Victoria Falls International Airport, located in northwestern Zimbabwe, will see its first scheduled intercontinental passenger flights next year after EW Discover (4Y, Frankfurt Int'l), the new Lufthansa long-haul brand, announced the start of a 3x weekly return service to the resort town from Frankfurt Int'l via Windhoek Int'l, Namibia starting on March 30, 2022.

Lufthansa's General Manager (Southern & East Africa), André Schulz, confirmed to ch-aviation the airline has not been granted fifth freedom traffic rights on the Namibia-Zimbabwe sectors and vice versa but is working on attaining such. Fifth freedom rights would entitle the airline to fly from Germany and pick up revenue passengers in Namibia and carry them on to Zimbabwe, and vice versa.

The Zimbabwe government has previously granted fifth freedom rights to Kenya Airways (to Cape Town), RwandAir (to Cape Town), and Ethiopian (to Gaborone) through Victoria Falls in the interests of driving up tourist inflows to the region, situated along the Zambezi river. During the last decade, it spent over USD200 million to build a new 4,000-metre-long runway capable of handling widebodies in addition to a new passenger terminal.

Victoria Falls itself, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya in the local tongue (meaning "the smoke that thunders" because of the billowing clouds of mist visible for miles from the mighty waterfalls), currently only has air connections to other African countries, predominantly South Africa, served by Airlink (South Africa) and Kenya Airways from Cape Town; British Airways (operated by Comair (South Africa)) and Fastjet Zimbabwe from Johannesburg O.R. Tambo. Kenya Airways also provides a connection to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta, while Ethiopian Airlines serves it from Addis Ababa. Domestic carriers Fastjet and Air Zimbabwe provide links to Harare Int'l and Bulawayo respectively, FlightRadar24 ADS-B data confirms.

Lufthansa currently operates 5x weekly services (LH 570/1) between Frankfurt and Windhoek using a A340-300, the ch-aviation schedules module reveals. From August this year, the services will start flying under the Eurowings Discover brand. According to Schulz, Lufthansa Group flights to long-haul leisure destinations, such as Windhoek, have shown a strong increase in demand of recent.

As previously reported, Eurowings Discover is currently in the final phase of its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) approval process. It is planned to start operations on long-haul tourism routes at the end of July 2021. After certification, the corresponding flights will be operated under the Eurowings Discover "4Y" code.