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German airline to fly into Zimbabwe by March

by Staff reporter
17 Jan 2022 at 06:29hrs | Views
Eurowings Discover has become the latest airline to express interest in flying into Zimbabwe, in a move expected to boost local tourism.

Zimbabwe is among the 24 destinations that Eurowings Discover plans to fly into this year and Victoria Falls will be its fifth destination in Africa after Mombasa in Kenya, Windhoek in Namibia, Zanzibar in Tanzania and Mauritius.

It is expected that the German airline, head-quartered in Frankfurt and owned by the Lufthansa Group, will begin flights into Victoria Falls on March 30.

Eurowings Discover has a fleet of 10 aircraft and mainly serves long-haul leisure destinations.

Mr Andre Schultz, Eurowings Discover's general manager said: "We are planning educational campaigns as we penetrate the market.

"We will have campaigns with every stakeholder, including media, as we market the route. Ours is to take people to the destination which is Victoria Falls and the tourism industry and other stakeholders should come on board to market the destination," said Mr Schultz.

European countries and the United States have removed travel restrictions on Zimbabwe that followed the discovery of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in South Africa.

The coming in of Eurowings Discover is expected to spur the tourism sector, which has borne the brunt of Covid-19 lockdowns since 2020.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe Matabeleland North Province chairman Mr Arnald Musonza yesterday said Europe was a critical market for Zimbabwe's tourism sector, adding that the coming in of Eurowings Discover was welcome.

"Access to a destination is one of the key enablers for tourism growth. Europe is a key market for Zimbabwe as a destination and the upcoming launch of Eurowings Discover into Victoria Falls from Frankfurt via Windhoek is a key aspect of having the European market access Zimbabwe via Zimbabwe as the gateway to the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area," said Mr Musonza.

More international airlines have set their sights on flying into Zimbabwe this year, taking advantage of the conducive operating climate created by the Second Republic.

Airports Company of Zimbabwe chief executive Mr Tawanda Gusha, recently confirmed that more airlines were keen on Zimbabwe.

"Lufthansa is launching its direct flight to Harare this year and Mack Air has already started to fly into Zimbabwe and for the first time, Zimbabwe has got a direct flight between Maputo and Harare.

"This is a milestone that demonstrates what Zimbabwe has become in terms of an attractive destination," said Mr Gusha.

Zimbabwe has identified tourism as a low-hanging fruit that is critical to the five-year economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy (NDS1) which runs until 2025.

It will also allow the Government to measure the value of public and private investment related to the sector and the effect of international tourism on the country's economy.

The availability of more international airlines, which will be complemented by Air Zimbabwe, itself undergoing a major transformation with more aircraft expected this year - will make the country accessible to all.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) head of public relations and corporate affairs, Mr Godfrey Koti said the development shows exceptional international confidence in the destination.

"We will definitely see this assisting us in the continued tourism recovery efforts post the Covid-19 pandemic. We are hoping to see this as a way of bouncing back and as a way of sending a clear message to the international community about how good our vaccination programme has been.

"We give credit to the Ministry of Health and Child care for the continued support they are giving to the tourism sector."

He said the initiative worked in line with the national tourism recovery strategy which seeks to achieve a five billion industry by 2025.

Source - The Herald