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Zimbabwe records increase in airlines

Zimbabwe records increase in airlines

Zimbabwe records increase in airlines

Story by Yolanda Moyo

Zimbabwe is cementing its position as a destination of choice after a marked increase in the number of flights with at least 19 airlines now operating in the country.

The increase in the number of airlines and flights has been applauded by Zimbabweans who say it feeds into the national development agenda.

This comes after Fastjet introduced a morning flight between Bulawayo and Johannesburg.

“As Bulawayo community, we are excited about the introduction of the morning flights because it enables us to do business in Johannesburg. This was long overdue, this is a huge development for the Bulawayo community because this will go a long way in creating business linkages looking at the coming in of the AfCFTA. This will be a plus to the business community as accessibility to destinations is key in developing the economy,” said one of the business people.

The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Barbra Rwodzi, who was the hostess in the Fastjet inaugural flight to showcase Zimbabwean hospitality, said the increase in air flights speaks to the popularity of destination Zimbabwe.

“What we are witnessing here today is a clear testimony that there is thriving business for Fastjet on this route and it is also a clear message that there is an economic growth in Bulawayo and that disposable income is increasing. Congratulations to Bulawayo Metropolitan Province too,” she said.

The coming in of the Johannesburg – Bulawayo flight is also set to increase capacity utilisation at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport.

The Public Relations and Communications Manager for Airports Company of Zimbabwe, Mr Tonderai Mangombe said, “This airport was opened ten years ago and having an increase in flights to Bulawayo will also increase capacity utilisation at the airport. As ACZ, we are committed to luring more lines to Zimbabwe and expanding current route networks.”

Fastjet’s accountable manager, Captain Joe Mparuri is equally convinced that the move is a catalyst for national development.

“Aviation is a catalyst in developing a destination. By adding these weekday frequencies, we are contributing to the growth of tourism and commerce in Zimbabwe and South Africa. As Fastjet, we are committed to connectivity and are delighted to offer the Bulawayo-Johannesburg traveller the choice of a day’s trip flight for business or leisure,” he said.

With Zimbabwe aiming to become the regional choice of airport services by 2030, the government has made significant infrastructure investments at various airports, including the expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.