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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

My experience with Zambezi Airlines

Headlines My experience with Zambezi Airlines

File:Two Zambezi Airlines planes on the tarmac at Lusaka International Airport

By K.Cooke

My wife was booked on to Zambezi Airlines flight on Friday 28th of October. She arrived at the airport at 0600hrs and proceeded to check in, only to be told that the flight was delayed until 1300hrs, then 1330, then 1400, then 1530 then they would be flying on Air Zimbabwe at 1600, then they were now flying on the plane returning from Tanzania at 1630 and finally that the flight would be at 2000hrs.

At or around 2000hrs she boarded the flight and they finally left for Johannesburg only to have to return to Lusaka due to an engine failure. Upon arrival back at the airport most of the passengers were told that there was no accommodation and that they should sleep on the floor.

The following morning the airline still did not know when they would fly out so my wife purchased a new ticket, as did most passengers,with SAA and around 0730 they departed.

Firstly I would like to point out that the way people were treat was a disgrace and it shows what a sorry state of affairs Zambian aviation is in. However, being the founder of Equatair Airlines and having been chased and harrassed out of Zambia after establishing a Zambian airline and after being resident for 20 years, I must confess to feeling a certain smugness and satisfaction.

Zambia, sadly has ended up with the aviation industry that the government deserve and it is sorrow for the people of Zambia that I truly feel.


  1. This is why Zambia needs a national airline. I dread flying on Zambian private airlines that use borrowed wrecks of aircraft discarded many years by other airlines in the region. As a nation, it is dangerous to entrust our precious lives with these private airlines. It is expensive to run and maintain an airline(Jangulo should have asked Mutembo Nchito before starting an airline business) , and so Zambezi airline is just a sham of an airline that puts us in danger. We should not wait for a disaster to happen. Let’s create a national airline.

  2. This is really laughable even a bus coming from Chipata to Lusaka keeps a tighter schedule…this airline is an accident waiting to happen. 

  3. So what. Quantas was grounded last week due to strike by a few people. This led to more than a 100 thousand stranded world wide including honorable shamenda. So what us Zambezi airline not to act this way for just a few hours.?

  4. I strongly feel Zambezi would have been given a chance, Accidents happen with even repeatable Airlines. I remember South African Airways having such problems when they took delivery of their A340 -600 long range Jet that replaced their Boeing 747- 400 fleet.
    Warn the Guys, with time line, then revoke the License if they don’t abide by the rules. The punishment was too hush to a Zambian; we should learn empower our own people through proper business Guidance than just punish. We only hope no one from PF will form an Airline. Please make sure you publish names of the Stakeholders and Directors of the new Airline

  5. @Bwalya Hampunda, the issue with Quantas was a strike by workers, of which govt intervened and in less than 48 hrs the airline resumed its flights. But issue with Zambezi airline is not a labor dispute but technical problems with their planes, which poses great risk for travelers. It is against this background that GRZ decided to suspend the license of the airline, until they put their house in order. Airline safety is now a big issue in the aviation industries and once a particular airline experiences a crash as a result of poor service of their fleet of planes, then the whole world of travelers will shun that airline. So, it’s good that the airline prove that thet are above board is as far as service provision is concerned as well as their condition of their planes.

  6. @3
    The difference is that Qantas was grounded due to an industrial strike from a  disagreement between your so called “few people” which happen to be three major unions and the management over wages and jobs. Qantas is a global airline with a fleet of 108 planes so when its unionised staff are ordered to down tools on a busy day like Saturday immediately 600 flights are cancelled 70000 passengers affected globally. Those passengers are accomadated and fed by Qantas do the maths.
    Whereas your Zambezi Airlines  is a makeshift shambles airline with dodge planes which does not give a monkeys when you are delayed by 10 hours or 24 hrs and has no customer service expertise whatsoever.  

  7. Two years ago, I got onto a Zambezi Airline plane and vowed never to use the them again. There was this strange noise from the plane similar to a chisasa car. It was just too horrifying for me though no one complained. It’s about time this ka airline was shut down completely to avoid loss of life.

  8. Dominic Sichinga was quiet right to cancell the licence for zambezi airline plz can everybody wait a bit longer because soon we should be having our own national airline and Emirates Airlines will also be starting Lusaka,Harareto Dubai direct with quick connections from Dubai to ALL MAJOR CITIES AROUND THE WORLD.Thans to Mr Dominic Sichinga.

  9. Iwe Cooker go and pedal your Antonov 24 planes in South Africa and see if they will allow you to operate as you were previously allowed by the previous government. You know your reasons for being kicked out of Zambia (which included doing VJ business), bringing in goods without declaring them and failing to maintain records for your planes! What cheek, you must complain on behalf of your wife (who you run away from) when you lived in Zambia. Please keep out!

