PMB, Ulundi flight reviewed

2012-04-05 00:00

EIGHT years after the provincial government pulled the plug on a daily flight between Pietermaritzburg and Ulundi, the service has been resurrected.

 

The new daily flight, operated by Federal Airlines, was officially launched yesterday and Zululand District Municipality Mayor Zanele Magwaza-Msibi was on board to mark the occasion. “It was the nicest flight I have ever enjoyed,” she said on landing in Pietermaritzburg.

Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela was waiting at the airport with members of the city’s executive committee to welcome her.

“Both Pietermaritzburg and Ulundi enjoy a prestigious historical legacy and it is a forgone conclusion that tourism is going to thrive as a result of opening this route,” he said.

He urged members of the public to use this mode of transport.

Magwaza-Msibi said the route was critical for unlocking access to the region and driving economic growth.

The provincial government had provided an infrastructural grant of R30 million for the rehabilitation of Ulundi’s airport.

“We spent these funds on recovering the runway, remodelling the terminal building, updating of rescue and fire equipment and putting in instruments for an all-weather approach,” she said.

Troy Reiser, managing director of Federal Airlines, said he hoped this model would be replicated in other parts of the country.

Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business CEO, Melanie Veness, welcomed the initiative, saying it would unlock business opportunities for both Ulundi and Pietermaritzburg.

A route between Durban and Ulundi is also on the cards.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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