Flights register 52pc growth

ZIMBABWE recorded a 52,3 percent increase in the number of flights to 50 640 last year while air transport passengersʼ volume also improved to 1,56 million driven by increased global travel as the Covid-19 pandemic came under control.
In 2021, the countryʼs airports received 747 404 air traffic travellers.
According to the Transport Statistics Report covering the period 2018 to 2022 released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) this week, the increase in
travellers came after all of the countryʼs airports recorded a continued decrease in the number of air transport passengers between 2018 and 2020.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19 three years ago, countries around the globe embarked on national lockdowns and implemented travel restrictions to contain the spread of the deadly respiratory infection.
However, as the world successfully contained the Covid-19 pandemic, economies started reopening.
In Zimbabwe, the improved volume of air traffic and passengers last year was also on account of the “Zimbabwe is open for business” policy the Government continues to pursue through various interventions to attract investment.
Airlines from across the globe have reintroduced flights into the country bringing in leisure and business tourists and Zimbabweans in the diaspora visiting friends and relatives back home have also contributed to the increase in the number of air transport travellers.
More local people also used air transport to connect from one domestic destination to another such as Harare to Bulawayo for different reasons, increasing the number of flights and air transport passengers during the period under review.
“The improvement from 2021 saw Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport and Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport recording percentage increases in air passengers of 82,6 percent and 97 percent, respectively in 2022 when compared to 2021.
“The number of flights in 2022 was 50 640 compared to 33 254 flights in 2021,” said the agency.
Zimbabweʼs major airports are Robert Gabriel Mugabe (RGM) International Airport, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo (JMN) International Airport and Victoria Falls International
Airport.
In 2018, JMN International Airport recorded a total of 172 140 passengers, Victoria Falls International Airport (411 057) while RGM International Airport had 1,3 million.
In the subsequent year, when the world was hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, JMN International Airport received 132 592 passengers, Victoria Falls International Airport 380 407 while RGM International Airport recorded one million passengers.
JMN International Airport, Zimstat indicated, received 37 594 passengers in 2020, Victoria Falls International Airport 64 202 and RGM International Airport 325 388.
In 2021, JMN International Airport received a total of 80 290 passengers, Victoria Falls International Airport (68 370) while RGM International Airport welcomed 586 320.
The agency also revealed that last year, JMN International Airport received 146 628 passengers, Victoria Falls International Airport (234 609) and 1,156 million recorded at RGM International Airport.

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