BULAWAYO – Ethiopian Airlines is set to fly into Bulawayo for the first time, starting on October 30.
The four times weekly service, via Victoria Falls, will bring convenience to Zimbabweans in the diaspora returning home for the December holidays. Travellers from Europe, North America or Asia currently cannot start and finish their travel to Zimbabwe’s second city using the same airline, which Ethiopian Airlines is about to change.
JM Nkomo airport general manager Passmore Dewa said on Friday: “This is one of the best developments in the history of this airport. Travellers now have more choice as Ethiopian is truly a gateway to the rest of the world.
“For Bulawayo and surrounding areas, including tourist attractions, this is a game-changer in very serious ways.”
The Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport’s catchment includes places such as Gweru, Masvingo, Beitbridge and Plumtree.
Africa’s biggest airline, which flies to all continents, officially announced the launch at a reception held at Zimbabwe House in London on September 30.
The flights will originate from Ethiopian Airlines’ Addis Ababa hub, where travellers can connect to popular destinations such as Nairobi, London, Manchester, New York, Washington D.C, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Paris.
Ethiopian Airlines was already flying to Harare and Victoria Falls, making Bulawayo its third destination in Zimbabwe. The airline said the launch of the Bulawayo service was a response to demand.
The airline said it would use a Boeing 737 on the route.
The rebuilt Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport is currently operating under capacity with a few airlines flying into the city, famed for its historic landmarks and cultural heritage.
Fastjet and Airlink operate flights between Bulawayo and Johannesburg on the regional routes. Air Zimbabwe and Fastjet fly the domestic service between the city, Victoria Falls and Harare.