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Air Zimbabwe Domestic Flights Question  
User currently offlineCchan From New Zealand, joined May 2003, 1762 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5333 times:

Hi, I am going to South Africa in January and am thinking about making a cheap bus trip to Harare to fly on Air Zimbabwe's MA60. Does anyone know how much would a flight e.g. HRE-VFA cost roughly, and if it can be booked 24 or 48 hours prior to departure? Also, how reliable are their schedules, i.e. the chance of seeing a 732 at the gate instead, or "flights cancelled for the day, come back tomorrow"? Thanks.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTravellerPlus From New Zealand, joined Nov 2008, 347 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5280 times:

Hello sir,

Travelling and staying in Zimbabwe may require patience, good humour and tenacity. My suggestion would be that if you want to fly on a MA60, is look at flying from VFA. Up until Feb I was a travel agent in Wellington, and the sector fares in Africa are not too expensive if you can add them on to your ticket. It may be difficult to purchase a UM ticket before you leave NZ due to international ticketing regulations and credit card acceptance, so you will probably need to buy the ticket over there or in South Africa. Any travel agent should be able to look up their fares in the system to give you an idea of cost.

That said, if you like the idea of the bus, go for it. It is long, but a great way to meet the locals and experience Africa away from the tourist route.

From personal experience, I would say that UM is not a reliable carrier. I once tried to get on their 707's, but it was swapped for no reason, after a delay of many hours for a chartered Bae1-11. That was a nice surprise, but I am not sure if they will be able to delight plane-boffins like that again given the state of their finances.

I recommend flying out of VFA is a nicer place to hang around than HRE, should you be told to come back tomorrow. My personal experience is because I was born in Zim and I've been back quite a few times. I hope you enjoy your trip to Africa, it gets in the blood.

Respectfully yours, TravellerPlus



What goes around comes around....unless your luggage is not on the carousel...
User currently offlineGuoTai From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5213 times:

The more pressing question is do you really want to ride a bus to Harare? They are traditionally quite OK but it will take you about 16 hours if not more, because the border post at Beit Bridge is more than likely going to be a long and drawn out affair with the crowds on the south bound trip especially. The AZTA website has a list of active ZW travel agents, perhaps email one of the HRE agents and ask for some info.
Idid that for a journey HRE /LAD and they helped me in 1 hour on the email with what I needed to know.


User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7415 posts, RR: 57
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5172 times:

Quoting TravellerPlus (Reply 1):
From personal experience, I would say that UM is not a reliable carrier. I once tried to get on their 707's, but it was swapped

I had the same experience some 15 years ago :
I wanted to fly their B707 and booked a ticket on JNB-BUQ (Bulawayo) and then BUQ-VFA.
I almost started to cry when I saw their brand new B767 instead, landing in JNB to take us back to BUQ...   

I was lucky on the way back to JNB : the B707 took us there !

[Edited 2008-11-09 01:25:40]

User currently offlineAirNovaBAe146 From Canada, joined Jun 2008, 366 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4870 times:

I know I've seen their MA60s in JNB; I think they do (or did) JNB - Bulawayo. Not sure if they still do. That would be one possibility.

Another would be flying JNB - HRE. The flight leaves Jo'burg around 9am. You could then do a domestic round trip (some of them are circle routes), and catch the late afternoon flight HRE - JNB. I believe all their domestic flights are MA60s. That would be a fun experience; be sure to do a trip report!  Smile

AN


User currently offlineCchan From New Zealand, joined May 2003, 1762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4754 times:

Thanks for the suggestions above. I can spend a few days in Zimbabwe if it is worthwhile. Anyone knows how much these flights will cost approximately? I've heard that UM domestic flights are rather expensive.

User currently onlineBrenintw From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1669 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4748 times:



Quoting AirNovaBAe146 (Reply 4):
I know I've seen their MA60s in JNB; I think they do (or did) JNB - Bulawayo. Not sure if they still do. That would be one possibility.

I was home in September, and saw a UM aircraft I didn't recognize parked on the apron -- a turboprop -- so I'm pretty sure it was the MA60.

As suggested, maybe fly JNB - Bulawayo. I've heard that Bulawayo is a much more pleasant city to visit than HRE ... but I'm not sure what the flight routing is ... might be BUQ - JNB - BUQ



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently offlineRAFVC10 From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1980 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4719 times:
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Quoting Cchan (Thread starter):
Does anyone know how much would a flight e.g. HRE-VFA cost roughly, and if it can be booked 24 or 48 hours prior to departure?

Hi Cchan,

roundtrip cost of these flights are 270.00 USD + taxes and I recommend you to book flights desired in advance due the great demand / few seats that the MA-60 equipment have.

All these flights are operated in "Y" class.

Regards,

Gerard



El dia que los gilipollas vuelen, no podremos ver la luz del sol!
User currently offlineAirNovaBAe146 From Canada, joined Jun 2008, 366 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4601 times:

In my experience, I've found booking on Air Zimbabwe surprisingly affordable.

The prices tend to stay the same, as UM doesn't have the yield management software most airlines do. Its more like a fixed rate that won't vary too much if you can't book it today.

They have a ticket office at the JNB airport, and probably somewhere in Johannesburg itself.

Good luck and have fun!

AN


User currently offlineASEFlyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4503 times:

Snapped this in VFA over the summer.

http://www.airliners.net/uf/view.fil...536922245&filename=phpafcCTj..jpeg


User currently offlineCchan From New Zealand, joined May 2003, 1762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4381 times:



Quoting RAFVC10 (Reply 7):
roundtrip cost of these flights are 270.00 USD + taxes and I recommend you to book flights desired in advance due the great demand / few seats that the MA-60 equipment have.



Quoting AirNovaBAe146 (Reply 8):
In my experience, I've found booking on Air Zimbabwe surprisingly affordable.

Thanks for the info. Given the current economic situation in Zimbabwe, are USD270+ tickets affordable by the locals?


User currently offlineTravellerPlus From New Zealand, joined Nov 2008, 347 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4373 times:



Quoting Cchan (Reply 10):
Given the current economic situation in Zimbabwe, are USD270+ tickets affordable by the locals?

No, even in the good times flying was the preserve of the elites and tourists. That is not unique to Zimbabwe, but to many developing nations in the world.



What goes around comes around....unless your luggage is not on the carousel...
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