KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has announced it will begin a three-day per week service to Harare from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on October 29.
Only last week, an official from the Tourism Ministry revealed that KLM had shelved plans to fly to Harare after complaining of high landing fees being charged by the Zimbabwe Aviation Authority.
But in a statement on Tuesday, KLM said it saw “growth opportunities in Africa” and the new route “strengthens our position in Africa”.
KLM was one of the international airlines which stopped flights to Zimbabwe at the height of the country’s economic and political crisis over the last decade.
But the grounding of Air Zimbabwe flights has opened an opportunity for international airlines. Emirates Airlines – which currently flies five times a week to Harare via Lusaka, Zambia – is increasing the flight frequency to daily starting on October 1.
“KLM will operate a service from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Harare International Airport three times a week. Harare which will be served in combination with Lusaka, Zambia,” the airline said in a statement.
“KLM will also offer eleven weekly services to Harare via Nairobi in cooperation with Kenya Airways, which is undergoing rapid development in terms of fleet expansion and new destinations.”
Flight KL523 will be operated with an Airbus A330-200 on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, departing from Schiphol at 10.20 hrs and arriving in Harare on the same day at 21.25hrs.
The return leg of the circle trip has the same number, KL523, leaving Harare at 22.30hrs the same day, with an intermediate landing in Lusaka. The flight arrives in Amsterdam the following morning at 10.20hrs.