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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Diaspora Zambians partner with local and foreign investors to launch Mukuba Airlines

Headlines Diaspora Zambians partner with local and foreign investors to launch...

The sun setting over the KK International airport
The sun setting over the KK International airport

A group of Zambian aviation professionals in the Diaspora in partnership with their locally based counterparts and some foreign investors will be launching Zambia’s first budget airline in the next few months in readiness for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference.

Mukuba Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mwansa Chalwe explained that the airline’s business model will revolutionalize air travel in the country and contribute to promote tourism and investment throughout Zambia by making air travel affordable and complement other product offerings that are on the market.

Mr Chalwe said the vision of the founders of Mukuba airlines is to demystify and democratize air travel and emulate emerging economies like Brazil, India, Indonesia and others that have extended air travel to those who have never flown before including domestic workers as was the case in Brazil.

He was speaking at a media briefing in Livingstone yesterday.

Mukuba Airlines, which is expected to be a low cost carrier, is meant mainly for domestic travel and will be the first of its kind in Zambia.

Mr Chalwe said the company has an investment plan of between US $ 5 and 15 million in the project.

He said with regard to the airline industry, the number of regional and international airlines coming into Zambia has increased in the last ten years by over 60 per cent, bringing in record numbers of regional and international passengers but the domestic aviation sector has not grown at the same rate and has lagged behind which has created a gap in terms of feeder services and limited the visitors’ travel options to most parts of Zambia.

He stated that the launch of the low cost carrier has reached an advanced stage and the airline will initially concentrate on domestic travel using the French made Turbo Prop ATR 42-500 and ATR 72-500 aircraft to be maintained by air Botswana.

“Research findings were that the Zambian macroeconomic indicators had been consistently good over a time frame of ten years. The research concluded that it is the good macroeconomic and stable political environment of the country that is attracting many foreign investors to Zambia in order to seize investment opportunities in various sectors including tourism,” he said.

Mr Chalwe noted that it is unfortunate that Zambians on the other hand have been left as spectators in their own country as they have not sized the opportunities, especially in big business mainly due to lack of capital and expertise in big business.

He commended government for its policy of promoting private sector development by creating an enabling environment as it is the private sector that creates jobs.

The company is expected to employ 35 people in its first year and an additional 54 people in the second year.

The airline is expected to be operational in July this year and its offices will be based in Livingstone.

And Livingstone Tourism Association Board Chairman, Active Monze, said once the airline is operational it will help improve domestic tourism as people will have a chance to visit tourism places in other parts of the country at a low price.

Mr Monze said for Livingstone to succeed in the tourism industry it needs to have good investment in it.

He said the organization is looking forward to working with the company as it will help ease movement of the local people as well as tourists who want to go to other places within Zambia.

And newly elected Livingstone Member of Parliament, Lawrence Evans, thanked the company for brining in a domestic airline for the main benefit of the local people.

Mr Evans said the project has been in the pipe line for a long time and that it is the type of investment that is much needed in Livingstone.

He noted that current airlines tend to monopolize the fares which disadvantage the local people who cannot afford the price.



    • Nonsense, this hasn’t happened. How come I have not heard of it?

      This is just talk, a zambian/zambian launching an airplane

      That has as much chance of succeeding as me being the next pope.
      Stop it LT this is nonsensical in every sense of the word



    • Iwe Mushota you’ve really created a brand on LT Kunkala che chamanegative, anyway keep it up and avoid vokolewa kolewa snow is still melting mdala!!

    • @Mushota; You see I’ve been trying to advise you that you’re very insignificant the bigger scheme of things. Too small to even hear about it – let alone be asked to participate! And besides, only manufacturers can launch an airplane – these Zambian fellows and their foreign counterparts and launching an AIRLINE madam?

