Tourism Player Welcomes First New International Airline into Victoria Falls

The launch of Ethiopian Airlines’ new route into Zimbabwe’s top resort town has been hailed as “a significant catalyst for tourism growth in Zimbabwe and across the region” by hospitality industry leader Ross Kennedy.

  

Ethiopian Airlines became the first international airline to launch flights into the new Victoria Falls International Airport, which opened last November, when its Boeing 737 touched down on Sunday.

The African heavyweight will fly to Victoria Falls from Addis Ababa four times a week, enabling tourists from major cities in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa to enjoy hassle-free connections via Addis Ababa.

“For example, American tourists can now fly from Washington to Victoria Falls with a less than two-hour stopover in Addis Ababa,” Mr Kennedy, Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive, said.

"It was another historic day for the aviation industry in Africa and for the African travel and tourism sector, with additional airlift and new route linkages open," Mr Kennedy, who is also chairman of the African Travel and Tourism Association, added.

On March 1, South African Airways boosted its capacity by launching a larger aircraft to service its daily route between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls; on May 1 Kenya Airways will begin Nairobi-Victoria Falls-Cape Town flights; on July 2 SA Airlink will launch direct Cape Town-Victoria Falls flights six days a week.

These flights alone could bring as many as 80,000 more tourists a year into Victoria Falls.

AAT is a Zimbabwe-owned hospitality group which operates a portfolio of properties in Victoria Falls, including Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, and in Chobe, Botswana.