Zimbabwe’s low-cost airline, Fastjet, has suspended its flights from Victoria Falls to Botswana’s tourism capital, Maun, just a year after launching the then seemingly lucrative route in June 2022.
The airline faced low bookings and recently pulled out, leaving the route at the service of chartered flights.
The airline’s spokesperson, Nunurai Ndawana, confirmed the suspension, saying, “Fastjet suspended scheduled flights to Maun. However, charter and ad hoc flights will be operated in the peak season.”
The route was expected to boost the tourism and aviation sector as it was launched just as these sectors were making a comeback following the devastating effects of Covid-19.
At the time of the launch, the Chief Executive Officer for Botswana Civil Aviation Authority, Bai Mosinyi, noted that for growth to take place in the region and the African continent, the aviation and tourism sector needed to look at not only international flights, but also regional ones such as Fastjet.
Botswana and Zimbabwe are among landlocked countries in Southern Africa but have been blessed with rich ecosystems and a unique water system; the Okavango Delta in Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
By flying tourists into these two destinations, Fastjet was hoping to get them to explore marvels of nature including Tsodilo Hills, Chobe National Park, Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve and Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana and Gonarezhou National Park, Lake Kariba, Great Zimbabwe and Matopo National Monuments in Zimbabwe.
However, the route has proven not to have sustainable growth hence the airline believes chartered and ad hoc flights will be operated during peak season only.