Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga  after the arrival aboard the first Royal Dutch airline KLM flight between Amsterdam and Lusaka at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga after the arrival aboard the first Royal Dutch airline KLM flight between Amsterdam and Lusaka at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.

GOVERNMENT is consulting renowned airlines to get experience as it looks for an equity partner to set up a national airline.

Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga said Government is still looking for a partner in the establishment of a national flag carrier.

Mr Mukanga said in an interview recently that running an airline industry is not an easy thing, hence the need by Government to enquire from firms that have been in the aviation sector for long.

He said Government will not sit idle but keep on working towards the introduction of an effective airline that can contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth.

Recently, Government sent a delegation to the Middle East state of Qatar to consult on how it can help Zambia set up a national airline and a become a central hub in passenger and cargo traffic.

He said Government has learnt a lot of lessons from the defunct Zambia Airways that collapsed a few years ago including other international airlines that are not operating.

“We have visited Boeing, Airbus and now the Qatar government to ask them if they can consider Zambia and come on board for the establishment of an airline and a hub. We want to partner with big players so that we lessen the high capital costs of establishing the airline.

“We know how to run an airline – we ran Zambia Airways … [although] it went down. This time around we don’t want to make the same mistake like we did with Zambia Airways,” Mr Mukanga said.

The minister said if Zambia becomes a central hub, it will help sustain economic development and help boost the aviation and tourism sectors.

He said Zambia has a geographical advantage over most African countries hence this could benefit the country from trade that will be passing through the airport.

“The mission to Qatar was to see whether they can set up a hub here in Central Africa because our position is that if Zambia was a central hub, then everybody else will try to feed in and out of the country … it will be very good for us because I believe if we make Zambia a hub then transport and cost of doing business will be reduced,” he said.

Mr Mukanga, however, said he is yet to get a full report from the team that went to Qatar.

“They just came back and they will be giving us an update on what they discussed because we are asking from our cooperating partners – those who would want to come on board and help us,” he said.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. This sounds like Kindergarten stories. Or even worse, because kindergarten stories are well-coordinated and make sense!

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    • This is the same PF government which grounded Zambezi Airlines, a company which was making steady progress. I cant believe such clumsiness,
      1. Who will partner you if your planes cant fly into Europe.
      2. Who will partner you if you dont have a domestic market
      3. Who will partner you if you dont know how to run airlines as per confession
      4. Who will partner you if you the last operating airlines was grounded due to political motivation
      5. Who will partner you if your fuel is historically more expensive in the region
      6. Who, who who?

      Set your priorities and address these fundamentals other that going on working holidays to Qatar

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    • Somebody help me, Is this the minister that Mr Sata called “ichipuba”? Just asking.

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    • Ich1puba, LT why do you have to sensor that word, “ich1puba” It was Sata who called his minister that name. alaaaa!!!

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    • There are a lot of caustic subsets in this group: Those who advocated for the liquidation are alive and well and in leadership; those who shook the little enterprise that fledgling airlines came up with are also alive and well and in leadership. The question is how will the fox make sure the hens are safe???

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    • Uli chipuba? What can’t these numbheads understand? That business is cut throat and we as a nation dont have the acumen to run a national airline when countries with bigger and better economies are failing to run a natioal airline. Go have a word with South African Airways or Alitalia. There is a reason why many countries dont have a national carrier. Pack it in!

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  2. We wanted the airline last year. We have bigger problems now. It’s good that u r going to partner with another company

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    • Don’t be so dull. Those are aircraft manufacturers who understand the industry in which they operate. Do you think they just make planes blindly and hope someone will buy?

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    • @ kwindi kodjo
      You are 100% right. First you buy aircraft, then you see how to fill-up, then you decide capacity and at the end you find which aircraft can take-off from 5,000 ft or 8,000 ft or 12,000 ft.
      Exactly like unsealing first ceremonial brick, then doing environmental assessment, followed by sourcing of the funds and at the end making feasibility study.
      Do you know English pro-verb which goes “outing the cart in front of the horse”?
      Leave airline industry comments to the professionals if not, you will sound just like a Minister.

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  3. Ati “we know how to run an airline” and “we visited boeing and airbus to set up an airline and a hub”

    Do you think an airline is set up by plane manufacturers or a hub is set up in a tiny market with few air connections where some airlines are running away from? Yikes Mukanga you’re dull and an embarrassment.

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    • Which hub? Lusaka? Livingstone? Ndola? There is no money to develop any of this three airports to become “hub”.

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    • Mukanga is an embarrassment…how can we be represented by such shallow minded leaders he thinks Boeing or Airbus will even listen to him they have a backlog of customer’s orders like Emirates, South west and Turkish airlines waiting for air crafts worth $100+ billion in orders.

