Festive boom for Zimbabwe, flights fully booked

18 Dec, 2022 - 00:12 0 Views
Festive boom for Zimbabwe, flights fully booked

Rutendo Nyeve, Sunday News Reporter
THE aviation sector has witnessed a surge in passenger traffic this festive season amid reports that the Johannesburg to Bulawayo flights have been fully booked since this past week.

Reports indicate that a majority of the passengers are Zimbabweans based in South Africa that are returning home for the festive season after the lifting of the Covid-19 strict travel restrictions that have been in effect for the past two years.

Covid-19

The number is also complemented by Zimbabweans in the Diaspora that are coming through South Africa with most of them that are Bulawayo bound opting for Victoria Falls International and Robert Mugabe International airports as alternatives.

Airports Company of  Zimbabwe public relations and communications manager Mr Tonderai Mangombe confirmed to Sunday News the surge in the number of travellers.

“The Airports Company of Zimbabwe (Private) Limited’s airports are ready and equipped to handle a peak in passengers’ traffic this festive season. It is interesting to note that the JM Nkomo International Airport is not spared by the spike in festive movements as well.

“However, since the inaugural Ethiopian flight on 30 October 2022 into Bulawayo, the airport’s manpower and equipment has since been upgraded to handle a surge in both passenger and aircraft movements,” said Mr Mangombe.

Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport

An official of one of the flight operators servicing the Johannesburg-Bulawayo route, Fastjet Zimbabwe spokesperson Mr Nunurai Ndawana also weighed in saying the surge has seen them exploring the possibility of adding extra flights.

“The festive season is characterised by high passenger demand as people travel to spend the holiday season with their loved ones. Flights across our network continue to operate according to our published programme.

Robert Mugabe International airports

“We are, however, exploring the possibility of adding extra flights on some days. This is subject to operating restrictions, and the availability of aircraft and crew,” said Mr Ndawana.
Meanwhile, South Africa Airways this past Wednesday re-launched its Johannesburg-Victoria Falls route after suspending services in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and financial difficulties.
@nyeve14

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