Astra Aviation opens new location in Harare, Zimbabwe

Wednesday 23rd March 2016

  • Astra Aviation
  • Corrina Pickard- Manager  Astra Aviation Harare Zimbabwe

Astra Aviation, the dedicated African flight support company, has expanded its presence in Africa with the addition of a new location at Harare International Airport, the capital of Zimbabwe. The new location which became operational in January is being managed by Zimbabwe-born aviator Corrina Pickard. The facility currently employs three staff and marks Astra Aviation's 9th location in its network.

To date, Astra Aviation has attracted mainly Boeing 747 and McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighter operators who have been drawn by the company's competitive handling prices. The airport is a popular hub for air and road transfers to many regional destinations in addition to being a centre for imports and exports for Zimbabwe.

It is anticipated that the location will also serve as a regional hub for air ambulance flights as well as meeting the needs of tourist passengers staying in area's popular game lodges and resorts. This facility will enable passengers to be flown in from unimproved air strips, to then transfer on to larger jets for international flights, or to medevac aircraft.

Astra Aviation's new location also offers the added benefit of available hangar space through its partner Southern Skies Aviation. The hangar, which measures 2,656 sqm can easily house four Beech King Air 200's, or one Beech 1900C, with additional parking on the private ramp outside for seven King Air's.

Additionally, Astra Aviation will be providing Meet and Assist Services as part of a concierge style service for both business and tourist visitors to Zimbabwe. This portfolio of services will include airport transfers, airline and hotel bookings, tourist services into game lodges and Victoria Falls, airport lounge access, security services and business support services to new investors into Zimbabwe in addition to the airport Meet and Assist Services.

Astra Aviation sees an opportunity in positioning itself close to popular tourist attractions as Africa prepares to develop the world's fastest growing travel and tourism market over the next ten years according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Commenting, Phil Eyre, Managing Director of Astra Aviation, adds: "We are very pleased to expand our presence in Harare, Zimbabwe and Corrina Pickard is a highly capable and experienced partner to manage the business.  Zimbabwe is somewhere that I have always wanted an office as it was the first African country I fell in love with back in 1990. I have seen an opportunity to serve the tourist sector which is starting to recover despite the fluctuations of the Zimbabwean economy and we want to be ready for when the rest of the economy recovers."

In further planned expansion, Astra Aviation intends to add an office at Victoria Falls Airport, close to the Victoria Falls, within the next two months and to grow its Zambia team at Livingstone Airport located on the Zambia side of the falls. Astra Aviation will then be positioned on either side of the world famous falls which are known as one of the "Seven Wonders of the Natural World" attracting over 2 million visitors annually. This will make Astra Aviation well placed to serve tourists visiting the area and its many attractions such as sundowner cruises on the Zambezi River or staying in the "hidden gem" game lodges.

Astra Aviation's growing network stretches the whole of Southern Africa from Angola on the Atlantic Ocean through Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mozambique on the Indian Ocean.

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