The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
THE Government has increased flight frequencies for low-cost airline, Fastjet Zimbabwe, in a move which will play a huge part in improving connectivity and growing of the country’s economy.
Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) Joshua Mqabuko International Airport manager, Mr Passmore Dewa confirmed that the Government has approved to increase Fastjet Zimbabwe’s flight frequencies, further stating that it has granted quite a number though he chose to dwell much on those within his area of jurisdiction.
“I can only speak for Bulawayo but there are a number of approvals that have been granted but the right people to talk to about that will be the head office (in Harare) but for Bulawayo they have approved three frequencies between Bulawayo and Harare and three frequencies between Bulawayo and Jo’burg (Johannesburg South Africa),” he said.
The flights are expected to commence next month after the completion of logistic processes. Mr Dewa said the latest development was a boom to the country’s economy as it was going to play a part in improving business to business interactions between players of the three major cities while also boosting the tourism sector.
“Basically this means we have created an enabling environment for business and tourism and what we call VFR (visiting friends and relatives). The accessibility of the City (of Bulawayo) is now enhanced,” he said.
Mr Dewa said apart from playing a pivotal role in enhancing the country’s economy the increase in flight frequencies would improve convenience to travellers.
“It means instead of waiting for one or two flights from Jo’burg you now have an average of five flights a day. So you can plan your journey from wherever you are coming from in the world knowing that there is an early morning flight or two morning flights, two afternoon or midday flights or two evening flights from Jo’burg. You can go in the morning to Jo’burg and come back in the evening. The ease of doing business through the issue of connectivity between major cities like Bulawayo and Harare and Bulawayo and Jo’burg has been made easy,” he said.
Mr Dewa said the move was also likely to improve competition among airlines culminating in reduction of fares.
“It also brings the aspect of competition on the routes, which will bring down the prices. So it’s good for the people,” he said.
Last year, the Government gave Fastjet Zimbabwe the nod to ply domestic routes after national airline, Air Zimbabwe was dogged by a myriad of operational challenges. Previously, domestic routes were a preserve for the national flag carrier national airline.—