Qatar Airways to launch Zambia, Zimbabwe flights

Doha-based carrier will rival Emirates by launching flights to Lusaka and Harare.

Qatar Airways is further expanding its network in Africa with the addition of destinations in Zambia and Zimbabwe long-served by rival Emirates.

Flights from Doha (DOH) to Lusaka (LUN) and onwards to Harare (HRE) will begin on Aug. 6 onboard Boeing 787 aircraft. The route will operate three times per week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

“Africa continues to be an area of strong growth for Qatar Airways and launching this service will support the development of the economy and tourism sector in both countries,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said. 

“Not only do we continue to rebuild our network after the pandemic, but we are actively expanding it with the addition of these two key destinations. These are the fifth and sixth new destinations in Africa added to our network since the start of the pandemic, taking our total new destinations added across the globe to 10.”

Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows Emirates currently operates Dubai (DXB)-LUN-HRE four times per week using 777-300ERs. Emirates carried about 312,000 two-way passengers on the route in 2019, Sabre Market Intelligence figures show. The airline has been flying the route since 2012.

With the addition of LUN and HRE, Qatar Airways will operate more than 100 weekly flights to 27 destinations in Africa. 

The oneworld alliance member said the launch of Lusaka and Harare also supports increased demand for trade between Zambia and Zimbabwe and destinations on its network such as London, Frankfurt and New York, and from multiple points in China. Each service will have a total of 30 tons of cargo capacity.

Flights will depart DOH at 2.20 a.m., arriving in Zambia’s capital Lusaka at 8.50 a.m. After remaining on the ground for 1hr. 30 min. the aircraft continues to Harare where it lands at 11.20 a.m. The return journey sees flights depart Zimbabwe’s capital at 6.55 p.m., arriving in LUN at 7.55 p.m. The final leg departs LUN at 9.25 p.m. and arrives back in Doha at 5.55 a.m. the following day. 

Qatar Airways’ VP for Africa Hendrik Du Preez told Routes in May that the end of the blockade has opened up new opportunities for the airline on the continent.

Photo credit: Karim Jaafar / AFP / Getty Images