Startup carrier fastjet Zimbabwe operated its first flight on Oct. 28, making its debut between Harare and Victoria Falls.
The inaugural flight, operated by a 144-seat Airbus A319, departed Harare at 1400 local time and was met by a traditional water canon salute on arrival at Victoria Falls an hour later.
Fastjet Zimbabwe will initially serve Harare-Victoria Falls 3X-weekly, although frequencies will be ramped up in line with demand. The new carrier is aiming to stimulate the market, with up to 40% of its passengers flying for the first time, rather than taking a long bus journey between the cities.
It also plans to add international services, linking Harare with South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Botswana and Malawi.
Over the course of the next three years, fastjet expects to invest $15 million in the Zimbabwean airline and employ approximately 200 people directly.
“The country needs bold new enterprises like fastjet Zimbabwe to assist the government to achieve its objective of growing the economy,” Zimbabwe transport and infrastructure minister Joram Gumbo said.