The decision by the Zimbabwean Government to allow domestic and international flights to resume, with the proviso passengers are tested for Covid-19 within 48 hours before they travel, has been welcomed by hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism.
Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive Ross Kennedy said the hospitality group was very pleased domestic air services on commercial and charter aircraft, would soon be active in our skies once more.
“Whilst there are some operational protocols to introduce and all necessary Statutory Instrument regulations to be published, it is a welcome and very positive decision by Cabinet and Ministry,” Kennedy said.
“We are collaborating with our air partners in Zimbabwe to get passengers into the skies and enjoying the wonderful and diverse destinations and experiences as soon as possible,” he said.
AAT had created fly-in packages for its Victoria Falls properties and was looking forward to welcoming guests stepping onto the tarmac at Victoria Falls airport very soon, Kennedy said.
“Victoria Falls airport is ready to operate effective 10 September, and hopefully the first flights land in the coming days or week.
“Talks are ongoing about regional airlines access to Victoria Falls, Livingstone and Kasane airports from South Africa and our regional neighbours.
“We are hopeful that borders will open soon to also allow self-drive traffic, with Victoria Falls and Livingstone being an obvious travel bubble over the Victoria Falls Bridge,” he said.
“The Victoria Falls Regional Tourism Association is engaged with fellow stakeholders in this ongoing initiative to “get tourism going” again.
“It is also very good news to see Emirates announce that effective 1 October they will fly into Harare twice per week on their initial schedule,” he added.
“Getting other loyal and supportive African carriers such as Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways to return to Victoria Falls airport will also be a huge boost for tourism in the region.”
Zimbabwe’s Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced on Tuesday that domestic flights would resume on 10 September, while international flights were set to resume on 1 October.
“All travellers will be required to have a PCR Covid -19 clearance certificate issued by a recognised facility within 48 hours from the date of departure, in line with WHO guidelines,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
AAT operates a portfolio of properties in Victoria Falls, namely Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Safari Suites, Lokuthula Lodges and The Boma -Dinner & Drum Show.