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Friday, July 19, 2024

Flysafair makes maiden flight to Harare

Story by John Nhandara

GOVERNMENT’S open skies policy is bearing fruit with more airlines flying into the country, as Destination Zimbabwe continues to receive massive endorsement.

The expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (RGMI) and government’s open skies policy have favourably positioned Zimbabwe on the global map with more airlines now flying into the country, boosting the country’s tourism economy.

The latest airline which is set to ply the Harare to Johannesburg route, is low cost South African Airline, Flysafair, which made its maiden flight to Harare this Monday.

“We have made our first maiden landing at RGMI. I want to indicate that we have already suspected that the hospitality of Zimbabweans is difficult to match. As Flysafair, we are excited for being able to launch two routes into Zimbabwe. This is our only regional route that will be flying daily. It shows the kind of connection that exists between our two countries. As we expanded our regional network, the country that came first on the list was Zimbabwe,” said FlySafair executive manager, Mr Obert Chakarisa.

The coming in of the airline is also an endorsement of Destination Zimbabwe as it is expected to enhance air connectivity.

“The Government of Zimbabwe has set a goal to create a ZW$5 billion tourism economy by 2025, and these developments bring us closer to achieving that objective. The coming in of new players of late into the airspace is evident that the government is commited to the adaptation of the open skies policy and the implementation of the single African air transport market,” noted the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr Tongai Mnangagwa.

ACZ chief executive officer, Mr Tawanda Gusha said, “We will be having another launch for the Johanesburg – Victoria Falls and Johanesburg – Bulawayo routes. We are working tirelessly to develop infrastructure that is world class. We will be participating at the World Routes Summit in Istanbul where we will also negotiate with more airlines as we promote destination Zimbabwe.”

The Minister of Transport amd Infrastructural Development, Honourable Felix Mhona highlighted that the development attests the country’s appetite in revamping aviation infrastructure.

“This year alone, we have received quite a number of new airlines flying into Zimbabwe. The existing airlines have added more frequencies to their operations with some even launching new routes within the country. We anticipate to launch additional airlines into the country to support the ongoing development of aviation infrastructure in Zimbabwe and the region. RGMI Airport has been significantly expanded, upgraded and modernised. These achievements are not mere coincidence, but efforts to ensure the country becomes an upper middle income society by 203O.”

Some of the airlines that have launched their flights to Zimbabwe include Fastjet, Airlink, Mackair, Ethiopian airline Eurowings and Eswatini Air, among others.

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