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Fastjet Buoyed By New Regional Routes Despite Lingering Pandemic

Low cost airline, Fastjet is optimistic about the prospects of its two new regional routes- Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga in South Africa and Maun in Botswana both linking Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to be launched during the first half of the year riding on low fares and proximity of the three tourist destinations.

The airline will launch the Kruger -Victoria Falls route on 16 March and the Victoria Falls-Maun route on June 30 this year.

Under this network, Kruger National park which is one of Africa’s largest game reserves and Maun as the gateway to the Okavango Delta, a lush wildlife habitat will both complement the scenic and unforgettable gushing waters of the Victoria Falls for a premium tourist experience.

In an interview with 263Chat Business, Fastjet Zimbabwe spokesperson, Nunurai Ndawana said the development has raised high expectations in the market from stakeholders.

“From a feedback point of view we are receiving positive feedback from tourism stakeholders and players from both destinations, because most of their clients were requesting a direct flight that links Kruger and Victoria Falls because it would also cut time on travel and give them more time to explore the particular destination,” said Ndawana.

Despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline is buoyed by waning figures of COVID-19 cases in the three jurisdictions central to tourism in the sub-region.

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South Africa-where the Omicron variant was first detected has seen a downward trend in cases and deaths since January this year and tourism is expected to recover just as in Zimbabwe and Botswana although authorities remain high on alert.

Fastjet currently services three regional flights from Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls-all linking Johannesburg and the new routes will bring the total to five.

The airline is targeting growth through capturing a sizeable market share in the sub-region by expanding operations into the tourist hotspots as the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

“So by introducing this particular route as a scheduled flight we now provide much more accessibility for the tourist to better enjoy this particular resort in a single visit. We are enabling these interconnections in the region,” said Ndawana.

Fastjet this week reintroduced on-flight meals to customers, having stopped issuing food at the height of the pandemic as a precautionary measure to limit physical contact.



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