NATIONAL-carrier Air Zimbabwe and Mack Air, a private company have entered into an agreement that will see the two launching domestic and regional air services under the banner of Flame Lily Hoppa.
According to the agreement, there will also be air services to camps and lodges within the major tourism hubs in the country for tourist convenience.
“Additionally, the agreement includes services to camps and lodges within the environs of these major tourism hubs; on an anticipated per seat basis to service the lodge and camp clientele and drive additional tourism growth in these critical areas,” said the statement.
Flame Lily Hoppa, if successfully implemented and operated could be the game changer in the country’s tourism sector which has seen most tourists having to travel long distances between destinations using the road.
The agreement also comes at a time when Air Zimbabwe has been facing a lot of challenges chief among them lack of a meaningful fleet and other operational challenges.
Also included in the deal are daily regional scheduled air services between Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique.
These flights will initially focus on leveraging the historic tourism links between Zimbabwe and Botswana, obvious geographic positioning and thereby ensuring the inauguration of additional tourism circuit products, by operators and using a platform of integrated flights, services and links provided on the Flame Lily Hoppa.
Flights under Flame Lily Hoppa will be operated using a blend of brand new Cessna Grand Caravan EX operated by Mack Air and Embraer 145 jet aircraft from Air Zimbabwe.
Mack Air and Air Zimbabwe have also committed to supporting and spearheading the upgrade of both Kariba and Hwange Airports, alongside and in co-operation with the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and additional key stakeholders; in order to ensure the complete suitability of facilities for the region becoming a world-class safari and recreational destination.
Additional announcements will be made in the coming weeks as these discussions further mature and crystallise.
About Air Zimbabwe
Air Zimbabwe is the national carrier of Zimbabwe and has recently received delivery of its’ first Embraer 145 aircraft. This aircraft was acquired in order to support additional tourism arrivals in Zimbabwe and the subsequent launch of the Flame Lily Hoppa Service.
Air Zimbabwe has been working tirelessly at restructuring operations in order to provide an operating platform required to support the significant investment that has taken place in Zimbabwe during the course of the past 24 months.
About Mack Air
Mack Air is an independent, privately owned company that has been operating within the popular Okavango, Kalahari and surrounding tourism areas for the past 25 years – almost exclusively servicing the tourist industry.
Mack Air operates a fleet of in excess of 24 aircraft and has in the past 18 months acquired 17 brand new Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft as well as a Citation M2 Jet to support additional operations within the region.