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    • You are absolutely right. He is wasting taxpayers money travelling the world, when he can google the cost of the new Airbus . In any case , who in their right mind would want to partner with these Masilu.

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  4. Forget about national airline,the USA airlines are struggling to make profits hence merging ,eg southwest and us airways,delta & airtrain.more than $3billion loss by Lufthansa airline.just put good business friendly policies and alot of air carriers will open up routes to Lusaka,but with doctorial tendencies which sata is exhibiting against other govts and private business,I doubt if any foreign govt will be willing to partner with the pf gov’t.why did BA abandoned the Lus route?

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    • Why not partner with the fat desk lawyer turned dpp and the night school lawyer accounts clerk turned scribe..they have ‘experience’ in running an airline..just saying…

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  5. Nobody will want to partner with the pf. Zambians need to get rid of the ‘nkongle’ culture and wanting everything free for their families. The airline would still go into receivership within 6 months because these guys are just a bunch of thieves and their entire villages will be flying around the world at the expense o hard working Zambians.

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  6. Is this going to be people or animal run airline??? No one would want to partner with an unpredictable government that never keeps its promises and run by ignorant people.

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  7. Establish your capital and float your airline on LUSE. We will help push you to the heights depending on your goals.

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  8. How can Chumbu send somebody he called chi.puba to negotiate for something as important as a national airline abroad? Is that not being even more useles.s than even the rest of the usele.ss panga family Bemba cabinet and its MPs?

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  9. It must be possible to get started. Advertize in established press, including The Economist of UK; Contact any suitable partners directly by phone and/or email; hire services of experienced pathfinder. All options are open but a partner in a hurry to grow from Medium to Large is more likely to take risks.Time is money. It is imperative to complete this project in good time. The technocrats in the relevant Ministries ought to earn their salaries by working hard.

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  10. This fool he was on national television last year telling Zambians that it will be up and running early next year meaning this year. Rubbish. I wish I could punch him now. How does he take us

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  11. How is KK DOING IN HOSPITAL ? wish the bigman a quick recovery and he must witness zambia ‘s Jubilee independence

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    • Iwee wi kala kwee. Do you listen to the news at all. if you don’t stick to the subject at hand and do not display your ignorance publicly.

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  12. Mr Mukanga – too much patience leads to delay. Act now! Its either you have failed to find a partner or you dont have the funds to do what you dont know.

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    • Either way its a big plus and massive saving for taxpayer’s as this money could be put to good use elsewhere where important projects like school construction have come to a stand still due non availability of funds.

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  13. Too many haters on LT probably sponsored Hichipuba Hichaku Choma. Mr Mukanga is more educated than all of you chibuku drinking critics. If you cant take a risk and try something, you will never know if you can do it. Most of you Zambians got defeated mentalities. Good at shouting from the fence and critisising anything that you dont have a clue about.

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  14. mmembe and Nchito still looking for partner in establishing ‘national’ airline…this is what ichipuba, Mukanga was suppose to say if he had balls.

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  15. I’m sure even Boeing and Airbus were surprised to visited by African government officials….these companies are manufacturers of brand new aircraft they deal with established companies. We can not afford to buy brand new air crafts. Its crystal clear Mukanga and his fellow empty tins have not got a clue about what they are doing. Its best the shelf this wasteful idea once and for all as its not a priority. Why are they so keen on this idea and wasting taxpayer’s money? WHY?
    We told you that the alternative to creating an airline is turning KK Inter. airport into a central hub as that makes business sense but you didn’t want to listen.

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    • @ Jay Jay
      It is usual “bufi”to divert attention from constant failure.
      Firstly, where is the money to buy new aircraft? Even leading airlines lease new aircraft’s.
      Second, after placing firm order, paying substantial deposit to aircraft manufacturer and ENGINE manufacturer together with irrevocable LC issued by at least AA financial institution, the lead time will be at least 18 months (for B737 or A319) or more than 3 years for B787 or A350.

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    • @mando
      You go to Toyota factory in Japan and fleet lease their vehicles…there are companies that specialize in this type of business and its certainly not the manufacturer.

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  16. .your words,,,
    … then everybody else will try to feed in and out of the country … it will be very good for us

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  17. The following was stated on the 7th of November, 2012;

    ” Zambia has intensified its push to re-establish a national airline to help boost the tourism industry in line with the new government’s plan to re-align tourism as one of the frontline economic sectors.
    And London has opened discussions with prospecting investors who are proposing to lease out aircraft to Zambia for the establishment of a national carrier.
    Deputy Minister of Tourism and Arts, David Phiri, who is leading the Zambian delegation at the 2012 World Tourism Market (WTM) in London, says it has become evidently clear that the country’s tourism sector will not get to its desired position without a national airline”

    So the endeavour to establish a national airline is apparently still in its ‘intensity’ period.

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