  10. people quick to criticisize, no accident has happened yet with Zambezi compred to Qantas which has had engines blowing up in mid air and make emergency landings all the time. Bachimbwi imwe to much negativity behaving like crabs.

  11. Where is Bootfimofimo on this one? This is what I was saying, safety!

    But, despite all this, we don`t need a Mr Cooke coming on here giving us a mouth full. You are the sort that still think because I am a Mr Cooke then everything I do should be OK. You are too late son! You should have been there before 1964.

    And whereever you are, are you still running that business or you thought you could only do it in Zed because Zedians are thick?

    On your bike son, off you go and do us a favour by taking every Cooke in Zed with you.

    Cho Ncho man is welcome for now.

  12. A lot of people had complained about the service and condtion of Zambezi Airlines planes. You cannot put peoples lives on a balance because we want Zambezi airlines to operate.

  13. I have flown on Zambezi Airline twice in the last three months. Had I known all this, I would not set foot on their aircraft, and now that I know, I will never fly on any aircraft belonging to Zambezi Airlines. I cannot believe Pilots working overtime like Miners. I cannot believe an aircraft flying at 35 000 ft with defective Oxygen systems. Zambezi airline management is guilty of criminal negligence. Whoever is supporting them over this has a very serious problem with their mind.

  14. I have flown Zambezi Airlines, I vowed not to repeat that. The pilots did not take off well; it was like a space ship to the moon (the plane pointed to the sky at a dangerous elevation), and the landing was like dropping from one step on a flight of stairs one by one and very dangerously fast. I cant describe it well but having flown so many airlines worldwide and being a plane enthusiat, I know they are BELOW par. Good move ba GRZ!

  15. Mwebatantu I borded the same Zambezi Line from Chililabombwe to Chingola it was horrible I tell you, ama bampu!!! Never will I use it again. Next time I will just get on a minibus. Shame on you Zambesi directors

  16. M webatantu I borded the same Zambezi Line from Chililabombwe to Chingola it was horrible I tell you, ama bampu!!! Never will I use it again. Next time I will just get on a minibus. Shame on you Zambesi directors

  17. people accept it zambezi was a shame,no single flight on time not to talk about passengers sharing a chi fanta or sprite come on even local flights in TZ have better service. its timely. well done GRZ

  18. im glad that has come to an end. almost lost my job due to the airlines “flexible” timetable. we need a national airline and govt should direct all employees to fly using the national airline.

  19. I flew zambezi on 1 Aug 2011 (ZJ0234), we were supposed to depart Jhb at 18:00. When I got there we were told that the flight was delayed and were not told what time we will be leaving. There was then a flight that came from lusaka picked up passengers that were going to DRC because there flight was before ours and then we had to wait for the same plane to came and pick us up. we ended up leaving jhb about 1:30am. we were given food vouchers that most resturants refused to accept saying that zambezi airlines takes forever to pay.

  20. I have vowed to never use this airline. Very unprofessional, arrogant, unsafe and low quality service. For $20-$30 more one would rather fly SA or Namibian airways. Here is a warning; try to buy a ticket online for a relative or friend, the website allows you to buy the ticket even if you are not a traveller as long as you can get the traveller appear with you copy credit card and ID at check in. But there is a surprise for you,the traveller will not be allowed to check in unless the purchaser of the ticket is physically there. And wait, they show you the fine print of the terms on the ticket.These morons contradict their terms, they allow you to buy the ticket but then they don’t honour terms.Terms before and after purchase of the ticket are inconsistent. What a waste of air space

  21. I had my own nasty experience with Zambezi Airline. I went to Dar on a Friday and was supposed to return with the Sunday midday flight which turned to be a midnight flight. The plane which was sent was horrible, not painted and only God saved. I am very happy with the government intervension. However, I turn to think that we have had problems with our Airlines due to State House involvement in the running of these Airlines thats why the Airlines could disregard the aviation rules with impunity and even abuse public funds while the powers that be smile and pretend all is well. If an individual or an establishment not connected to State House owes ZRA or NAPSA you would see how the culprit could be painted black for the whole country to see how wicked the culprit is.

  22. Zambians do not have the money required to set up an airline.it is an expensive venture that needs serious and rich people to start.Only GRZ can do that,at the moment if we want to have a reliable airline with good jets then GRZ must move in and set up a national airline.

  23. Until State House or its Agents stop being involved in Airlines, these problems will remain. Lets uphold professionalism in the way our local airlines are established and run. Politicians come and go.

  24. Its time to do away with dodgy “politically” driven airlines and introduce at least a 50% state owned commercial carrier which will provide professional services and business to affiliated organizations.

