It what was then the British Colony of Southern Rhodesia, 1957 saw the opening of Salisbury Airport, later to be renamed after the capital city of the new Zimbabwe as Harare Internationl Airport and then in 2017, to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport after the country's then president who had something of a habit of naming major infrastucture projects after himself. The renaming cost the government of Zimbabwe a 'mere' $500,000 with then Minister of Transport, Joram Gumbo, citing the change of name as recognition for the "work the president has done in the aviation industry". The president was ousted from power just months later but used the airport named in his honour to fly to Singapore two years later where he died on 6th September 2019 aged 95. Located seven miles south-east of Harare, the hub is both a civil airport and home to the Air Force of Zimbabwe.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport is one of many airports in Zimbabwe, the other two main ones being Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo, named in honour of the late Dr Joshua Nkomo, the leader and founder of the Zimbabwe African People's Union in 2001, and Victoria Falls Airport some 11 miles south of the town of Victoria Fallshich is primarily a tourist hub. Until the 1990s the then Harare Airport was a popular international choice when many countries were refusing to fly to South Africa because of its apartheid policies. Today it is used by Air Tanzania, Airlink, British Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Malawian Airlines, Qatar Airways, RwandAir, South African Airways and TAAG Angola Airlines. It also operates flights within the country with Fastjet Zimbabwe and is also home to Air Zimbabwe with its now nine aircraft.
Generally the airport at Harare is considered good to travel to and from. Unlike many other airports in Africa, the staff are reported as being polite and courteous and there is no hint that a bribe would help expedite the customs and baggage processes. The International passenger terminal building is capable of handling 2.5 million passengers per year while the domestic terminal can handle 500,000 passengers. Despite this, more recent reports indicate that a lack of investment is leading to a deterioration of the airport which is fairly small and by mid evening, around 9.30pm, its limited shopping and dining options tend to start closing and by 10.00pm, Hare Airport is pretty much deserted save for some cleaners and a couple of security staff. Now make a virtual landing at Harare airport in the video below then check out our Harare profile page for more information about the capital city of Zimbabwe itself.
Harare Airport: Volunteer in Zimbabwe
Harare Airport: Harare Profile
Harare Airport: Sponsor Children in Zimbabwe
Harare Airport: Zimbabwe Country Profile
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