from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
VICTORIA FALLS, (CAJ News) – THE commencement of flights to Zimbabwe by Eurowings Discover is a huge step towards the implementation of the National Tourism Growth and Recovery Strategy.
The Lufthansa Group-owned airline on Wednesday made its maiden flight to the Southern African country when it landed in the tourism capital, Victoria Falls, via Namibia.
Wolfgang Raebiger, Eurowings Discover’s Chief Executive, flew the A330 aircraft, which received a rousing welcome from hundreds of people, including tourism industry operators and government officials.
Felix Mhona, the Transport and Infrastructure Development minister, said the introduction of the service by Eurowings Discover was a seal of approval of local tourism destinations and an endorsement of ease of doing business, as well as promotion of investment policies.
“We are elated that this new scheduled flight will have the ability to enhance connectivity from all over Europe into Zimbabwe and specifically into the Victoria Falls resort city,” Mhona, the Guest of honour, said.
He said the flights would drive the development of tourism in Zimbabwe and the Kavango Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA).
Mhona believes increased connectivity between Zimbabwe and other continents such as Europe is mutually beneficial.
“It is therefore paramount that we continue to enhance air connectivity between Zimbabwe and the continent of Europe,” he said.
“It is our hope therefore that this new destination will facilitate tourism, cultural and business exchanges, boost economic opportunities and improve relations between our citizens and the trans-Mediterranean people to people.”
Nqobizitha Ndlovu, the Minister of Tourism, said the coming in of Eurowings Discover marked a new era in the tourism industry.
Germany, where the airline is based, is Zimbabwe’s second tourist source market in Europe after the United Kingdom (UK).
“Air transport is a critical engine for socio-economic development of any country,” Ndlovu said.
“The return of Lufthansa under the banner of Eurowings Discover is a great milestone and connects Zimbabwe to Europe and will spur tourism, trade and investment,” he said.
Ndlovu noted Victoria Falls is the fifth city in a total of 24 African destinations the airline was planning to fly to.
“This is a clear indication of how confident the market is on Destination Zimbabwe,” Ndlovu added.
Eurowings Discover is already flying to Mombasa in Kenya, the archipelago of Zanzibar in Tanzania, Mauritius and Windhoek in Namibia.
In Zimbabwe, the airline will fly on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Frankfurt via Windhoek.
Raebiger said plans to fly to Victoria Falls started two years ago.
“Victoria Falls is a unique destination. You will see our aircraft more frequently here,” he said.
Zimbabwe launched the National Tourism Growth and Recovery Strategy in 2020 to revive the sector bedevilled by the COVID-19.
– CAJ News