Sunday, October 21, 2012

► ZIMBABWE: FlyKumba's management venture into the helicopter business.

FlyKumbaLloyd Muchaka and South African based Zimbabwean investor, Patrick Chapwanya, the co-founders of the now defunct Zimbabwean LCC, FlyKumba (FKZ), have been granted a licence by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe for their helicopter company, Chikopokopo Helicopters, set to operate out of Victoria Falls.

Flight of the Angels, Victoria Falls
Flight of the Angels, Victoria Falls
According to Machaka, Chikopokopo Helicopters' commercial manager, the company aims to make the normally expensive flights over the Victoria Fallsmore  affordable to the ordinary Zimbabwean public by flying a greater number of passengers per day in order to offset costs.

According to tourism companies in the Falls, flights usually cost upwards from USD140 for a 12 minute trip.
"We want to make it (Flight of Angels) affordable for the local market; we want to make it accessible because it has been traditionally for foreigners. Local tourists can't afford," said Muchaka. "We are targeting to fly 60 passengers per day in Victoria Falls," Muchaka told C&M. "That is what we want to achieve in the first year. We will be starting the Victoria Falls Flight of Angels soon. We have finished our helipad and we will be using two helicopters there," he said.

With the UNWTO Annual General meeting set for August 2013 in the Falls, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) projects the steady rise seen in tourist arrivals into Zimbabwe in 2012 to carry on through into 2013; a forecast that many fledgling Zimbabwean tourism operators are betting on.