    • iwe ka Mushota, why would they bother to inform you? It states ” a group of zambian aviation proffessionals,” a category I’m sure you don’t fall in. So, even though you’re in diaspora, they didnt bother informing you because you’re of no use to them. After all, your job in the old people’s home doesnt afford you a flight to the village you hail from, so this may be your chance

    • @Mushota…Launching an airplane..hahahahhaha youve made my day… I thought only Boeing and others do that….mulebelenga first noti ukutampa fye ukusatasata bane…

    • Mukose low cost airlines are not easy to run,you must adopt a proper business model ,Keeping your costs down will be one element.Include people like Mushota who have the business sense not just Aviation people.Good marketing strategy is needed.Am a consultant for Richard Branson who runs low cost airlines like Virgin atlantic.

    • You will die of jeoulosy !!! Afraid they have grown richer than you???? Go hug a tree or something !!!!!

  1. Good news, we have ourselves to develop our country, I will work hard and smarter here then I will come down and set up my own software development company soon.

    Stay blessed fellas

    • @BIG L, the real Good News is that of you coming to set up your own software development company in Zambia, and not that of a BUDGET AIRLINE! The airline industry is EXPENSIVE and DANGEROUS. That is why personally, I do not favour the concept of the so-called BUDGET AIRLINES. These thrive on used aircrafts that are discarded by commercially viable airlines, which are poorly maintained and unreliable. Folks, let’s be honest to ourselves; the airline business is a terrain for the highly wealthy who can start up with NEW AIRCRAFTS and can afford to pay the best pilots. TWALOSHA PAFULA, LOOK WHAT HAPPENED ON THE LUSAK-KABWE ROAD RECENTLY! ELO THE NUMBERS IN THE AIR ARE HIGHER… BIG NO!!

    • @wanu ngwee, ATR 72-500 and ATR 42-500 has 74 and 50 seats and cost between $12m and $14.4million respectively.that bus sits 69 seats…there are more deaths by road than by air.Low budget doesn’t necessarily mean cheap… proflight runs a low budget air line…u have any problem with their service other than price?did u just jump out of your mothers womb and went for a marathon?no…u had to learn to sit,craw,walk then run.think b4 u open your mouth.that way it would hard for anyone to guess if you are foolish or not

    • @JACKSPAROW, I don’t care how connected you are to this venture(coz you sound quite personal). We need sound and sustainable businesses here in Zambia. How many low cost airlines have we seen come and go in recent years? Some halted their operations leaving their passengers stranded with tickets in foreign countries! My point is that these ATR aircrafts they intend bringing here may not even be in an acceptable condition for European standards – they are basically SALAULA planes that being dumped here where anything goes. I don’t want to discuss specific airlines as you doing, but if your experience with them is what constitutes a comfortable flight, then your standards are seriously LOWER than mine!

    • @ Wanu Ngwee repeat this to yourself until it sticks in your head: IT IS NOT MY MONEY. I CAN’T TELL PEOPLE WHAT BUSINESSES TO LAUNCH WITH THEIR MONEY.


  2. And the bitter peoples online lairs den publication reports that investor confidence in Zambia is low….well done LT reporting not chabe ma negative na kutukana bantu..awe twakana.

    • Insele is for bitter peoples lairs den online publication established specifically to allow for lairing while hiding in cyberspace. BRAVO LT good reporting

    • Pessimists never achieved anything in their lives…..they just suffer from PHDS (Pull Him Down Syndrome).

    • The airline will be based in livingstone and the bitter people have not recovered from the by election loss.

    • This is the best news ever. The problem we have in Zambia is that everyone believes that they are accomplished professional football couches. s selected. This time around allow the professionals in aviation to do what they can. Open your eyes and see. For a change close your mouths. This is a time like no time you have ever known. It is time to support the sons and daughters of the soil.

      Big names have started airlines and they have failed miserably. For some reason they are not imprisoned yet for turning trusting Zambians into slaves whom they owe salaries for years. This time, let us even ask government to facilitate and guide.

      Guys do your preflight properly, follow the checklist them God Almighty chocks off and the sky is the limit

    • you are the scum of this earth…you belong in the bely of a lion or a cage at some zoo for white people only

  3. Now this I like. Good initiative and thanks for taking the risk on “our behalf”. Too many of us are afraid of starting projects from srcatch. Kudos to all those involved and Gods blessings in realising the dream.

