Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Reporter
Government has issued an operator’s licence to an indigenous airline, Vic Falls Airways, which is set to ply international routes. The company’s maiden flight is expected in October.In a statement, Vic Falls Airways director Mr Itayi Garande said the airline will be the only local operator to offer direct flights to London.
“The company which already has a B767-200ER aircraft going through a major maintenance check at Harare International Airport will offer weekly direct flights to London (United Kingdom), Guangzhou (China) and Johannesburg (South Africa).
“The development means that Vic Falls Airways will be the only Zimbabwean airline offering a direct flight to and from London,” read the statement.
Dr Garande said the open skies policy in Zimbabwe has allowed the airline to launch in an industry dominated by large players.
“The opportunities offered through the Open Skies Policy are vast and we took advantage of that government policy to launch at this time,” he said.
He said the airline will work closely with Government to promote tourism.
The launch comes as another international airline, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, has announced that it will stop all direct flights to Harare and Lusaka from the 28th of October, two years after the resumption of flights to Zimbabwe. The airline says recent optimisations in its network portfolio in East Africa led to the decision to discontinue direct services from Amsterdam to Lusaka and Harare.
Another director of the company, Mr Masiwa Table said this was an important time to launch as the political situation in the country had stabilised.
The airline will fly into Gatwick, London twice a week and there are plans to have the same frequency for Guangzhou and Johannesburg.