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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Airlines and Allied Workers Union appeals to President Lungu to establish a national airliner airline

Economy Airlines and Allied Workers Union appeals to President Lungu to establish a...

President Edgar Lungu with Zimbabwean vice President Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa at Harare in Zimbabwe. Picture By EDDIE MWANALEZA /STATEHOUSE 06-02-2015.
President Edgar Lungu with Zimbabwean vice President Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa at Harare in Zimbabwe. Picture By EDDIE MWANALEZA /STATEHOUSE 06-02-2015.

The Airlines and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (AAWUZ) has called on President Edgar Lungu not to abandon the idea of establishing a national airline that the late President Sata had.

Union General Secretary, Neddy Banda, said the establishment of a national airline will boost local tourism in the country.

Mr Banda said the airline will not only create employment for the local people but also be a flag-carrier for the country.

He was speaking in a telephone interview with ZANIS in Solwezi yesterday.

Mr Banda said the union is available for consultation and will support President Lungu’s administration in order for to excel and move the country forward.

Zambia has had no national airliner since the demise of Zambia Airways in the early 1990s following a massive privatisation programme


  1. Mr. Banda, do you have slightest idea on the cost of establishing airline? The days when you can get new airplane for 8-10 million USD have gone for ever. To day, cheapest regional jet cost 35-40 million and long range ones from 120 million USD upwards.
    Please, be serious and pragmatic instead of dreaming clown.

    • Dude most national carriers don’t own their planes they lease them. We are giving millions of dollars every year to foreign airliners that could be captured by a Zambian company. What we need is a new airport to increase traffic.

    • @ Yuup!

      And which type of lease you are going to get? Dry or wet? And who is going to offer guarantee for that lease? BOZ? Where is going to be maintained?
      Dude, stick to what you know and stop dreaming.
      As to new facilities at the LUN, just go and check. Expansion is in “full swing”. For the past 12 months, one grader, one excavator and two trucks are on display!!!


    • Don’t mind this clown Neddy Banda to him a national airline equates to more airline employees which in turn equates to more members paying for membership for his allowances.

    • Zambia is one of the poorest countries ! How can the afford to buy a plane ? Even ZAF war planes are from 60s . Those choppers used by ZAF were used by America during Vietnam war in the 60s . Don’t know the call it even ZAF anymore .

    • Obviously Mr Banda has no clue about the cost of buying planes and costs involved. Zambia Airways failed because of government usage. The government officials basically traveled free as government rarely settled their bills. The days of KK when he would commandeer a whole plane. I got on one flight where it was packed with Zambai Airways staff on free tickets and paying passengers were off loaded at Heathrow. The airline became a joke.
      If a new airline were started the result would be the same. So tizikwelache zabene! Less of a headache. Our country does not practice meritocracy a new Irline would be another chance for nepotism.

    • One of the reasons GRZ has failed to move forward on this issue is they have been looking for a wrong strategic partner. For instance, if my memory serves me right all prospective partners that have been approached are direct or indirect competitors for routes into the Zambian market.

      Here is how this objective can be achieved:

      1. Enlist a regional budget but small airline ~ good case in point is Fastjet. This small but effective regional airline is a stand alone enterprise called Fastjet Zambia. GRZ can enter into a strategic partnership and with little legal framework changes be now called Fastjet Zambia DBA Zambia Airways.

      2. Immediately, the local market would be served with a national carrier, the international division can then be launched with wet leases from Boeing.

    • 3. Embark on a 5 year plan to upgrade 5 major airports to international standards namely KKIA, HMNIA, LPMIA, Solwezi and Mbala. Solwezi due to mines and Mbala due to our strategic defense capabilities there.

      4. Build an oil pipeline from Angola into Ndola for refined Jet Fuel, etc. Refueling in Zambia is currently cost prohibitive but a pipeline from the now under construction refinery in Angola straight into Ndola would reduce the current prices drastically.

      One source tells me fuel in Angola is $0.75 a gallon add pipeline costs of roughly $0.50 per gallon you would have landing cost at $1.25 per gallon for jet fuel. Cheapest in the region and you would immediately create new business because all major airlines would start refueling in Zambia due to economics

    • Unions is what kill National carriers. So don’t establish an airline if you want to run it the rubbish Zambian ways. Ask how the likes of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar have managed.

      Think and involve right people with a right mind set..

