Qatar Airways has announced that it will begin operations in Zimbabwe on Tuesday, marking the airline’s first landing in the country. The move is part of Zimbabwe’s efforts to open its skies and attract more international airlines as part of its Second Republic’s open-air policy.
The airline will operate seven weekly flights between Lusaka and Harare, linking the two capital cities of Zambia and Zimbabwe respectively. Qatar Airways made the announcement on its official Twitter handle, saying “The smoke that thunders. Let #QatarAirways take you to the world’s largest waterfall on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Starting today we have 7 weekly flights on the linked Lusaka and Harare route.”
This move is also part of Zimbabwe’s efforts to upgrade its airports and establish more bilateral air service agreements. The country currently has agreements with 13 countries, including Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Gambia, and The Seychelles. The increased air traffic is expected to benefit sectors such as horticulture and high-value items like modern electronics and ICT.
This announcement comes on the heels of Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s leading carrier, launching a new flight to Bulawayo via Victoria Falls on October 30, 2022. The airline started four weekly flights to Bulawayo, making it the third destination city in Zimbabwe after Harare and Victoria Falls, and a third new destination opened after the pandemic.
The Airline’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mesfin Tasew, was quoted as saying that his company was continually growing its network in Africa to provide affordable and convenient air connectivity and facilitate trade within Africa and beyond. He said the commencement of flights to Bulawayo was crucial in connecting Southern Africa to the world.
The move by Qatar Airways and Ethiopian Airlines is expected to boost tourism and business in the region, and it is a positive development for the aviation industry in the region.