  25. I bet the tickets on this flight are $50 less than SAA or other well established airlines. Well, you rip what you saw and when you sow peanuts you attract monkeys.
    Learn from the experiences of others and for goodness sakes TELL US SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW.

  26. If individuals like Nchito, Jangulo etc. who have made their money in Zambia can start an airline though with junk planes, I think the government can do better with better planes. We dont need DC10s or Airbus 300-600 series but the size of planes which Zambezi Airlines have just for regional routes.

  27. ZAMBEZI HAS A WATERFALLS _ my aunt warned me about that airline and luckly i am the listening type and i always avoided that makeshit airline. I had a bad experience with another local ‘airline’ and when we landed, I drunk like fish and vowed never ever to put myself in danger again.

  28. At least PF has succeded to change people’s minds so fast, all of a sudden zambezi air is bad. Just wait GBM and group are busy with Mmembe to launch their own. Its a shame how politicians exploit zambian people. This zambezi was formed by RB and gang, the previous airline was formed by people close LPM, and the list goes on. Mean while, people here miss the big picture …. zambia needs a national carrier. You are all being sucked by the ruling party of the time. Just watch a new airline is coming, same rubbish …. open your eyes zambians. Sata and gang closed Zambia Airways to feed the same cabal. 

  29. Iwe #3 its not only a fews hours its almost everyday. Thank God this airline has been grounded. I missed the funeral of my brother because of this incompetent airline


  31. Zambezi yena, you fly at ‘owner’s risk’. You always thank God, when you arrive, their planes are so rickety, you always wonder who allowed them to fly such planes. Good that their licence was withdrawn

  32. @ least me iam save.i use my grandfather s plane to and from joberg.no faults.no delays.i think we should just commercialise it. with this demand i see ,we can have MORE MONEY IN OUR POCKETS.

  33. What is experience kashi? Is it what you experience or what others experience on your behalf – LOL. Anyway let Zambezi Air sleep. Just wait for Air Mukwai starring MCS State Manyozo (Not council)  its on its way with a symbol of a battered and leaking Ubwato. What a turn of events pa Zedi. I end here!!

  34. Bwana Keith Cooke, You came you saw and you plundered. Yours is not a name or face to forget. Zambia did you well but you abused it. Please stay out of our country.

  35. @1 Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! Peter Ngosa!
    This is not why we need a national airline. We do not want to be embarrassed as a country! Do you know that if this HADS BEEN a national airline, the government would not have grounded it until people died?

  36. once there was a national airline which chiluba and crew liquidated to make room for their own succession of bad airlines which were replaced by the corruptly funded airline associated with the corruption buster mwanawasa whose succession dispute resulted involved the finance minister linked to the corrupt airline who lost againist one ruphia banda who is strongly linked to the zambezi airline we are now lamenting on and did not take time to apply state machinery to squeeze the airline out of bussiness. as they say the rest is history but one wonders what sort of ramshackle michael sata currently on a maiden trip on the pa-bwato will come up with. word out is that they plan a real national airline. maybe it is true that what goes around comes around!

  37. This airline is just a shame on the Zambian soil.On 06/10/11 i was flying to Nairobi at 00:20.I arrived at KK Int.airport at 23:30,checked and proceeded to the boarding lounge where i found a lot of people who supposed to fly to DRC at 16:00 but the plane could not take off.The passengers were not told the reason.But my friend who works there told me that they had over sold the tickets by over 50 people and all had cheked in.I dont know what happened coz we flew as scheduled with KQ.Ask Madam Nawakwi she was there. My Wife has also suffered several times with this airline between Lsk and OT Int.Airport.This clearly shows lack of respect for client.Please GRZ close this firm indefinately no mercy on them.

  38. we need zambia airways back.. its a pity that most of you encluding the sata supported chiluba when he closed zambia airways shame

  39. About time Zambezi was closed, unprofessional micky mouse operation.   
    Forget about a national airline, it will only be hijacked by all the useless free loaders until
     it goes under at the taxpayers expense.


  41. Safety is Job number one guys,Zambezi airlines was not safe & reliable. Its better to prevent than cure. That was a good move!!!

  42. Try to have the EU or UN sponsored trip on Zambezi – they dont recognise it! Even other travel agents abroad when you want a flight and connect in South Africa with Zambezi they fail to make the link. It is SAD, but like an unavoidable divorce, Zambezi has to go. The next airline should avoid thriving on political patronage and delink their airline from any politicians

  43. Dilip Patel at 53, whatever you are going through or have gone through in your life, I pray that the Lord Almighty God (or whichever perceived power you ascribe glory to) shall heal you of your hatred and prejudice. The topic is Zambezi and I wonder what leads you to insult a whole country.

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