Last week, Zimbabwean President – Robert Mugabe commissioned the new Victoria Falls International Airport. The new look Airport is located 18km (11 mi) south of the Victoria Falls town in Matabeleland North and serves as the gateway to Victoria Falls, a world heritage site.
Expansion of the airport, which began in 2013, was funded through a 150 million-dollar-loan from China Export Import Bank and handled by China Jiangsu International. Zimbabwe’s deep ties with China have also seen the country adopt the Chinese Yuan (¥) as a legal tender.
Built to accommodate the world’s largest aircraft (4km long & 60 metres wide runway), the Victoria Falls International Airport now has the capacity to handle 15 million passengers yearly (three times its previous volume) and expandable to accomodate rising number of tourists.
Facilities at the new Airport includes – a state of the art control tower – one of the most advanced in Africa, 14 check-in counters, nine boarding gates, 28 aircraft parking bays, three baggage carousels, a dozen shops, two restaurants, fire station and extended parking area (up 400 vehicles).
Currently, both British Airways and South African Airways are among the major airlines flying into the Victoria. Others to have shown interest in flying into the new hub are Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.