Lovemore Lubinda

Air Zimbabwe and Ethiopian Airlines will this year engage in various joint marketing initiatives aimed at promoting Zimbabwe tourism in the Spanish and Portuguese market.

This was revealed by the Ethiopian Airlines Area Manager for Spain and Portugal Mr Alemu Bekele during the official launch of the Victoria Falls – Madrid route in Spain.

“We are excited to be working with progressive destinations like Zimbabwe through the ZTA. We see a lot of potential in the Madrid- Victoria Falls route so it is our undertaking to nurture and develop this route together with them. We are planning on having road shows and particularly in Spain and Portugal”, said Mr Bekele.

Speaking at the same occasion the Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Mr Karikoga Kaseke expressed gratification at how the Ethiopian Airlines has continued to respond to the aspirations of Zimbabwe tourism.

“The Ethiopian Airlines have consistently supported us and always been forthcoming to our calls for close collaboration in the areas of joint marketing and promotion. We are optimistic that close cooperation will yield more results for mutual benefit.

“So this year we will fully implement the Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) which we signed with them. It is our wish to expand this collaboration to cover other markets in the entire Europe and beyond,’ said Mr Kaseke.

The ZTA boss added that apart from Ethiopian Airlines there are other Airlines that have expressed interest in flying into the resort town of Victoria Falls.

“A number of Airlines have shown interest in flying into Victoria Falls and as government we will continue to court more airlines because we want to see the full utilisation of the recently upgraded and commissioned Victoria Falls International Airport. It has untapped potential to become a hub of air traffic in the sub region,” he said.

The ZTA and Ethiopian Airlines signed a MoU for joint marketing and cooperation last year. In the spirit of the same pact, the two parties have continued to work together particularly during Zimbabwe’s premier business exchange, Sanganai.

The cooperation comes at a time the Victoria Falls International Airport had received a major facelift, to the tune of US$150 million which would see it offer more services. The resort located port now has a boosted capacity that makes it ideal for handling huge volumes of air traffic at an international level. Of late, Zimbabwe’s tourism sector has been slowly picking up, as more and more begin to gain interest in the country’s tourism destinations. This come as a good omen for the country after it had previously received bad publicity.