from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS – AIRLINK has added another flight into Zimbabwe with the introduction of a service between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls.
This brings to 13 the number of scheduled weekly flights by the airline into Zimbabwe’s prime destination.
This is expected to boost arrivals in Victoria Falls from a record low of less than 200 passengers per day that were being moved by Fastjet during partial lockdowns, to about 1 000 the Victoria Falls International Airport received each day before the pandemic.
Airlink already flies from Cape Town to Victoria Falls daily except for Saturday.
The Johannesburg-Victoria Falls service will be a daily package using a 90-seater Embraer E-190 jetliner, so far the second biggest landing at the Victoria Falls International Airport after Eurowings Discover’s airbus.
Airlink management said the Southern Africa’s premier airline sought to reconnect the region’s main economic hub with the iconic tourism destination.
This follows approvals by Zimbabwe’s and South Africa’s aeronautical authorities for the extension of Airlink’s already comprehensive services between the two markets to include the route between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls.
The industry believes the new airline will boost arrivals.
“This is a welcome development which will surely positively impact on our tourism and arrivals,” said Barbara Murasiranwa, a tourism executive and director at one of the leading tour operating companies.
Winnie Muchanyuka, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive Officer, recently said an all stakeholder effort was being made to lure more airlines and open more new routes.
The bulk of Victoria Falls clients connect via Johannesburg in South Africa, making the Airlink service critical.
Ronnie Masawi, Airports Company of Zimbabwe manager, said as a prime destination, Victoria Falls should have better options for travellers.
Airlink was established in 1992 and is an independent, privately-owned and premium airline serving more than 45 destinations in 13 countries throughout Southern Africa, Madagascar and St Helena Island.
– CAJ News