VICTORIA FALLS, September 17 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s prime resort town of Victoria Falls is losing business to Livingstone, its Zambian neighbor, because the runway at its airport is too small, an industry official has said.
British Airways/Comair operations director, Martin Louw told guests at a cocktail on Monday night in the resort town that the airline had failed to land its new Boeing 737 800 at the airport because the current runway could not accommodate it. As a result, the plane was now flying into Livingstone, Zambia.
He, however, said BA/Comair would fly directly into Victoria Falls from Johannesburg, South Africa, once a new runway which is currently under construction as part of the Victoria Falls International Airport’s $150 million expansion project was complete.
“We cannot wait for the expansion project to be completed so that we fly direct to Victoria Falls,” said Louw.
The Victoria Falls International Airport’s expansion project is in full swing and will see the construction of a new runway, 4 000 metres long and 60 metres wide, and will be able to cater for wide body aircraft.
The airport upgrade will include a new terminal building designed to handle 1.2million passengers per annum.
Louw said the Victoria Falls-Johannesburg route was the company’s second biggest destination outside South Africa.
BA/Comair increased frequencies to Victoria Falls to two per day adding that plans were afoot to raise that number should demand increase.
“We see Victoria Falls as a growth point for tourism and we would like to be part of the growth and would like to share that growth,” said Louw.