    • @Aleshaday, that is low minded thinking, it’s about time us Zambians start thinking big, why would you think that we can not own our own airline, we had it before and we can do it again, what a country with no airline. Even the presidential jet is a rental one, because of thinking like yours. Our country is rich God forbid and we are moving forward, we have to shift our thinking. Please let’s support the people in high offices and hope they can make good decisions to change and build our country. Do you know how many people would be employed from that development of having our own national airline. Let’s change our thinking and stop fighting each other about tribalism and who should rule from what tribe, that is long gone our country has 72 languages and out of that, they can only be…

  2. But in 2013 there was a minister of communication who kept assuring us that GRZ will establish an airline by June 2014. That time he told arrangements were almost final, with Emirates, KLM and other major airlines! But But that Minister has since gone dark, alingila pa cani, just like that…!

    • The other issue the Zambian government has to address in its investigations to start an airline if it decides to go that route is the cost of aviation file which is still very high in the southern region. The cost of fuel is one of the major points and has an impact on the total cost of running the airline. Then the attitude of stakeholders would have to change.
      Bear in mind too the airlines are folding. African airlines rarely do well. How many of the continues airline are doing better? Some are because of being in partnership with Western airlines like KLM and Kenya Airways.

  3. This is a no brainer to anyone with an ounce of thinking capacity. Airline companies are folding the world over and this Banda comes along to campaign for one. What will Zambia do differently that the other bigger and more resourced airlines havent done?
    Learn to think strategically, RB was on cue with proposals of a modern airport facility that would increase air traffic to Zambia and create jobs for Zambians. The the economic opportunities including jobs created by a modern airport will be far more beneficial to the Zambian people and economy than a national airline would be. Each airline will need ground staff,operating space and also pay landing fees, taxes etc. shops would do the same and so would any associated businesses.

    • A modern airport in itself is not enough. As a country we need to develop a product -be tourism or business – that will attract travelers to this part of Africa from all over the world. As my learned colleagues have argued above, the airline or the airports in themselves are not enough.

    • @Biz
      You are missing the point here. Zambia’s central location is the attraction for major international airline operators. We are with 2hrs flight time to all southern african countries and that is a key strategic location. Put in the right facilities and airlines will come while smaller ones can capitalise on reagional connecting flights. Tourism is there but needs marketting beyond L/stone.

    • @ Biz
      Tanzania has no national airline but it boasts of high number of tourists. ..having a national airline does not equate to high number of tourists …please lets not be lazy and for once seat down brainstorm issues. If you see the work the Tanzanian and Kenyan tourism boards put in advertising and marketing their countries abroad you would be ashamed.

    • @ it’s a worry
      I see your point but I would still argue that being centrally located does nothing itself. Yes I know that a number of tourists visiting neighboring vicfalls, kasane and katima mulilo usually fly through L/stone. But that is no guarantee . Lets assume Zimbabwe gets it right and Kasane upgrades its airport to an international airport, what happens to those numbers? If Zambia wants to be an airline hub of southern, central and eastern Africa there’s much more that we need to do other than building world first class airport. There’s a reason why London or new York are international flight hubs.

    • @Biz
      lts baffling why we even call KKA an international airport; its tiny outdated shambolic place likened to an small towns airport in Europe.
      Most of those tourists visiting Livingstone’s hot spots are on day visits from RSA or Zimbabwe who have paid their precious dollars via packaged deals.

      These people who are calling for a national airline simply have to be asked one question. ..how is an national airline going to boost tourists numbers? What is it that you are going to do differently that other international airlines ain’t? Subsidising it at the expense of poor taxpayers is the only answer I can think of.

    • @It’s a worry

      RB was on cue but you seem to forget that he was also corruptly and single-handedly going to give air traffic rights and control to the Turks and Turkish Airlines.

    • I agree Zambia would be better off with a first class airport to create employment but no national airline please. We have no money, we have poor standards. Zambia Airways folded at the time when we had standards, what more now.

  4. If a country can’t have an airliner how do you function as country. I Enoch Kavindele had owned a private jet at the age of 23 WHY can’t Government own.???

  5. This thinking of, Government this and Government that, will not take us anywhere. It is not Government’s responsibility to run business, but rather make the environment (Polices, Taxes etc) conducive and ensure that the citizens are given priority.

    To set up an airline to bolster local tourism as well as take advantage of international trade, one must go see people with money like HH, GBM and whichever other millionaires we have, and show them the potential and return on investment.

    If it is viable let them put their funds and experience together and invest. If the viability is as a result of high gas prices and taxes, then you involve Gvt and show them how certain polices need to change to make the environment conducive.

    No Mr. Mwape, its not gvt’s responsibility to set up an…

    • Rich people and investors are doing everything possible not to invest in airline industry as it is not a viable and profitable industry especially in Africa only an Arab shierk with limitless pockets or a [email protected]@l are putting money in this sector.

