BY Matabeleland North Correspondent
THE Lufthansa Group owned airline, Eurowings Discover, has intensified plans to fly into Victoria Falls, with the inaugural flight set for March 30 next year.
The new leisure long-haul airline will fly three times a week via Windhoek, Namibia.
Eurowings Discover is 100 percent owned by Lufthansa Group and has been flying into Windhoek since September.
Victoria Falls will be the airline’s 5th destination in Africa after Mombasa in Kenya, Windhoek in Namibia, Zanzibar Tanzania, and Mauritius as the aviation player seeks to expand footprint in Africa.
The airline made an announcement expressing interest in Victoria Falls destination in May and held a follow up meeting with players in the tourism industry in the resort destination on Thursday.
Lufthansa Group general manager for Africa Andre Schult said the airline seeks to make footprint in Africa as he appealed for partnership with local tourism players for marketing of the destination.
“Our next project is Victoria Falls and 30 March will be a big day. We are happy that Eurowings Discovery will start flying via Windhoek and we are very optimistic and positive regarding the booking outlook,” said Schult.
He said the airline did fact finding trip to Victoria Falls and data analysis of German tourists coming into the destination and was convinced of the potential.
“We are really happy to support with this airline the restart of Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls tourism industry actively with this flight. Our commitment is that we will do what we can to market Victoria Falls but with local support. We need to increase confidence of travellers but we are positive that the potential that this destination has to offer and the customers that we are flying in from
Germany and all over the world is a great match going forward,” said Schult.
He said the route will benefit not only Victoria Falls but the whole Kaza area.
“Ours is to get people to travel to Victoria Falls as we strengthen connectivity to the region and expand our footprint in Africa. This is not just a project, it’s a long-term initiative and we are here to stay so we have to work jointly together to fill up the flights,” said Schult.
He said so far the airline had received positive customer feedback since announcing intention to fly into Victoria Falls.
There are plans to rollout massive marketing and education campaign ahead of the coming of the airline both in Windhoek and Victoria Falls.
Airports Company of Zimbabwe chief executive Tawanda Guzha said it was encouraging to have a European airline landing in Victoria Falls.
He said more effort will be put to market other airports countrywide.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority executive director for international marketing Jeffrey Manjengwa said the confidence on the destination by the aviation players is a boost for tourism recovery especially targeting key source markets.