At Air Zimbabwe, our vision is to provide ‘Zimbabwean hospitality in the skies’, drawing on our proud legacy of safety, our exceptional pilots and solid customer service. We have a comprehensive technical and engineering base which holds approvals from civil aviation authorities of several countries in the region and beyond. This provides a platform for expansion opportunities in our domestic and external markets, with the option to consider alliances or partnerships with other airlines.
Our engineers have been commended by Boeing, the world's leading aircraft manufacturer, for our sterling work in aircraft modifications and mandatory checks and services. This includes being the first airline to successfully execute a Strut Improvement programme on the B707s.
Air Zimbabwe also runs Technical and Commercial Training schools at its headquarters, offering courses in ticketing, cargo processes and procedures, aircraft engineering and pilot training. The schools have also trained personnel for domestic and regional operators; and substantial revenue is raised each year through the training of non-Air Zimbabwe staff.
Air Zimbabwe traces its roots back to Central African Airways (CAA), formed on 1 June 1946 as the joint airline of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Nyasaland (now Malawi). These governments held 50%, 35%, and 15% respectively of CAA’s share capital. The tripartite airline operated for a period of approximately 21 years, and on 1 September 1967, Air Rhodesia Corporation was established. Having gained independence, Zambia operated separately to Rhodesia. Rhodesia and Malawi continued relations which enabled flights between Salisbury (now Harare) and Blantyre to continue. From 1969-1970, Air Rhodesia introduced services to Kariba, and upgraded from Dakota to Viscount Services to the town of Wankie. Post the internal Smith-Muzorewa settlement, Air Zimbabwe Rhodesia was born in 1979. The agreement was short-lived and gave way to Zimbabwe in 1980, and in February 1980 the airline settled on its permanent name: Air Zimbabwe.
Air Zimbabwe continued to utilise the Viscounts for domestic operations and regional operations to some extent. Four B707s were acquired from Lufthansa to operate long-haul and other regional routes. From 1984-1985, three new B737s were added to the fleet, as well as two new B767-200ER aircraft from 1989-1990. The Viscounts were phased out as the B737s; and the BAe 146 from the Airforce; took over domestic and regional routes. In the mid-1990’s, Air Zimbabwe looked into utilising the Fokker 50 turbo aircraft on domestic routes, however the attempt proved that this would not be feasible.
Air Zimbabwe's national colours were introduced in September 1982 by the late Minister of Transport, Farai Masango. At this time it was also agreed that the cabin announcements were to be made in Shona, Ndebele and English.
The airline became a wholly government-owned private company, registered as Air Zimbabwe Pvt Limited, on 20 November 1997 (from Air Zimbabwe Corporation).