African low-cost carrier Fastjet has won the right to start flights between Harare and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and Johannesburg in South Africa.
The airline said it expects to receive additional international route approvals in the first quarter of the year to create a “substantial” network from Zimbabwe.
Daily flights from Harare to Johannesburg will start on February 1 with fares starting at $80, undercutting existing carriers on the route. A second frequency will be introduced as demand grows, the airline said. Flights to Johannesburg from Victoria Falls will initially run three times a week.
Chief executive, Ed Winter, said: “In launching these flights, Fastjet Zimbabwe is establishing itself as a key player in the market.
“There is clearly significant demand for affordable travel between Harare and Johannesburg.
“Up to 100 buses a day travel between the two cities, a journey which can take as long as 24 hours. Similarly, the 1300km road journey from Johannesburg to the World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Southern Africa, can take as long as two days with border crossings. Fastjet flights will take just one hour and forty minutes.
“As we have seen in other markets, we expect many passengers currently undertaking the journey by bus to switch to flying, taking advantage of Fastjet’s low fares and safe and reliable flights.
“There are significant historical, commercial and political links between the two countries, and it is estimated that more than 3 million Zimbabweans now live in South Africa.
“Fastjet Zimbabwe is now well placed to capitalise on the opportunities that this market offers.”
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