HARARE – Turkish Airlines is expected to expand its flight route into Zimbabwe by the second quarter of next year following profound deliberations held by authorities from the two countries at the ongoing Turkey Travel Fair currently underway in the city of Izmir.

Zimbabwe is making a maiden participation at the Turkey Travel Fair which is rated among the most significant tourism sector meetings in the east European nation, a plinth for industry leaders to discover the latest trends, business opportunities and detailed information about the Turkish market.

Already Zimbabwe has made progress in courting Turkish business and now these bilateral trade deals could be deepened through a memorandum of understanding between the two nations’ tourism industries to be sealed on the sidelines of the world class travel show which started this Thursday and runs until the 8th of this month.

Environment, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira is optimistic the brokered deal will pave way for Turkish Airlines to make its flights into the country by next year, essentially meaning Zimbabwe can tap into the US$26 billion Turkish tourism industry.

The Turkish Airlines deal has hogged limelight and heightened anxiety for the sector which has embraced the open skies policy expected to push arrival statistics into the country, particularly from traditional and new source markets.

Turkey-Africa Business Chairperson Mr Tamer Taskin confirmed that discussions with Turkish Airlines to fly into Zimbabwe have made significant headway stating that such positive strides will build on the other bilateral deals sealed between the two  countries in Victoria Falls which has created a platform to grow trade volumes which are currently sitting at a paltry US$16 million.

Turkey has set a vision to expand its footprint into Africa through establishment of business councils in sub-Saharan Africa with strong indication that these winds of growth will influence its investment drive into Zimbabwe.