Tough airline competition brings fares down



Increased competition in Zimbabwe’s aviation industry has resulted in significant reduction in the price of air tickets for domestic tourism, a report by Competitions and Tariff Commission (CTC) shows.

Recently, Kuva Air entered Zimbabwe’s aviation industry to promote local tourism, connecting various resort places including Victoria Falls, Kariba and Hwange.

CTC said deregulation and liberalisation of the skies led to the entry of budget airlines which came with new business models targeting the lower-end market thereby increasing competition in the sector with travellers experiencing a significant reduction in prices of air tickets post-deregulation.

“In Zimbabwe’s case, a reduction in air ticket prices will promote domestic tourism. Since air transport is fast, lower prices make it affordable for travellers to move from one tourist destination to another,” it said, adding the move would spur international tourism to other local tourist destinations like Kariba and Hwange “provided air tickets are cheap”.

It said given the geographic position of Zimbabwe which is centrally located in Southern Africa, low air ticket prices can strategically position the country to become the regional aviation hub where travellers from the region connect flights to different parts of the world.

It said competition in the air transportation sector has been widely credited for improving the efficiency of airlines through a reduction in delayed and cancelled flights as travellers book tickets with reliable airlines.

“Again increased competition leads to a significant reduction in airlines overbooking passengers and in missing baggage as they strive to gain the patronage of passengers. Thus increased competition in the sector has been widely credited for the improvement in the quality of airline services,” CTC said.

Kuva Air was launched in April servicing the Harare-Kariba-Victoria Falls and Hwange routes.

Its entry into the Zimbabwean skies was received as a positive development in promoting domestic tourism as it provided flights linking key tourism destinations.

Kuva Air also resumed flights into Kariba another tourism resort which was accessible by road though previously serviced by the national carrier Air Zimbabwe before its demise.

In addition to servicing the new routes, Kuva Air also increased the number of players on the Harare-Victoria Falls route previously serviced by fastjet and Air Zimbabwe.

Competition is essential in lowering the prices of air tickets as experienced after the entry of Kuva Air on the Victoria Falls route.


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