Low-cost airline fastjet has welcomed the statement by Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the honourable Mr Patrick Chinamasa that Zimbabwe is opening its skies to “any airline that wants to fly as many times as possible.”
The opening of Zimbabwe’s skies positions the country as a leading nation in the early implementation of the African Union’s Yamoussoukro Decision, the open skies vision of the African continent. In support of Zimbabwe, fastjet intends to play a growing role in promoting tourism into Zimbabwe as well as regional and domestic affordable travel.
“This is very good news for Zimbabwe,” says fastjet Zimbabwe spokesperson Faith Chaitezvi, “and fastjet intends to grow its network over time to enable affordable inbound and domestic travel for everyone.” She adds that flights between Bulawayo and Harare is at the top of fastjet’s agenda along with plans to fly to other areas of the country as the airline’s fleet grows.
The carrier plans to engage with authorities as soon as this week to shape plans. “fastjet intends to serve both inbound connecting traffic as well as promote domestic travel as our destinations in Zimbabwe grow. We are committed to promoting tourism in Zimbabwe.”
The airline is presently running a campaign in South Africa to further promote regional tourism to Zimbabwe and recently implemented an interline agreement with Emirates whereby connecting traffic from Harare should increase onward travel to new and existing fastjet destinations.
“fastjet will work with all role players to build positively on the significant impact that open skies hold for the Zimbabwean economy.” In other markets where open skies have been implemented, economic benefits have included substantial growth in tourism, economic activity and job creation.