Zambezi Airlines chairman Maurice Jangulo
Zambezi Airlines chairman Maurice Jangulo

THE Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) has bemoaned the suspension of Zambezi Airlines and called on the airline to quickly put its house in order and re-apply for an operating licence.

In an interview, ZACCI president Geoffrey Sakulanda said the suspension of Zambezi Airlines will deprive Zambians of an airline that offered low rates to business travellers.

Mr Sakulanda said the airline has contributed to the creation of jobs and tax contribution to Government despite the money it owes National Airport Corporation Limited (NACL).

Zambezi Airlines owes NACL K10 billion.

He said the suspension of the airline will not just affect travellers but also the different suppliers that did business with it. He said globally all international airlines are facing problems and are surviving because of the support from their respective governments.

“Clearly, running a business is very expensive, it is unfortunate that this has happened to Zambezi Airlines. The challenge must have been accessing funds in Zambia and borrowing externally is difficult,” he said.

Mr Sakulanda said the best way to sustain the operations of local airlines is either through partnership with international airline brands or Government pumping in money to save them from collapse.

He cited South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and British Airways as some of the airline that are supported through public funds. “You cannot finance an airline from own resources, it’s expensive and given the number of travellers in Zambia, airlines sometimes just burn fuel. It’s impossible,” he said.

Meanwhile, a check at the Zambezi Airline offices at Kenneth Kaunda International airport found workers locked up in a meeting with the airline’s chief executive officer Maureen Dlamini.

And Ms Dlamini said she could not talk to journalists because the airline chairman Maurice Jangulo had earlier issued a statement. She said the meeting was not open to the media.

“I can not talk to you, the chairman issued a statement on ZNBC (Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation) news last night (Sunday) and we will maintain that statement,” she said.

Some workers who sought anonymity said management has assured them that, their jobs are secured as management engage Government on the way forward.

On Sunday, Dr Jangulo told ZNBC that Zambezi Airline has learnt with shock about Government’s decision to suspend its air operating certificate but is working round the clock to ensure that its licence is re-installed.

Government over the weekend suspended Zambezi Airline operator certificate citing serious safety concerns and that it will soon institute a tribunal to make inquiries on the airline’s operations.

Meanwhile a passenger, Violet Nakamba who was supposed to fly to Harare this morning, described the services of the airline as pathetic. “I was supposed to fly to Harare for a meeting which starts tomorrow (today) but I have been inconvienced. I will fly via South Africa and it will take me four hours to Harare instead of one hour,” he said.

Ms Nakamba said it is sad that many Zambian do not support local industries and products due the poor services and standards.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

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20 COMMENTS

  1. And the winners in all this confusion will be…SAA,Ethiopian airlines,Kenya airways & British Airways.The zed govt should not pump scarce monies to prop up airlines for the jet set when there’s hardly medicine in hospitals & we have ramshackle classrooms.

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  2. Oh, Gov’t come on. Let’s help each other here. The chinese will sort out Sata just like he will sort them. Why cant the gov’t sort out Zambezi Airlines and let our stingy businessmen travel easily. Cheap things are expensive

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  3. FRED M’MEMBE DON’T KUBEBA
    Next Up is Gay Rights, One Party State, Political Judiciary (As Seen Through Mwenye LAZ)

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  4. zambezi airlines should be sorted out for sure,,, i missed my connecting flight all because of their inefficiency…and it did not happen once,, i had to pay soem extra feez to ETHADI AIRLINES JUST SO THAT THEY CAN PUT ME ON THE NEXT FLIGHT and it was damn expensive,,, its about time they wer sorted out,,,, cheap is always expensive…” we are not that rich to buy cheap services””

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  5. Strange how all of a sudden we have people wanting government to help Zambezi and yet when government ALLEGEDLY wanted to help Zambian Airways, people were up in arms. Let’s also remember that the license has not been suspended due to operational problems, but due to safety concerns. By the way, government is under no obligation to bail them out of their financial woes as this is a private company. Comparing Zambezi to SAA, Ethiopian and BA is a case of comparing oranges and apples. The latter 3 were all established by respective governments and are national carriers; Zambezi is not!!

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  6. International air transport(IATA) safety stanrdards must be adhered to.In fact last all Zambia planes were banned from flying to Europe because non of them had met the Iata safety standards and our department of civil aviation had made recommendationsto Zambezi airlines but as usaul they were protected by the MMD government.You can not continue breaking the laws and regulations and think Life will be kind to you.