  4. Is it “mukuba” for “you are stealing”? Hope this is not what is meant by this new airline…






    • Good luck,business is a risk,even big businesses collapse sometimes.Mmembe and Nchito are brave Zambians who are not afraid of risks.It is what you do after you fail that determines whether one is a failure.Lets encourage one another instead of negativity.

    • You’re not being honest to yourself MundiaM, you know why Kay that about Mmembe and Nchito – even high school kids know that these guys are winners of the highest prize in white collar crime in Zambia. So, why pretend? Or are you one of them hiding under the name MundiaM?

  6. Good initiative guys. Thats the development Zambia needs as at now, good stadia, good infrastructure, our own Airline and many more ……. Nomba the name of the Airline naimwe…..Ine I thought we should have had something like Air Zambia, Zambia Airways, Zambian Airlines.

    When is Government going to establish this kind of an Airline twasuka twakota nomba tulolela fye….Like I have seen the Lusaka stadium and Mwanawasa stadium, and the Africa Cup, I also want to see a national Airline, and wonderfully constructed Airports….Ala chalo chesu ichi bane, elo no buntungwa twalipoka mu 64.

    • The name “MUKUBA” suits the privately owned airline fine, just like there once was another privately owned “ZAMBEZI” airline. I think a government owned “National” airline will take up the name “Air Zambia” or “Zambian Airways”.

  7. Ba Mushota are you part of this great initiative? sorry jst joking i knw you jst wash plates in a hotel were you are………..


  9. At first I thought it was only Ethiopians who are building the hospital at home. Now even our citizens abroad can remember home. Mwatusebululako insoni! May God replenish your. Financial. Status! Amen

  10. WELL DONE ZAMBIANS. THIS IS GOOD NEWS. WORD OF ADVICE, GET FUEL & COST EFFECTIVE AIRCRAFTS, ATRS are quite old. PLEASE TRY AND LOOK AT THE BUSINESS MODEL FOR FLY DUBAI “Low Cost, Subsidiary of Emirates Airlines” Very strategic and amazing service onboard. True low cost with 5 star services. We want the same not like the KULULA.COM of SA. CONGRATULATIONS.

  11. Yes, u should atleast give back to Zed after turnishing our beautiful country / name for accepting to clear old their pussies.

  12. Mwansa,

    Please change the name from Mukuba Airlines to a name which will be associated with Tourism like Zambezi Airways.

    The name Mukuba will not market the Tourism business in zambia and will make the Airline unattractive will eventually make the Airline struggle to make sales.


  13. This is not the first time we are seeing this. It will soon collapse. Remember Zambian Express, Earo Zambia, Zambian Airways, Zambezi Airlines etc? they all started this way but they collapsed due to political interference. Since the same people are still in power using a different party name, nothing will come out of this. soon the management will find themselves on the other side of the party machinery and their airline will be the first target. Mark my words this wont go far!

  14. *****s! Running a low cost airline with high cost ATR aircrafts??!!. Unless they use low fuel consuming short haul Airbus and Boing aircrafts, the company will crash land before itvtakes off. We are talking like we are drunk!

  15. Congrats! Looks like Zambia’s transportation and tourism sectors are in for a real boost what with Prof Chirwa’s ambitious state-of-the-art rail project already in progress and now this.

  16. This is the end of March. Airline launching in July – four months’ time. How come we have not heard about this airline before today?
    I’m not being negative or a wet blanket, but I hope meaningful ground work has been done such that that airline will actually be a reality and remain operational for a long time!
    I have worked in the airline industry for many long years and I know that operating an airline is a far cry from running a fleet of minibuses!

    • But you have heard,they haven’t started the ground work today,they are now telling us when major things are already in place waiting for the launch,it takes time,by the time they are going public it means 80% preparations done.

