By Tichaona Kurewa
GOVERNMENT efforts to improve air connectivity for the benefit of the tourism industry are paying off after Airlink launched direct flights between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg this Monday.
The new air route will be serviced daily, adding to a list of more than seven airlines already landing at the Victoria Falls International Airport.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Matabeleland North Province Representative, Ms Tsikadzashe Mberi and Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe Representative, Ms Barbra Murasiranwa believe the new flight will improve air connectivity between Victoria Falls and source markets.
“This is adding capacity considering that most of our tourists connect via Johannesburg and we are really excited because this is going to help connectivity in Victoria Falls and into Zimbabwe generally,” she said.
“We are so excited about this airline. It is now adding on to arrivals and this is what is exciting the industry. We used to receive about 900 passengers from the airlines before others moved out. This one has come in and is very exciting, it means we are building up to where we used to be before COVID-19,” noted Ronnie Masawi –Airports Company of Zimbabwe Representative.
For the Airports Company of Zimbabwe, the new service is a clear indication that efforts being made to improve air connectivity are paying off.
“Victoria Falls is very popular with Johannesburg traffic and definitely we are happy that our passengers have more choices to choose from on this sector,” he added.
Tourism players and travelers are also excited about the latest development.
“We were all in a state of panic when the British Airways pulled out because Johannesburg is one of our major routes coming in, so I think it will definitely add to the tourism recovery because it is putting more access into Victoria Falls,” said a tourism player.
Victoria Falls remains a destination of choice in Southern Africa with tourists from various parts of the world including celebrities flocking to Zimbabwe’s tourism capital every year.