MACK Air, a Botswana-based airline, will be making its maiden flight into Victoria Falls from Kasane this Saturday as it launches daily scheduled flights aimed at providing seamless and scenic experience to tourists between the two neighbouring countries. Mack Air becomes the first airline to offer international scheduled flights between Victoria Falls and Kasane and will be using its new Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft, which carries 12 passengers and two crew members, for the 20 minute-scenic flight.
The airline’s managing director, Mr Michael Weyl, said the service is expected to boost confidence in tourism in the wake of Covid-19, as well as attracting more tourists to visit Southern Africa, particularly Victoria Falls and Chobe. He said Mack Air will offer only links between Kasane and Victoria Falls connecting all Zimbabwe and Botswana destinations.
Usually on a good day, about 1 000 tourists use road between Victoria Falls and Kasane across the Kazungula border and the air service will add glamour to the tours and also connect tourists further to Hwange National Park, Mana Pools and Kariba through partnerships with other operators.
“As promised, we are expanding our reach to accommodate all of our passengers’ wild adventures. We are excited to announce that with effect from May 1, 2021 Mack Air will be operating daily scheduled flights between Kasane and Victoria Falls from where they can visit Victoria Falls and a number of Zimbabwe destinations and Botswana, all in one action packed vacation,” says Mr Weyl.
“This creates an exceptional fly in safari experience for our passengers. On a normal day between 200 and 1 000 people travel from Victoria Falls across the border to visit Chobe National park.
“Previously everyone had to transition by road or charter their own aircraft.”
Mr Weyl said Mack Air service will be cost effective compared to chartering own aircraft, and the daily flights will afford tourists an experience of Africa’s best safaris in one package. He said the aircraft will land at the Victoria Falls International Airport at 11:20am on Saturday.
“Victoria Falls is well known as the hub for tourist activity and our new scheduled flight will bring neighbours closer together and offer people a seamless trip. We are extremely excited to start this venture, as we open up borders for tourists. We will be plying Kasane-Victoria Falls-Kasane once daily and once tourism recovers, we will increase frequency and capacity which might see us putting another aircraft,” he said.
The airline has been operating for 27 years and commands a significant share of the market in Botswana especially around tourist destinations such as Chobe, Maun, Okavango Delta, Kasane, which is now extending to Victoria Falls and later to Livingstone in Zambia.
Mr Weyl said the post Covid-19 era was all about recovery of industry hence the need to connect destinations that are inaccessible by road.
“Volumes will be low initially but we are hoping to boost confidence to travel. We thank CAAZ (Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe) as they have been extremely supportive, a clear indication that they want to see tourism recovering,” he said. — @ncubeleon