Fastjet Zimbabwe will launch flights between Bulawayo and Johannesburg from December 5.

The airline will operate 22 scheduled flights per week with double-daily frequencies from Monday to Friday and one flight on Sundays.

On Mondays to Fridays the first flight will depart Johannesburg at 08h30 and arrive in Bulawayo at 09h50. The second flight will depart Johannesburg at 21h10, landing in Bulawayo at 22h30.

The early return flight will depart Bulawayo at 06h40 and arrive in Johannesburg at 08h00 and the later flight will depart at 18h10 and land in Johannesburg at 19h30.

On Sundays, the flight will depart Johannesburg at 21h10, arriving in Bulawayo at 22h30. The return flight will depart Bulawayo at 18h10 and arrive in Johannesburg at 19h30.

An Embraer ERJ145 will service the route from Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport to OR Tambo International Airport, where travellers can connect to multiple global destinations on the services of ticketing airline partners Qatar Airways, Emirates Airline, or an airline of choice.

"It’s great that we can make a seamless journey a reality for our loyal customers supporting new business, trade and leisure opportunities between the two countries. We are excited to announce the first of a number of new routes approved by the regulators for the Zimbabwe network and we are committed to working with our team to ensure the success of this new route,” said Fastjet CEO, Joao Sousa.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe confirmed the development, saying it provides more options and flexibility to travellers.

Hotels Association of Zimbabwe Victoria Falls Chapter Chairperson, Farai Chimba, says the development shows confidence in the potential of driving tourism traffic into key tourist areas in the country.

“We particularly need access as an enabler and look forward to a future link to Hwange and Victoria Falls from Bulawayo on a frequent basis,” he says.

The airline also operates the Harare-Johannesburg and Harare-Victoria Falls routes, among others.