Kuva Airline to link Harare-Kariba-Hwange-Victoria Falls

The Chronicle

Business Reporter

NEWLY launched Kuva Airline, which will make its inaugural Harare-Hwange-Victoria Falls flight on June 1, 2022, says it is focused on linking more domestic tourism destinations in Zimbabwe.

Kuva Airline marketing executive, Darryl Dzapasi, said the airline would operate flights linking Harare, Kariba, Victoria Falls and Hwange on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the beginning of next month.

The flight between Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s most popular tourist destination, and Hwange will cost one US$90 one way and US$180 return.

Mr Dzapasi revealed this in Kariba on Wednesday when the airline made its maiden flight to Kariba fully booked. The plane carries a maximum of 30 passengers and costs US$230 for a return ticket.

Speaking after touchdown at Kariba Airport, Kuva Airline managing director Stewart Dunlop said: “The hassle of getting in and out of Kariba was the inspiration behind setting up the airline.

“Yes, the risk is there but I believe that Zimbabwe’s best kept secret, Kariba, has the demand and we hope everything works out.”

Airport Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) business development officer Tonderai Mangombe said, “This was long overdue, residents and tourists were complaining about having no link between Kariba and other destinations.”

Travellers will have to part with at least US$130 for a one-way trip to Harare and US$100 for a one-way flight to Victoria Falls, which will take about 45 minutes.

Representing tourism players in Kariba, Mr Quinten De Lange, said the introduction of a scheduled flight was a key step in the right direction in order to awaken Kariba as a tourism destination.

“As tourism players and Government, it was discovered that a scheduled flight to Kariba ensured easy access to the greater Kariba area including Mana Pools and the Lower Zambezi where there are several tourism facilities that can be accessed through smaller chartered aircrafts,” said Mr De Lange.

Operator Cephas Shonhiwa said the new airline provided impetus for growth of tourism in the Kariba region, a key tourism destination in Zimbabwe teaming with flora and fauna.

“There are some few things, which need to be addressed but overall, this is one of the best things to ever happen to Kariba in a while,” said Mr Shonhiwa.

“The aircraft is the right size for now because other initiatives failed before because the aircrafts were bigger when there was simply no demand.”

Connectivity of domestic destinations is now being serviced by Air Zimbabwe, Fast jet and Kuva Air, which should enhance efficiency within the country’s domestic aviation.

The entry of new players in the domestic aviation sector comes as tourism operators have welcomed the ongoing airports rehabilitation programme by the Airports Company of Zimbabwe (ACZ) saying this will complement efforts to grow the tourism sector to a US$3 billion industry by 2023.

This comes after growing calls for the Government to consider upgrading its aviation infrastructure.

During his Independence Day celebrations speech, President Mnangagwa said the country was focused on the rehabilitation of local airports.

The move by the Government to renovate domestic airports complements the efforts by CAAZ to lure international airlines amid improving air connectivity to Zimbabwe through an influx of foreign airlines seen as a massive boost for the country’s tourism and business activities.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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