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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Richard Branson to look at the feasibility of helping Zambia establish a low-cost airline

Economy Richard Branson to look at the feasibility of helping Zambia establish...

Richard Branson
Richard Branson

BRITISH entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Group Richard Branson says he will look at the feasibility of helping Zambia establish a low-cost airline.

Sir Richard said it will be a great deal to bring on board Zambian entrepreneurs in setting up an airline.

He said in an interview yesterday that Zambia has numerous business opportunities and that it is encouraging to witness many entrepreneurs making progress.

“I have been approached [about the issue of setting an airline in Zambia] and when I leave, I will look at the feasibility. I certainly do not promise that we can make a success but will certainly have a look at it.

“It would be great to get Zambian entrepreneurs on setting up of a low-cost airline and maybe we can help a bit but it’s good to see Easy or Fast Jet whatever it’s called between Zambia and South Africa and that should be welcomed because we need more airlines like that,” he said.

Sir Richard further observed that Africa has recorded tremendous growth of between five and six percent annually much faster than Europe and America.

He said the continent is rapidly moving ahead and governments should realise that entrepreneurs are what makes the economy grow.

“There are a lot of opportunities in Zambia for businesses to expand and I think most of those businesses should be done by Zambians rather than people like myself,” Sir Richard said.

He urged Zambians to come up with innovative ways of doing business and to help invest money into the economy.

Sir Richard cited solar energy as one of the ventures Zambians can explore.

“Solar is now cheaper than coal and there should be a solar revolution to clean energy revolution which will save the country a lot of money,” he said.


    • Mwana, Branson has not failed the space program. He is currently developing a passenger spaceship for tourists to the Int. Space Station. Mwilabepa ati alifilwa. These are investors we want with brains. Let him help set up a cheap airline so that once in our life time we get inside a plane. He is welcome. But my worry is on expensive fuel in Zambia. It may not be cheap as it is in Europe. We need a responsible govt. The current govt. has failed to reduce fuel prices despite a big reduction by suppliers. Senseless people in govt. This is an election time but they can not do anything about fuel prices. Very insensitive and confortable Mukanga must wake up this side. The boat is sinking. Fuel prices are decampaigning pf. Lungu wake up to this fact and save your party.

    • You are sniping at somebody who is one of the most successful businessmen in the world. You are so 100-a-penny. You bear all the marks of failures in life. Get a life!

  1. I can imagine how conducive business will be in Zambia with HH at the top. Foreign investors will improve our economy

    • This is what we need to do in this country Zambia and I very much agree with Sir Richard ‘s call on us as Zambians to wake up and look at things differently, this economy should be grown by our selves in all sectors starting from banking to the time we can start owning planes, by this I mean lets identify where the gaps are and we should take advantage of building on that. We should be innovative like the Indians How come they are making it in our own country and we are failing I am not part of this faller we can make it if only we can come together and work positively. We can make life simple for ourselves we can create employment for ourselves and for our children and most of all eradicate poverty in this country.
      Sir Richards to me is just a roll model, he should not spoon…

  2. We need a leader with a vision (Hon Sampa), other wise we in it for a long haul. Some of us have good ideas that can be used to develop our country if the environment is right. We thinking as investors now, as of now their is no way in hell I would invest in Zambia with the current corrupt climate (this is coming from someone who loves her/his country). I don’t want my hard earned pounds to end up in a shabin, just saying…..

  3. Its only a Foolish man that will be spurned by events he has no control over! So when a catastrophe happens in Zambia, poor @MJ Banda will move out of Zambia!
    On the whole, it is refreshing to note even Sir Richard Branson acknowledges only Zambians will develop Zambia!
    However, does anyone of you know how he made his money? He was falsley claiming VAT- an eposode which almost certainly sent him to jail and an episode which he learnt what most successful businessmen learn on the way- NEVER GET CAUGHT! Unlike our very own newspaper magnet!

  4. Sampa belongs to the cartel put that in your head we do not need selfish people like that controlling our Government PF should go period. Look at the crooks Surrounding Edgar Lungu all the people who were fired by Sata ( late) is that what you want? HH is a good clean leader it is now or never open up your eyes.

  5. Great news for me, I deserve to take up the challenge looking at the degrees and 4phds and experience I acquired in the business sector.

    I hope they don’t do me the “donchi kubeba”

    EL & PF(2015)

  6. Missed opportunity, Branson would have made a big difference to our rail industry rather than aviation. He is a realist who deals with facts and figures. Zambia’s population would not yield a high profit return on the aviation front because our cities are not developed enough to demand that volume of movement to sustain the high cost of aviation. On rail, however, safe and efficient railways would be affordable to the average person and would open up the country. Light railway for the capital for instance would decongest the cities roads and act as a catalyst to already emerging small businesses.

    • You see Branson you assume that God has sent you an angel to rescue you from poverty…wake up…do you even know what Branson would want in return for that rail industry. Stop thinking like consumers and wake up!!

    • But this Jay Jay chap must be very dull. Learn to read properly before exposing your ignorance.Who is saying Branson is an Angel? Richard Branson is a business man who happens to run a very successful airline and railway system among his many businesses. A true investor will look to make a profit and without doubt effective rail system has the potential to make money rather than begging someone to fly to your country. Man you must be one sad Zambian in Ukraine, that’s if you are even there? Of course I know what Branson would want in return “The bottom line” if you know what that is. Virgin Nigeria is an example of a partnership between government and experienced group so what’s wrong with Zambia going down that route on the railways which would employ more people than an airline?

    • It all boils down to job creation…always thinking of being a good slave worker that is the difference in mindsets between rich dad and poor dad; they way the bring up the children.

      wake up!!

