Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Correspondent
LOW-COST airline Fastjet Zimbabwe says it will early next month introduce the Bulawayo-Johannesburg route and has lined up 22 scheduled flights per week.
The scheduled flights, which will begin on December 5, include two daily flights from Monday to Friday and a single flight on Sunday.
In a statement, Fastjet chief executive officer Mr Joao Sousa said their flight times would be convenient for leisure and business passengers travelling between Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“It’s great that we can make a seamless journey a reality for our loyal customers supporting new business, trade and leisure opportunities between the two countries.
“We are excited to announce the first of a number of new routes approved by the regulators for the Zimbabwe network and we are committed to working with our team to ensure the success of this new route,” he said.
Mr Sousa said Fastjet will fly from JM Nkomo International Airport to OR Tambo International Airport where travellers may connect to multiple global destinations on the services of the company’s ticketing airline partners, Qatar Airways and Emirates Airline or any airline of the travellers’ choice.
The new route schedule will increase Fastjet daily flights across the network to 114 flights per week.
Meanwhile, South African Express Airways on Monday landed at JM Nkomo International Airport in an introductory flight ahead of the airline’s Johannesburg-Bulawayo route launch soon.
SA Express Airways’ Bombardier CRJ 200 aircraft touched down at JM Nkomo International Airport with 50 passengers including the company’s officials on board.
The Bulawayo Publicity Association has welcomed the launch of flights into the city saying this will positively impact on tourist arrivals into the city.
The commencement of regional and international flights into Bulawayo is a step in the right direction as it also adds impetus to the utilisation of the JM Nkomo International Airport which has received a major facelift in recent years.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe has also indicated its intent to upgrade the airport soon under the second phase which among others will involve construction of a new air traffic control tower and a fire station.