Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau
NEWS of three scheduled flights between Harare and Kariba by light aircraft from today has been welcomed by tourism businesses here.
A private airline, Executive Air, has been seeking bookings via e-mail and mobile phones for its two aircraft with a total of 16 seats between them.
But the airline has warned that the service depends on how many people are ready to use it and December flights cannot be guaranteed.
Fares are US$115 one way.
The first Executive Air flight will fly to Kariba from Charles Prince Airport this morning and return to Harare today.
Another flight has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 27, 2019, with another one scheduled for November 30.
Travel and tour operator Mr Cephas Shonhiwa said the development inspires confidence in the destination as lack of scheduled flights was an albatross on tourism development in the town.
Several attempts have been made to reintroduce flights connecting Kariba, Harare and other destinations amid fears that the costs have been astronomical for most travellers. As a result, they opted to travel the gruelling 360km by road, a long drive limiting the amount of time many have to explore the destination.
Air Zimbabwe relaunched a three-times-a-week flight between Harare, Kariba and Victoria Falls in 2014 using its MA60 as part of efforts to enhance connectivity and boost tourism.
The national airline, however, abandoned the service after it failed to get sufficient numbers to warrant its continuation, while high temperatures in Kariba made landing difficult.
As a result, the flight was discontinued, leaving the more expensive option of chartering flights as most travellers hired smaller aircraft to take them deeper into the Zambezi Valley where there are several airstrips.
Another deal to fly into Kariba and connect with Victoria Falls proposed by Air Zimbabwe and Mack Air of Botswana is in the pipeline, with several loose ends still to be tied before it becomes operational.