    • How is going into a partnership with someone turn you into a salve worker? Man you have some serious issues, either that or you have no understanding of business. Explain your point rather than just being cynical.

    • Read carefully what Branson has stated there in the article about him urging local businessmen to take up the mantle…notice how he stresses on that very point. Now refer to his business model and how his Group operates….its these selfsame business men & women he is telling to formulate a business plan and approach his people. Now who do you think owns the rail assets in Zambia? you telling me the likes of Branson would invest with the Zambia govt in rail or aviation? Its too risky why risk money in that when they can invest in clean energy like Google has done in RSA….google about the Virgin Group’s business model and you will get a clearer picture. Do not confuse Dangote and Branson…the later will build a cement factory…Branson is unconventional.

    • You are confusing the Virgin Entrepreneurship scheme which helps small businesses startups to a business model. He talks about being asked to setup a low-cost airline, and quite rightly responded by saying that he would look at the feasibility study. In other words a polite way of saying someone else with more experience in low-cost airlines is already in the game i.e. FastJet a subsidiary of easy jet. Our Aviation industry is privatised and thats why he would engage the locals first. Richard Branson’s success comes from taking risks, who do you think owned the other half of virgin Nigeria? Zambia railways is by far a less risky venture which ties in with the Virgin group ethos. Virgin group is built on businesses where things were not run well by others. That’s his niche.

    • FYI Virgin Nigeria folded up or collapsed for lack of a clearer word…Fast jet is a subsidiary of EasyJet but Easyjet is a rival to Ryanair (Europe’s answer to South west)…Fastjet operational licence in Zambia wasn’t clear cut as is the case in most African countries; only takes greasing one corrupt politician and you up and going…secret bilateral agreements here and there and you are out of business tomorrow.
      Rail network in Zambia is primitive and needs a substantial investment not even your knight in a shinning armour can afford to sacrifice such amounts…when Chriwa stated a billion dollars he wasn’t joking but being realistic.
      Look at the bigger picture. ..always and the elite in Zambia who are the hauliers do not want to see a successful rail hence will put it own.

  7. Just set up a Branson entrepreneurial deal with a university or college, then go for world records in one of our many adventure sports annually to raise money while working on flying Virgin to Zambia. In fact its Virgin flight can bring back the ‘Broken Hill Man’ and other artefacts, bring home some Zambians who’ve been away too long, bring home Zambians in a Branson investment forum and then let him apply to run for President… oh wait I went a step too far. Chuckle. He has his uses though…

  8. Now we are talking business. This is what I call viable investment from someone who has a very good successful track businesses records to reckon with. From a music business in the early 1970s, Richard is a very successful business and investment guru.

  9. “Richard Branson to look at the feasibility of helping Zambia establish a low-cost airline”

    This is where we as Zambians or Africans need to wake up …Richard may be a billionaire but he is not helping your lazy bones get it through your docile domes; this is purely business and once his people undertake this so called feasibility they will find that African skies are not as liberated as Europe and this selfsame Richard will go to our dull ministers and ask for more exclusivity rights for our air space…why don’t you ask him why Virgin Nigeria parked up.
    Forget this airline business if Richard wants low-cost airline let him do it like everyone else with his own business model not at the expense of local airlines.

    Wake up and stopping drooling all over Richard’s shoes!!

    • Chillax man! you seem to be having a stiffie for nothing. We all know Richard Branson is a businessman, that’s why he was invited to look at investment opportunities in Zambia. Even developed countries do have foreign investors running key infrastructure. Did you know that the owners of London City airport and Gatwick airport happen to be Nigerian? Going into a 50/50 partnership with an experienced group such as virgin would bring the badly needed technical skills to Zambia. Arrival group that runs the London buses and trains is owned by the Germans so what’s wrong with Zambia enticing established companies like the virgin group?

    • That language is uncalled for just engage me based on the topic…Firstly you have to understand Branson and his Virgin Group you have to study their business model, it is based around strategic business units; it is a diverse array few wholly owned by him..especially the big ones in the group. Its a tangled web of enterprises owned via complicated series of offshore trusts and offshore holding companies.
      If anything Branson and his investors would rather promote their new money transfer company in Africa and Zambia than waste money in aviation or Rail even old money is not that f#olish. When we tell you that opening an airline business in Africa is not profitable you assume its a joke.

    • @Jay Jay, apologies for the bad language but I’m struggling to understand what point you are trying to put across? Good business is also about engaging good partners. You pretend to have in-depth knowledge about the virgin group business model but I’m not sure if you understand it? Yes the Virgin group is made up of a group of companies which include rail franchise.Their business model include purpose driven, social enterprises and value based, meaning they will invest in businesses that make a difference, ethical to the planet and above all make a profit. Richard Branson may not be a major share holder on some of them but he is the Virgin brand and has influence on the group. So What’s wrong with going into a partnership with such a model?

    • @Jay jay, I don’t agree with your assumption that having an airline or railway in Africa is a waste of money. African economies are among the world’s fastest growing. The key to profit sustainability lies in the emerging middle income earners. These are the people who will push up the the demand for travel in Africa and the trend is growing. Fast jet is an example of a company looking to establish itself in Africa to capitalise on this. You are told that having an airline in Africa is not profitable, if that was the case then why do major carriers still fly to the continent? You need to worry about good governance, that’s what’s killing business in African not the investor because with good laws you can protect against abuse.

  10. “Zambia is centrally located thus suited for aviation hub”

    We forget Chad,C.A.R, Zim ,D.R.C,Uganda and South Sudan are also well located but the economic dynamics aren’t there.All of Africa’s hubs are located on the periphery- Nairobi,Jo’burg,Cairo & Dakar .Lets find something else that favors zed coz aviation ain’t one of them.

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