While air travel all over the world took a pounding during the pandemic, new figures from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) show that passenger numbers from 17 international and local airlines servicing Zimbabwean destinations will rise by 80% in 2022 compared to the 2019 period.
Zimbabwe’s tourist arrivals rose by 93% during the first quarter of 2022 as international holidaymakers visited the country’s resorts as travel curbs were relaxed worldwide.
Arrivals increased to 126,955 during the period, from 65,882 during the same period in 2021 representing a growth to almost three million passengers this year.
Airlines carried 430,000 passengers in 2020 and 740,000 passengers in 2021, according to Caaz data.
“Zimbabwe passenger traffic is expected to reach over 80% of 2019 levels by year-end, making the future bright. Rising demand for air travel following the removal of Covid-19 travel restrictions by several states will drive traffic. The coming of new airlines into the Zimbabwean market (including) Qatar Airways, Eurowings Discover, Eswatini Air, Kuva Air operated by Executive Air and the return of Air Botswana into the Zimbabwean market (will also increase passenger numbers),” Caaz director-general Elijah Chingosho said.
Chingosho also added that several airlines had increased frequencies on domestic routes.