  6. Here we go again with this stupidity …these empty tins have no clue whatsoever about the state of the airline industry and the first thing they can think of running a successful airline is job creation and having a national carrier.

  7. @ jayjay even if yu have a valid point, to call others as empty tins the way hh thinks, looking down on others and exhorting yourself as a super is tantamount to to dullness. This kind of boasting is very retrogressive and no one will hear you. You cant be wiser than all of us.

    • If someone keeps repeating the selfsame thing over and over again …what do you expect me to call them? Even a dog knows better than repeating the same mistake.

    • Jay Jay, so what do you call HH, Miyanda, Nawakwi, Tilyenji et al? B’coz they keep losing elections, yet they keep contesting more and more elections?

    • @spongebob, this Jay Jay chap must be bored and frustrated with life. These are the chaps who have never visited zambia since they left, because leaving zambia was the greatest thing that has happened to him since a slice of bread. Try to follow every comment he makes he doesn’t make sense, I’m sure that’s all he does just blogging while we are busy making money and thinking about changing our country for better, while alenyafye amashushi ku bulaya. Ba Phiri banabwela kuchokelela ku Harare. You know what I mean. I don’t think he has any education other than grade twelve certificate he left zambia with and I’m sure that was 42 points which would not even get him in any college in zambia not even a trades school.

  8. @Spongebob……

    You are misleading people regarding the character of HH. Why don’t you make an effort to meet this man personally and find out for yourself. You are misinformed by bloggers like Kudos, Gen. Haleisa Halenya etc who may have some personal issues with HH. He is totally the opposite of what you are saying. The fact that the man cannot speak icibemba or cinyanja fluently does not make him pompous. Like it or not, the man is educated, like many Zambians such as Dr Chirwa, Dr Patrick Nkanza, Dr Simukanga, Dr Msiska, Dr Simbyakula etc etc. Just make sure your own children get these higher qualifications to compensate for your own personal academic deprivations. You are not alone, so stop worrying about HH. He is a model. EL is a lawyer, RB is an economist, late LPM was a…

    • I agree with you on that. I have had the pleasure of meeting both HH and EL on two separate occasions respectively. They’re nothing like what people say of them. I thought they were both humble and down to earth. However, HH always had some positive words and encouragements every time we bumped into each other.

    • Why do you take the bait from cadres and start debating about individuals who have no connection to the topic at hand?

  9. HH is a very humble and generous man. Had it not been for politics, HH and President Lungu would make a very good team. I was personally introduced to then Mr Edgar Lungu by a PF friend when he visited Chawama just after he was adopted to stand on the PF ticket. His humility was humbling and I immediately liked him. Similarly, I knew HH from UNZA as fellow member of UNZABECA and classmate in one of the Economics course co-shared by 3rd and 4th years and even later when he was CEO at Grant Thornton. He was the same polite and smiling person. He did not hide his humble background to those who got close to him. As for generosity, go find out how he has supported so many people including vulnerable children. So, plse, your sour grapes are misdirected.

  10. Coming to the subject of a National Airline, yes, we need one. As to whether this is the right time to establish one when we are trying to build critical economic and social infrastructure, is another matter. If I were the President I would perhaps focus on what is being done now: build the roads, schools and health centres where they do not exist, upgrade existing one, build more bed space at UNZA and CBU, modernise airports and airdromes, upgrade Railway lines, improve agricultural productivity and agro-processing, improve rural and urban water supply, upgrade compound life etc etc. For now, measured against the priorities listed above, expenditure on a National airline is low priority. Five years or so down the line, maybe, Yes. Not now.

  11. It’s very disappointing just to read some comments, how can someone say we can not run a national airline because the country has no money. You are the ones that let these guys in office steal everything, this country has money, it’s the people in high offices that have poor [email protected] its a worry, you have a good point here but these guys keeps on arguing your point, @ Biz, even when you have lived out, your thinking capacity hasn’t shifted yet, you are suppose to bring up good ideas from what you have seen around, maybe you have not traveled the world to see how others live. Just between zambia and South Africa, zambia is five hundred years away from South Africa in terms of development, maybe we should be given a chance to host the soccer World Cup then we will run to build our…

  12. @1.8 B R Mumba,Sr just a correction, those figures you have mentioned on fuel in Angola are in Liters not in Gallons, 1gallon=3.875 liters. Yes you are right with the rest of your point, the price of gasoline is about 48% cheaper than the world price in Angola. That would be an idea to get fuel from there it’s more closer than other places. Running our own national airline is a must we have to be looking into those directions.

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