Commerce Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe flanked by Lands Minister Christabel Njimbu listens attentively during the laying of the foundation stone ceremony
Commerce Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe flanked by Lands Minister Christabel Njimbu listens attentively during the laying of the foundation stone ceremony

Government has reiterated that it will soon revive the national airline to meet the country’s growing aviation needs.

Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe said government was eager to re-establish a national flag carrier to facilitate the process of linking the country to the rest of the world.

Mrs. Mwanakatwe said this in response to inquiries from the Mauritius government about the lack of a direct flight between Zambia and that country to promote trade and tourism.

Mauritians recalled the days when the defunct Zambia Airways operated a direct flight to that Indian Ocean island nation.

They say there is need for a national airline to service the business needs of the two countries following the signing of the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) between Zambia and Mauritius.

Mrs. Mwanakatwe said government was keen to address flight connection challenges in order to reduce flying hours around the region and bring markets closer to the country.

She said the airline was expected to be operational by the end of June 2016.

Zambia has had no national flag carrier since the demise of Zambia Airways over twenty years ago.

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42 COMMENTS

    • Are we still hallucinating about airlines without looking at lessons of the past?
      Is it that you want to bulldoze your way to shopping trips with excess luggage and then close the airport when the plan leaves without you, the way you did it on Zambia airways?
      Government must provide the necessary framework to invite private competitive airlines!
      With fuel prices going up all the time how will you manage the costs? maybe you will be using water but last time I checked even the largest user of water in Zambia the Victoria falls was dry!

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    • As usual no time lines , just soon. This could mean in the next century. Dream on. People want bread and you suggesting cake. where do you guys live, Zambia or UK?

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    • this womans reasoning just goes further to prove my point that our education system and the worlds education system is meant for the benefit and maintaining of the white supremacy agenda.She is brilliant,she has all those qualifications and when she works for the white mans institutions she does great.But when it comes to the betterment of her own people,she turns out to be a disaster.then what is education if not the acquiring of knowledge to better know yourself thereby improve yourself and your surroundings.Take all our learned people to the west.they will work and function at 110%, like clock work.But why do they fail to work for us?Its because they are miseducated.Read the miseducation of the negro by Carter G Woodson.Maybe some of you can wake up,be conscious to your true self

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    • @ legal brain

      Unfortunately, route Lusaka-London (either LHR or LGW) cannot be allocated until another airline vacate landing and take-off “slot” and that is outside jurisdiction of Zambian Government.

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  1. *****. you think that is important, do you look for tissue to clean a penis before you find a man. There more important issue to address before this nonsense. Think

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  2. You do not need a national airline, especially for regional routes.

    Just accommodate private investments with workable regulations and/or legislation.

    But locals should really take this initiative

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  3. It was a bad idea 5 years ago and its still is…what aviation needs is she talking about? needs for greedy politicians.

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  4. If GRZ is failing to run ZESCO, Zamtel, ZNBC, Times of Zambia, ZANIS, ZANACO (before take over by the Dutch) and Daily Mail etc… How is itgoing to manage another parastatal airline? Zambia Airways lessons haven’t been learnt. We do need an National Airline but it should be left to private entrepreneurs not GRZ not even where Government has a stake that’s recipe for failure
    .

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  5. This will be another waste of taxpayers’ money. This idea should be abandoned immediately!

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  6. PF, we have been down this route before! Whats wrong with this govt! All national airlines in the region including South African Airways are making massive losses and laying off people just to stay afloat. And the all wise PF want to run a govt airline…again!?

    Look, the only incentive for PF is to steal millions of dollars in the process of establishing this airline. If you have millions to waste, please wisely invest it in proper expansion of the Kariba North Bank, and this time, please engage proper Germany engineering companies and not corrupt chinese or PF contractors you keep engaging. If you can’t do this, atleast invest in farmer fertilizer and seed inputs and basic irrigation projects maybe our people will not die of hunger and malnutrition in 2016.

    PF Govt! How cursed!

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  7. Old tale, whats wrong with these ministers, its like the are reciting same old things probably written in ancient times..

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  8. We hope it’ll be sooner rather than later.

    When I travel home, I want it to be in Zambia Airways like I did in 1991! I paid £1,300approx for that ticket at Xmas peak time! I am still smarting and tears eyed at the cost!

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    • xmas is high peak period..you check for a flight now for December see if you will get cheaper.. .honestly you think your government airline will give a cheaper option?
      Wake up!!

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    • @Jay Jay
      Operative word is patriot.
      When I come home, it’s Zambia Airways(have not been back since end of!). When I fly back would be British Airways….oh wait they don’t come down our way any more!

      Oh shucks….maybe Emirates…then

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  9. It’s sad that this respected lady has also began to talk like a politician, one Yamfwa Mukanga. I expect madam Mwanakatwe to be above such talk.

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  10. But if Mauritius is genuinely interested and are seeing business in what they are talking about, why can they not introduce their own airline to fly from Mauritius (Antananarivo) to Zambia (Lusaka)! Do they have to wait for Zambia? I smell a rat.

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    • @Mr Kula Umone, Antananarivo is in Madagascar… That said, there is no reason why an airline of national character cannot be re-introduced except we must learn from the successes of airlines like Ethiopian and others that, despite the rot in the airlines most of you guys are citing, it has continued to post profits and successes. Let’s not fly with chickens – speak to the Eagles!!!!

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  11. With all the failures this govmnt has achieved they are now dreaming of a national airline?All the parastatls are limping and now they want to bring another one? Even SA has failed to run a national airline and these monkeys despite their evident incompetence think they can run one?