  17. Diaspora, I would be interested to know who your Zambian Partners are. Don’t let any politician near your plan, especially that same MP that launched the airline yesterday. He’s got blood on his hands, your plans will crash land! Further, extend your directorship not based on ethnicity and political leanings, but on integrity of individuals and their business acumen. That way your airline will have a lot of respect and support. Otherwise go for it guys and God bless you and your plans.

    • Dirty mind! When will you learn to criticise constructively?
      Mwandi get public in on this project.

  18. We pray that the establishment of a Zambian national airline is not a tissue of investment in which Mahtani, Mutembo Nchito and Mmembe are anatomically cryptically hidden . The clique of Mahtani, Mutembo Nchito and Mmembe are well known to have run defunct airlines namely Zamban Express and Zambian Airways. We hope that Mwansa Chalwe is not a hired “front”.

    Zambian travellers need efficiency and safety, not planes that fly rocking with jerks when crossing through the Limpopo Valley. enroute to and fro Johannesburg.

  19. Please ,those that are negative why not pray that this business is succesful instead of negativity.?
    It is there some of us even have business cards for it,and we knew what was happening with it is progress.

  20. Hahaha,ati zambian aviation professionals?

    It was amateurs that built the Biblical ark and it never sunk yet the Titanic was built by experts and it sunk.

    Any parallels here?

    • Very interesting thought. God designed the ark and inspired Noah to construct it whereas the titanic was man made and man by nature is fallible.

  21. Are these guys telling us one can have an airline for 5 to 15 million dollars ONLY???????? Did I miss something?

    • Most small airlines do not own any air crafts the lease; leasing planes is a billion dollar business on it own – one of the biggest budget airline today Ryan Air started off with leased prop engines similar to these.

  22. Honestly, I like the initiative but this will go well with a policy document that must hinder politians to torment owners if no financial aid to them. Infact we need the PF govt to create more of this such that investors never to allow to operate on their own but partner with zambians if economic growth is to quickly recorded. Let govt officials work twds that. We need development urgently. GOOD LUCK CHALWE!

  23. Just let the Dogs buck, they are doing what they were created to do. Dont mind them, responsible Zambian citizens will welcome the project and suport it because they know the benefits of a local airline.We shall be with your until the end ofthe tunnel and light will be seen.

  24. It is a postive development.that is how fellow African countries like Nigeria emerged to compete with developed nations.

  25. This is what gov’t should be encouraging not pumping tax payers money into every venture let the private sector take the risk.
    Additionally the gov’t should disband the outdated Nation Airports and then let the airports operate as independent entities to encourage competition like the way airports are run in the UK.

  26. Which DIASPORA people when Iam not Involved, this is not true, their is no such a thing here in DIASPORA PLEASE , Dont cheat people. How can we sink so low from the Diaspora to invest into airtransport in Zambia??? OF ALL PLACES, we would rather invest here were pipo have money to “CLIMB” those planes and we can put money in our pockets , in zambia pipo will be “climbing..kukwela ndeke, on nkhongole

  27. To assert that private indiviguals with Mukuba can form a national air line is one of PF govt jokes in its period of rule. The genesis of this important national project lacks merit. This has dodged all former govts since the demise of zambia Air ways under UNIP. All major air lines in the world are created by national legislation and run as a private commercial enterprise. Under PF govt Zambians will have to wait until they leave before a national airline can be constituted by legislation. All major airlines in the world their goverments have a stake but do not run the business as their role is to provide checks and balance and transparency. When ever necessary they embark on national duties fully paid for by their govts. That would be uncharted waters for fikle PF govt.

  28. I hope Zambians can stop stealing.Zambians we still from morning to evening.The down fall of the zambian airlines is thieving by staff.Even u pipo pontaling have solicitated for a cheap tkt.Mutembo,Zambezi were brought down by electronic ticket fraudsters.

  29. These guys must be supported, but they must not habitate with Politicians. The likes of MP Evans have blood dripping
    on their hands and he comes from a party whose President abhors private business of his citizens. His incessant attacks on HH,a successful businessman whose made headways in employing poor Zambians,must be viewed with utmost suspicion. If you are found on the ‘wrong’ side of the political divide, what makes you think your confidential bank business accounts will not be presented for public ‘auction’?

