Victoria Falls International Airport is certainly living up to expectations as an immediate future contender for the region of Southern Africa as its primary hub for international flights. Since its multi million dollar makeover the international airport has seen a steadily pronounced increase in passenger volumes which is good for the country and economy. My main interest is on the aviation part. Big players are slowly but surely responding to the makeover and positive passenger volumes by introducing some of their big guns, well birds I mean to say, okay aircraft in simple terms.
Ethiopian Airlines has maintained its confidence in Victoria Falls as a promising destination with the deployment of a Boeing B787 Dreamliner which has become the second wide bodied scheduled aircraft to service Victoria Falls International Airport.
The massive Boeing aircraft was welcomed by a traditional water salute as it landed on Sunday just before midday. It will fly into the airport on select days though.
South African Airways was first to launch its wide-bodied 222-seater Airbus A330 aircraft into Victoria Falls. This daily service is being operated by the Airbus A330-200 aircraft, replacing the 138-seater Airbus A320 aircraft on the route from Johannesburg.
Emirates is already in the process of doing the necessary paperwork to join the fray and will definitely bring in one of their massive Boeing B777 aircraft similar to the one already serving R G Mugabe International Airport in Harare. Many other regional airlines already serve the airport with smaller narrow body aircraft as they are still gathering up their own passenger volumes to the destinations such as Air Namibia and Kenya Airways. Bigger players such as Lufthansa, Qatar, Turkish Airways and Air India are already offering codeshare tickets to Vic Falls and will definitely see them there soon in their own colors if the positive outlook in the country prevails.
This is good news for people in the west of the country of Zimbabwe as this is offering them an alternative to using the airport in Harare. Victoria Falls is closer to Bulawayo than Harare in terms of road times as there are less stops along the way. To add icing on the cake you get to pass through one of Africa’s biggest game reserve and spot a few of those beautiful animals as you drive through the park area and even enjoy the serene landscape. Just like R G Mugabe International Airport, J N M Nkomo International Airport stands to benefit as a feeder airport to Victoria Falls international Airport as passenger volumes increase. The cry now is for domestic operators to respond in kind to this positive vibe that is gripping our travel industry.