FASTJET Zimbabwe has received the first of three Embraer 120, 30-seater aircrafts that will ply the Harare to Hwange and Harare to Kariba routes.
The arrival of the aircraft is part of the local airline’s strategy to expand its flights across tourist destinations in Zimbabwe, with both the Harare to Hwange and Kariba routes expected to begin on the 27th of this month.
In a statement, fastjet Zimbabwe spokesperson Nunurai Ndawana said they were delighted to welcome the aircraft and add it to their existing domestic routes of Harare, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo.
“We are delighted to welcome this aircraft to serve our domestic new routes to Kariba and Hwange National Park,” he said, at the arrival of the first of the three Embraer 120’s today in Harare.
“Air connectivity is a key enabler for tourism development, and we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the development of tourism in Zimbabwe and the region. We are finalising our preparations for the launch of the flights to Kariba and Hwange National Park.”
He added: “The arrival of this aircraft will see us concluding the mandatory regulatory processes in operating flights to these strategic destinations in the development of tourism in Zimbabwe.”
Newsday Business understands that in preparation of the inaugural flights to Hwange and Kariba, the aircraft will operate a series of ad-hoc charter flights around Zimbabwe ahead of the full schedule.
“These new routes will bring to five the domestic destinations that fastjet operates in Zimbabwe after Harare, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo offering customers seamless connections to Zimbabwe’s top domestic tourism destinations,” Ndawana said.
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When pressed by the paper for the cost of the plane ticket for these new flights or whether a passenger could purchase it in local currency, fastjet chief commercial officer Vivian Ruwuya referred interested parties to their website.
“Anyone wishing to purchase a ticket can find competitive pricing and a wide arraying of options on our website,” she said.
According to the online aviation website, Aviator Inside, the price of a used Embraer 120 ranges between $750 000 and $950 000 with the exact amount dependent on the maintenance of the aircraft.
Further research shows that the plane has an annual budget cost of nearly US$1,14 million to maintain which breaks down to US$2 532,62 per hour.
Regionally, fastjet Zimbabwe is flying into South Africa and Botswana but has plans to expand regional flights depending on demand.