Zimbawe to build Longest Runway in Africa to woe back airlines

Zimbabwe’s Harare International Airport will have the longest runaway in Africa following a major facelift aimed at luring back major airlines back into the country according to Zimbabwean officials. Zimbabwe's economic freefall that brought the country to its knees also drove airlines away from the country as the route became uneconomical due to a dip in tourist arrivals and trade.

The economy has been rebounding following a power-sharing agreement signed with the opposition and one of the sectors the administration has been keen onrevining is the the critical travel and tourism and industry.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) will spend US$5 million in the project that will be completed in December this year.

On completion the runway will be five kilometers long with a 30 year lifespan and is designed to accommodate the world’s largest airbus plane. “It will be among the world’s longest runway and the biggest in Africa,” Jerry Ndlovu, the airport director said.

South Africa’s biggest and busiest airport, OR International Airport in Johannesburg has a 4.4 km runway.
A total of 18 international airlines stopped flying into the country after the economic decline set in almost a decade ago. They include Lufthansa, Qantas, Austrian Airlines, Swissair, Air India, Air France and TAP Air Portugal, Egypt Air, Air Mauritius, Linhas Aereas de Mocambique, Air Namibia, Royal Swazi Airlines and Air Seychelles, Air Tanzania, Ghana Airways, Air Uganda and Air Cameroon.

The few airlines that remained faithful in Zimbabwe's hard times were Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, Kenya Airways amongst others.
Air France, Austrian Airlines, Egypt Air, Swiss Air, Bulgarian Airlines, Qantas, Emirates, KLM and Lufthansa have indicated that they are now ready to fly back into Zimbabwe.
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