from DANIEL JONES in Victoria Falls
VICTORIA FALLS – SOME airlines have suspended flights or scaled down on operations to Zimbabwe as the country experiences a third wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19), fuelled by the Delta variant.
British Airways (operated by Comair) has shelved flights into Victoria Falls, two months after resuming operations, having initially suspended them in March last year.
The airline has suspended flights until July 30.
Fastjet, the low-cost carrier has scaled down the frequency of flights as a result of the reduced volume of travellers.
The scale-down ironically comes after Fastjet recently launched daily double flights between Bulawayo and Johannesburg. The flights are likely to be affected.
The developments are a further blow to the tourism sector.
“The airlines which had started to fly into Victoria Falls have had to scale back their frequencies in response to reduced demand and this has a huge effect on their operational sustainability,” lamented Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe chairperson, Anald Musonza.
Clement Mukwasi, President of the Employers Association for the Tourism and Safari Operators, said while tourism is open, business remained elusive because of lack of clients.
“Few people that have been coming through the airports have stopped because our source market countries are still in lockdown. Without airlines and intercity travel banned, there is no activity at all,” he said.
Government prohibited intercity travel when it announced a heightened 14-day lockdown, which ends next weekend.
As of July 11, Zimbabwe had 67 765 confirmed cases and 2 185 deaths from COVID-19.
– CAJ News