set to inaugurate direct charter flights connecting London and Harare International in Zimbabwe by June, as announced by its co-founder and CEO, Trust Jephius Chitokomere, according to report.

Chitokomere, a Zimbabwean-born Briton and medical doctor, revealed to Zimbabwe’s Digital Telegraph Zw news site that the company intends to operate an A330-200, sourced from an undisclosed technical partner. He assured that the necessary clearances from aviation authorities in both countries have been secured.

“As we are starting small, we are collaborating with various stakeholders, including the airport authorities in both countries and the government. However, due to the structure of our company, the entity supplying the aircraft will handle most of the operational matters. They have previously obtained airport clearance in Zimbabwe and have experience in this regard,” Chitokomere explained, noting that Fly Phoenix would commence weekly rotations by late May or early June.

When contacted for comment, the company directors of Fly Phoenix Direct were unavailable.

Records from UK Companies House indicate that Fly Phoenix Direct Limited was incorporated in Accrington on February 5, 2024, with a share capital of GBP1 pound (USD1.25). The registered business encompasses scheduled and non-scheduled passenger air transport, air freight, and travel agency activities.

Chitokomere co-owns the venture with another Zimbabwean-born Briton, Fortune Huruva, serving as the chief operating officer, while David Edwards assumes the role of project manager.

According to Chitokomere, reinstating an air link between Harare and London would bolster trade, tourism, and diplomatic relations between Zimbabwe and the UK, potentially elevating Harare’s status as a regional hub.

The Zimbabwean government has long sought for Air Zimbabwe to resume direct flights to the United Kingdom, home to a substantial Zimbabwean diaspora. Presently, the national carrier operates only two international routes – to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo and Dar es Salaam, according to ch-aviation schedules data.

It is pertinent to note that Fly Phoenix Direct should not be conflated with the Zimbabwean-based Phoenix Air (Zimbabwe), which faced challenges in launching back in 2012.