from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS – FASTJET, the low cost airline, has launched the first flight between Victoria Falls and the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) in neighbouring Zimbabwe and South Africa respectively.
A demo flight flew from Victoria Falls on Wednesday morning, carrying tour operators from Zimbabwe’s tourism capital, to Kruger, and returned in the afternoon with over 30 people on board.
Fastjet will be flying three times a week between the two destinations.
The flight will start in Harare in the morning, and connect to Kruger from Victoria Falls and return on the same day in the afternoon, giving tourists an opportunity to connect between the iconic destinations in one day.
Julian Edmunds, the airline’s chief commercial officer, said the route was initially set for July 2021 but delayed because of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“We took the decision to postpone the commitment for operating this broute until we felt confident in tourism,” Edmunds said.
“This flight today is important as we launch this route ahead of scheduled flights and this is a key route that links two strategic areas in the region.”
“We try to offer value, choice and flexibility and we know there are volumes to move. We want to change face of travel in Africa,” Edmunds said.
Tour operators, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and Airports Company of Zimbabwe officials witnessed the inaugural landing of a 50-seater aircraft.
“The future of tourism looks bright and promising, especially with airlines showing interest in flying into Zimbabwe,” Jeffreys Manjengwa, ZTA Executive Director : International Tourism, said.
Fastjet, which began operations in 2012, operates four aircrafts, one of them leased from South Africa.
It is set to launch another route linking Victoria Falls to Botswana’s tourism capital of Maun in June.
Other airlines currently flying into Victoria Falls are Air Zimbabwe, SA Airlink, Kenyan Airways and MackAir.
Locally Fastjet connects the three major cities of Bulawayo, the capital Harare and Victoria Falls.
– CAJ News