British billionaire Richard Branson sent social media into a frenzy when he descended upon Harare, Zimbabwe, leaving tongues wagging and curiosity piqued.
A titan in the aviation industry and the proud master of Virgin Atlantic, Branson chose none other than the budget airline Fastjet to make his majestic arrival in Zimbabwe.
Fastjet, brimming with excitement, couldn’t contain their delight and rushed to Twitter to unveil their extraordinary passenger: “Guess who was on a #fastjet flight to #Harare? It was a pleasure having @richardbranson onboard a fastjet flight. Honoured to have one of aviation’s top personalities flying with us. Thank you, Richard, See you soon ”
The tweet came adorned with snapshots of Richard Branson, radiating happiness as he posed with the beaming Fastjet crew.
🚨 Guess who was on a #fastjet flight to #Harare?— fastjet (@fastjet) June 30, 2023
It was a pleasure having @richardbranson onboard a fastjet flight. Honoured to have one of aviation's top personalities flying with us. Thank you, Richard, See you soon 😉😄#fastjetForEveryone#AvGeek #fastjet pic.twitter.com/INs44jwGQa
While the purpose of Branson’s visit to Zimbabwe remains veiled in mystery for now, one thing is for sure – he didn’t journey alone.
Accompanied by his wife and two other women, rumours abound that they are indulging in a splendid holiday within the country.
Coincidentally, Branson’s arrival in Zimbabwe in a low-cost jet comes at the same time as his Virgin Galactic rocket plane Unity launched its first commercial space mission.
Virgin Galactic sent three passengers from the Italian Air Force and National Research Council into space on the Galactic 01 mission, accompanied by five Virgin Galactic crew members, including an astronaut instructor and four pilots.
Unity soared high over the New Mexico desert, enabling three Italians to conduct science experiments in weightless conditions.
This marked the first “purchased” mission, not just a test flight. Branson will now proceed to send up the approximately 800 individuals who’ve purchased tickets to ride on Unity.
Some of Virgin Galactic’s ticket holders have been waiting for over a decade to get their chance to visit the edge of space, and most will still have a long wait.
Unity can carry only a few passengers at a time, and with a mission rate of one outing per month, it will take time to work through the backlog.
The pace is expected to improve in 2026 when Virgin Galactic introduces a new class of rocket planes, which will have a flight cadence of once per week.