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  12. Small minds are scared of taking risks. The biggest airline today such as Emirates started by transporting traders using boats but see where it is today. So it is not true that because Zambia Airways went into liquidation then we stay without a National Airline. We have learnt lessons and i encourage our PF Government to even expedite this noble industry. Hon Mwanakatwe please continue and lets shame these armchair and bitter critics. And you claim that your ka HH is an economist, what a shame you losers. My child is already a trained commercial airline captain ready to fly our flag around the globe. What is yours doing? Drinking and womanising?

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    • The critics are just useless, how can they say no to a national airline. Please guys learn to appreciate for once.

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    • Your lack of knowledge borders with 1mbecility.
      As a person who has been involved in airline industry from 1978 and in late 80’s and early 90’s with UAE, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman governments disengagement of shareholding from Gulf Air and setting-up of not just EMIRATES but also ETIHAD and OMAN AIR, I can certify, even in the Court of Law, that you are either LIAR or PAID 1MBECILE.

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    • @Aleshaday

      You are being pathetic. Your so called qualifications for calling @MJ Banda are just plain bragging and do not verify your right to certifying people Liars or imbeciles.

      What is clear is that you are a very abusive individual who has not been served well by your education. Intimidation is for the ill educated. They need to use force and fear to win an argument.

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  13. If PF was a biological organism, it would be a chimera or a dimorphic one. PF is a chimera of UNIP and MMD. UNIP gave PF all the ideas that they have been toying with. Excessive borrowing, the desire to bring back INDECO and to start another Zambia Airways which will spectacularly and lamentably fail again. Even some of the names in their organization reek of UNIP e.g. Central Committee, The PF Party and its Government, One Zambia One Nation blah blah blah. Enter MMD folks who flocked to PF once they had done sinking their own party and PF embraced their ideas again. One example is that of forcing to tenants pay taxes on behalf of landlords. PF is indeed a dimorphic organism similar to Bipolaris maydis capable of existing in both colony and mycelial form!

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    • Of course not. The planes will be “leased” and BoZ will guaranty the payments which will be in short supply and as a consequence tax-payer will be required to pay for the usual 5tupidity of elected officials.

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  14. #Patriot Abroad, Kalok, Secret Code, you are my kind of men and not these armchair critics who just want other countries to do things for them. I am just tired of announcements from PF about the launch of the airline but I support the formation of the airline 1000%. I wish the launch was this year and I will be one of the first to travel on it. I can even buy shares in it.

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    • Right on bro/sis.

      Forward looking. We are not defeated before we even begin. Zambians need to keep a positive spirit.

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    • @Aleshaday

      You are being pathetic and a tad insane. Foul mouthed too. Your so called qualifications amounts to plain bragging and do not verify your right to certifying people Liars or imbeciles.

      What is clear is that you are a very abusive individual who has not been served well by your education. Intimidation is for the ill educated. They need to use force and fear to win an argument.

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  15. Margaret, you know very well that the proposition is not a viable one. Let the state focus on ensuring good governance and creating the right environment for creating wealth for the people. The private sector should not be short circuited by the state in terms of investment opportunities. A state airline will only be used to ferry cadres of whichever party will be in power.

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  16. As long as the write a law that forbids the new airline’s employees getting free tickets, then we can talk. If not lets build another Dam ( hydroelectric hybrid ), windfarms, solar mirror installations.

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  17. Another locust talking nonsense. U think forming an is like forming juldan or power tools. This govt has no money to do anything. You will have to be prepared to make losses for 3 years or more before profit. Who will finance these losses, you locusts? I also learn that they have a top heavy structure already in place mainly of one region even before the airline starts. These locusts make me sick.

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  18. It is nice to have a national airline as long as it is independently funded and operated. Otherwise it will be used by politicians and they will not pay for the flights. The government is always late in releasing funds for continuing operations. It will not be different with a government airline.

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  19. Dear Madame Minister,

    Instead of trying to “revive” dead body, can you PLEASE concentrate in keeping alive moribund economy and avail urgently necessary medicines to prevent impeding death?

    After all, your ministerial portfolio is limited to Commerce, Trade and Industry and not Transport and performance of CORRUPT bodies within your Ministry is alarming.

    Stick to your job and PLEASE, no more blabbing.

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    • @Aleshaday
      Is it too taxing to understand that some portfolios can actually intersect with others! Commerce, Trade, Industry and Transport in this case have a joined purpose in creating the infrastructure for said commerce, Trade and Industry. Perhaps you think the Transport Minster be the one to announce the ‘proposed’ development?

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  20. I have read this article again. Honestly @1.4 Zagaze and @Aleshaday Zambia has little need to worry about the effect of ‘white supremacy’ on its citizens in educational outcomes.

    What is perfectly clear is that we have very educated paper holders who want to use their education to be ‘felt.’ But in reality, ‘comprehension’ and ‘practice/application’ of that education is never fully demonstrated. Education is an act of ‘gathering’ educational certificates.

    Mwanakatwe’s angle was in promoting commerce needs, and she was speaking on gov’t thought not on her portfolio per se.

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  21. Once beaten twice shy!

    The Mistake was made by Penza not to restructure but close in the hope of making own airlines and it failed us badly….Super Ken invested alot to just waste the airline and its assets without a thought….

    Zambians think about this ,,,aircraft cost millions of dollars and given on a 20 year Financial lease…
    E.g
    You Make $3 million dollars ticket sales in a year!
    Aircraft unlike vehicles have schedule maintenance plus salaries cost you $5 Million a year since we cant do our own maintenance…

    for 10 Years operation before we break even,we need an extra $2million just to keep afloat….We are in a budget deficit crisis,Zesco,Water,fuel,poverty,mines production output reduced due to electricty,falling kwacha,,,,Its True,Zambia is in ICU!

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