Last week it was announced that Ethiopian Airlines will introduce direct flights to Victoria Falls in March 2017 as part of a broader expansion plan taking place over the next five months.
Through the introduction of seven new destinations in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines are looking to tap into the global aviation market, of which the continent’s share is currently just 3%.
Speaking about the expansion, Mr Tewolder Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines’ Group CEO said, “As the largest airline group in the continent, we are highly concerned about the low base of air connectivity in the continent and we are setting record expansion to enable Africans to enjoy safe, reliable and economical air connectivity both within the continent and between the continent and the rest of the world,”
“Looking beyond the current economic slowdown,” he went on, “especially in the oil export-dependent economies of Africa, we firmly believe that the continent will become the magnet for foreign direct investment, trade and tourism.
“These are the engines of air travel growth and in turn, efficient air connectivity also drives socioeconomic development and we are happy to contribute our share in the 21st century African transformation,” he said.
In terms of Victoria Falls, the introduction of direct flights to Victoria Falls will no doubt increase the amount of tourists entering and exploring Zimbabwe. This, in turn, is likely to attract both regional and foreign investors, create countless job opportunities, and boost overall economic growth in the country.
The airport now features a 4km long runway, a brand-spanking-new international terminal building, and a new control tower. The apron area can accommodate long haul flights from all over the world, and can handle aircrafts in the class of B747 and equivalent. Furthermore, the passenger handling capacity has been increased from 500 000 to 1.5 million per year.
Tom Varley Photography