Mutare flights excite Manicaland

by Editorial Team
3 minutes read

The recent introduction of flights from Harare to Mutare by Fly City has excited many people in the eastern province of Manicaland and kindled hopes of increased tourism activity in Manicaland province. This was especially so for players in the business tourism sector who are expecting a boost in tourist arrivals.

Fly City Air made its maiden 30-minute commercial passenger charter flight from the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to Mutare Aerodrome Mutare on 31 October 2021.

The company’s business development officer, Leslie Gurajena, told the Mutare-based newspaper, The Manica Post, that the company would have flights three times a week from 26 November. These will be on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

“Departing Harare at 9:20am, the plane will arrive in Mutare at 10am. It will return to Harare at 10:20am and arrive at RGM International Airport at 11am. Fares will vary from US$90 for a one-way ticket with 7kg luggage allowed for both regular and leisure travellers. Fly City Air will be flying on two Cessna 12-seater models, the Grand Caravan and the Cessna 406 Caravan, a twin-turbo operated by Falcon Air,” Gurajena told The Manica Post.

Gurajena explained the suitability of the Cessna plane models which her company is using for the Mutare flights.

“The Cessna Caravans are one of the most efficient workhorses of the small aircraft family and were chosen for their practicality and flexibility given the size of the air strips targeted for landing.

They are ideal for travelling with small groups hopping between cities. The cargo pods on the belly of the aircrafts create enough space for luggage and allow business and holiday ticket holders to have a maximum of 30kg of checked-in luggage,” she said.

Gurajena said that her company was working with the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) and other aviation companies such as Falcon Air and Angels LiteTours to deliver safe and exceptional services.

Players in the tourism sector and other people in the province were excited about the development.

“This is a very welcome development which I hope will contribute immensely to the growth of tourism in the region. We have been advocating for this innovation for a long time. It will promote domestic tourism in the short run, but long term it will also promote international tourists by directing them to the Eastern Highlands. People can drop off and connect straight at RGM International Airport,” Eastern Highlands Experience chairman, William Chatigu told The Manica Post.

“This is a step forward for Mutare’s tourism, conference venues and business travel. Hopefully, more players will soon be plying the Mutare destination and linking it to other domestic destinations such as Kariba, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo,” tweeted Richard Mugobo, a Mutare resident.

“This is great news for the province in terms of accessibility and convenience,” said travel enthusiast and tourism promoter Rashid Salimu in a tweet.

The introduction of flights is expected to stimulate business and leisure tourism activities in Manicaland province which has a number of attractions and sought-after conferencing venues in places such as Chimanimani, Mutare, Vumba and Nyanga. The flights come decades after the province was last serviced by Air Zimbabwe in the early 1980s. The national carrier had flights to Chipinge and Mutare.

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