LOCAL airliner, Fastjet has resumed flights between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg in neighbouring South Africa in response to renewed demand for air travel, bringing hope to the tourism industry.
Fastjet Zimbabwe had suspended flights owing to a drop in demand as the industry reacted to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It became the only airliner currently flying into the resort city after suspension of services by Ethiopian Airlines and Kenyan Airways because of the lockdown.
In a statement, the airline said its 50-seater Embraer ERJ145 aircraft will operate three times a week between the two iconic cities.
“Fastjet Zimbabwe is pleased to announce the recommencement of flights between Victoria Falls International Airport and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg from Tuesday 16 March 2021,” said the airline.
“The flights will operate thrice weekly between the two cities. We are pleased to return to this route following our temporary interruption of service on the route due to drop in demand for leisure travel linked to the global pandemic.
“As Covid-19 restrictions ease, we are reacting to an increased interest for reliable flight connections on this key route particularly as domestic and regional tourism returns.”
An additional flight will be added on Fridays based on demand, the airliner said. Currently Fastjet services three routes between Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls cities and regionally it offers Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls to Johannesburg flights.
The airliner, which began flight operations in 2012, has over the years won various awards for bringing value to air transport.
It was voted leading African low-cost carrier World Travel in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, and also Skytrax World Airline best low-cost airline Africa 2017 and 2019.
Fastjet has flown 3,5 million people since it started operations in Zimbabwe.
Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Victoria Falls chair, Mr Anald Musonza, commended Fastjet for supporting local tourism.
“The airlines have started giving definite flight schedules into Victoria Falls with Fastjet resuming service, which is an encouraging development for the industry,” said Mr Musonza.