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  7. what buffles me about Zambians is that they are always fighting themselves instead of supporting each other. Where is the unity that has been our trade mark?
    Michael you should not delve into matters that you dont understand. We the Engineers will laugh at you when you talk subjects you do not understand at all.
    If you need a bit of education in this area contact a level headed and not disgrantled Engineer or pilot.
    Kwindi Kodjo should also understand that the wars fought over airlines go beyond the naked eyes. Misinformation and petty jealousy have dealt a very unpleasant blow to this industry but surely how many times shall we frustrate those professionals who have always been affected? Remember those owning the companies do not even benefit from their investiments. Remember Libya?

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  8. This re-action by the Govt will hurt the economy and bring Zambia to list number 1 of a destination to avoid for the tourists and real investors.If Zambezi Airlines did not meet the safety compliance Govt with proper regulatory would have given a warning of suspension to Zambezi Airlines.Shutting an Airlines has far much reaching effects beyond Zambia.I have used Zambia Airlines on my connecting flights it is a good airline, I have worked for the biggest airline in the world actually 2 airline companies the American Govt does not just wake up a shut down an airline.These kind of re-actions adds to a vote of no confidence to the economy of Zambia.

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  9. I spent 24 hrs at Or Tambo airport with my wife ,waiting for a zambezi airlines flight to lusaka only tro find out finally it had been cancelled, Zambezi airlines staff kept us there on a false promise of a flight. In all my 30 years of flying this was the worst experience ever.

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  10. I supposedly have a flight from Cape Town to livingstone on Monday morning. Zambezi airline can’t seem to tell me whether or not I will actually be flying on Monday or any where next week for that matter? They better give me a refund or change my ticket to another airline.

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  11. I think we need to look more calmly at this. It is embarrasing to Zambia that the airline closed of that there is no doubt; BUTis it more embarrasing than having people stuck in airports within Zambia and outside Zambia for days with hollow promises of flights?
    is it more embarrasing than having people associating Zambezi Airlines with Zambia and infering that as the airline is poorly run so is the country? I’d say no.. this airline has managed to accrue debts of approx $20million to various bodies both in Zambia and outside. On top of this they have taked money from numerous individuals and have NO way of making reparations to them. I’d say we need to look very closely at what causes these airlines to go under like this. To say the Government must support them is not the answer.

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  12. I hope Sata has time to read all those bulky reports on Zamtel, Barotse, FB, ERB, Zambezi airlines, etc.. otherwise it will just be a waste of money spent on commissions & Tribunals.
    I don’t know what those who claimed Sata had the correct experience are saying now. The truth is all the experienced the old hands have in Zed is mismanagement. The results are soon going to start showing!!

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  13. Once used Zambezi to RSA – great flight! On return, one hour before departure, I was at their counter at OR Tambo and they were closed. I went to their OR Tambo office and the lady told me check in is 2 hours before – one hour before was too late. I hence had to pay Rand 6,000 to get on the next flight to Zambia. I said “WHAT!!!! R6,000 are you mad????!!!” She said she couldnt do anything as the amount was “machine generated” and could not be altered. I told her that on SA when you miss a flight you pay no more than $80 why on earth was Zambezi charging almost $1,000 (which was more than the orginal ticket I bought for about $400 return). Furious, I went to Air Namibia who charged me $250 for a whole new one-way ticket to Lusaka. I have no sympathy for Zambezi…bye bye Zambezi!

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  14. Second time, I was with my family and somehow changed flight plans to get to Zambia earlier and we had no tickets from Joburg to Lusaka. Went to Zambezi airlines counter and the total was “non-negotiable” US$1,800 for the three of us – ONE WAY TO LUSAKA. Then I went to RSA whose price was US$750 for the same one-way. Then once from Lusaka to Joburg, the dollar price was $300 return (ca. K1,500,000) as widely advertised. But at the point of sale, the kwacha equivalent was K2.8m. Crookery and misrepresentation does not pay!! Good bye!

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  15. no 8 micheal. its not the zambian airlines that are that banned from flying into europe. its all zambian registered aircraft including the challenger, this so because the zambian civil aviation regulatory body has weak laws according to an ICAO audit. we have never been audited in almost over 20yrs. so it might not be only Dr. jangulo’s zambezi, but also dca’ lapse.

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