Operated by Comair in South Africa the flights are between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls. In an interview, ZTA head of corporate affairs Mr Godfrey Koti said they were happy with the resumption of Comair which showed confidence in Zimbabwe as a tourism destination.
"We are obviously elated with this news. We're also quite happy with the growth that has come in leaps and bounds in terms of domestic tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic induced International travel break. We have seen a healthy growth within our borders owing to a campaign coined ZimBho which we have been aggressively pursuing in an attempt to increase local travel. The resumption of Comair is an attestation of the confidence that the market has in destination Zimbabwe," said Mr Koti.
He said the confidence that has been shown on Zimbabwe was a sign that the country was on the right path. Mr Koti said they were very grateful to the Government for its leadership and meticulousness in rolling out the Covid-19 vaccination programme putting tourism as a priority industry.
"We have also taken it upon ourselves as a destination to step up the enforcement of compliance to the World Health Organisation approved Covid-19 prevention protocols and guidelines."
The British Airways' Boeing 737-800 aircraft touched down at the Victoria Falls International Airport on Wednesday afternoon and received the traditional water cannon salute. In an earlier statement, Comair Limited said they were resuming full-service airline and opening bookings for flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls for travel in May.
"British Airways (operated by Comair), South Africa's leading premium full-service airline, has announced the reopening of bookings for flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls for travel starting on 13 May 2021. As part of the airline's ramp up it will operate two flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls for the duration of May, which will be on a Thursday and Sunday. Thereafter from 1 June 2021, customers can expect to have daily flights to and from the popular tourist destination," read part of the statement.
British Airways (operated by Comair) executive of revenue Mr Desmond O'Connor said they were delighted to reopen bookings for their services to Victoria Falls.
"We are delighted to reopen bookings for our services to Victoria Falls as part of the gradual return to our normal schedule. The reopening of the route is also just in time for customers to experience Victoria Falls during its peak tourist season when the entire length of the Victoria Falls is a thundering wall of falling water from May through to August," he said.
The airline resumed bookings for their services to Harare as part of their gradual ramp-up schedule in March this year after they had suspended the flight in March 2020 as a response to the complication brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, another successful development was the launch of Botswana based Mack Air's maiden flight on a brand-new international route between Kasane in Botswana and Victoria Falls City.
On 24 March, President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched an ambitious programme to vaccinate all residents of Victoria Falls in a spirited endeavour to revive the fortunes of tourism in the city and the nation at large.
Buoyed by an overwhelming response by residents of the city, Victoria Falls City became the first in the region to achieve the much-coveted herd immunity against the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. That points to positive prospects for the country's tourism industry, which is one of the biggest foreign currency earners.
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