  30. Just put it on Lusaka – Jorberg, local people will take time to get on the plane even when they have cash. People are still so scared that a plane is a dearth trap. Zambian Airways was so affordable, make something like that. You can bring Cecina for local flights till people get used to flying. Just a thought from what I have seen and heard since I started flying in 2003.

  31. Zambians go into the airline business serving people.Other countries go into the business of people but rendering air service.Therein lies the catch why zambians don’t succeed in this brutal business.

  32. @Robin 1.6 Virgin Atlantic does not run a low cost airline! You should know that as a consultant (or is mis-consultant?) and the business sense model in running a low cost airline is not keeping the costs down, it is flying high numbers of passengers!

  33. Nice development, that’s the way to go. The best way to develop our nation is not by asking Zambians abroad to come back home but encourage them to make such investiment. That is why I strongly feel that the issue of dual nationality should be supported as it will encourage many Zambians who have been away for a long time to think of bringing some of their money back home.

  34. My one flight on Zambezi was a disappointing experience hope this is not another bus which operates like a plane

  35. Ka Mushota, u r too negative. I wonder where u r. I expected yo mind to operate positively knowing u r in the diaspora. But amano yalipwa nomba ku tumafi twatukote ku Uk. Bwelenifye mayo ngafyashupa. Zambia has developed my dear. If u use the trains that side, u will be amazed how the pipo u belittled are flooding the highways with their personal to holder cars. Local air transport is what we need to support the Link Zambia 8000. I hope u r listening.

  36. Good luck guys… Just get your numbers right. Some aviation expert was saying even failing to sale two seats on the plane can bankrupt an airline. The profit margins are two skinny.. Anyhow we need more Zambians doing stuff like these…

  37. There used to be British Caledonian airline which also went under.This is business,and never shy away from risks because of failure fear.This is what we need,Zambians who are not afraid to try,Zambians who can act not just armchair cry babies waiting for spoon feeding.If only 30% of Zambians can think like this,and good luck to Prof.Chirwa and ZR

  38. A Low Cost Model has been done before by Zambian Airways. Remember the times of Kulula.com and Bana Mulenga!! You cannot claim to be the first ones to do a Low Cost Model in Zambia. Please research thoroughly, otherwise the Aviation Industry is not for the Faint-Hearted!!

  39. If at first you don’t succeed,try,try again.If these were not our indigenous Zambians everybody was going to be welcoming the investors.Why are we enemies of ourselves always thinking and wishing for failure?Running an airline or any other business is not easy,but who says life is easy?Problem with us Zambians is that we too negative,jealousy and think that somebody owes us a living.We so much used to the lazy buying and selling business.This is it.Lets support Zambian investors.

  40. OK guys i take this as a challenge, seriously speaking if pilots in the diaspora can team up and raise such an industry, why can’t we also people who like criticizing the Government and other African leaders for the decisions they make (which am not saying is a bad thing). How about if we the LT Bloggers, came together and made LT as the main spear header of our projects and decided to help out with some of Zambia’s problems. It may be in the Health sector or etc, It does not matter how small, but the important thing is that we build something which will help generations and generations to come after us. Something which will feel in a gap in the Zambian society. The pilots have decided to change the way people travel in Zambia, why not also us dear bloggers change one thing in Zambia…

    • Now that is what will propel Zambia and lots of hetherto unemployed people into productivity. We need positive thinking like yours. There time when I wonder whether some bloggers should just be whipped.

  41. This is extremely good news, and it is long over due! Congratulations to Mr Chalwe for securing the support and finance, and having the vision to bring in the needed investment to allow the local people more opportunities, and lets not forget, jobs too. They should contact Aerovista who have an AOC in Tanzania, and bring in further aircraft of the same type to support their expansion plans and make this a strong project! God bless you all and best of luck!

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