News / National
Ethiopian airlines releases schedule for Victoria Falls route
27 Nov 2016 at 09:24hrs | Views
ETHIOPIAN Airlines has released a summer schedule for the new direct route between Addis Ababa and Victoria Falls to be launched in March next year.
Ethiopian Airlines Southern Africa regional manager Mr Abel Alemu confirmed that the airline is preparing to commence flights to the new Victoria Falls International Airport with the first flight expected to depart Addis Ababa on 26 March to Victoria Falls.
Mr Alemu said they had been planning on operating the Victoria Falls route for a while and are now at an advanced stage of preparation.
"It is true that Ethiopian Airlines is preparing to commence a flight to Victoria Falls on the summer 2017 schedule. Our flights will depart from Addis Ababa to Victoria Falls and from Victoria Falls to Gaborone, Botswana to Addis," said Mr Alemu.
According to Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mr David Chawota, Ethiopian Airlines will introduce its maiden flights to Victoria Falls International Airport using a wide bodied aircraft and not the small regional planes.
Mr Chawota expressed joy at having a big player in the aviation sector like Ethiopian Airlines being the first to make use of the new facility.
"We are excited at having them as the first movers in using this refurbished and new facility. Generally, they (Ethiopian Airlines) said the frequencies will not be less than three per week as they begin," said Mr Chawota.
He said a number of new players were also coming into the country with regional players like Kenya and RwandAir already in the process of negotiating.
RwandAir chief executive officer Mr John Mirenge said the airline was also looking at expanding to Victoria Falls after taking a tour of the new airport and seeing the developments there, describing it as a state-of-the-art facility.
RwandAir which will be commencing flights into Harare International Airport in January is reportedly working closely with the Zimbabwean authorities.
"We are going back to work with our travel partners to package Harare, Victoria Falls and other destinations. With a direct product, tourism and business will start flourishing between the two countries. The tourism board has already shown its commitment on this issue," said Mr Mirenge.
Mr Mirenge said RwandAir will be flying about four times a week to Harare until they grow progressively to a daily frequency.
He said the airline would make use of its CRJ 76 seater modern aircraft.
"This is a two-class configured aircraft that has a business as well as economy side but as we grow and depending on the demand we will later use the 737," he said.
Mr Mirenge said developing direct routes between destinations was important as it is less costly and saves on time as tourists and business travellers abhor the many stop overs.
Source - zimpapers