With Economy stabilising, Governments restart National Airline talk

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Minister of Transport and Communications Hon. Brian Mushimba makes the first call to launch the second phase of the Universal Access Programme, paving the way for every citizen in the country to have access to a mobile phone signal.

GOVERNMENT is studying the possibility of having a national airline and the ministry has prepared the necessary documents pertaining to its feasibility which are before Cabinet, says Transport and Communication Minister Brian Mushimba.

Mr Mushimba said that the national airline undertaking was put on halt last year following the economic difficulties the country experienced due to external shocks such as low copper prices on the international market as well as unstable local currency and the general election.

He said the economic indicators were now positive and stated that the ministry had finalised documentation in terms of what could be done on the planned national airline, saying it was still on schedule.

The minister said that the direction to be taken on whether or not to have a national flag carrier could not be decided by one person and would instead be decided by Cabinet.

“We started the groundwork but we postponed the programme last year due to economic external shocks such as low copper prices, instability of the Kwacha and we were going into an election period, so we thought it was not good to be planning such an undertaking but now the economy is looking up.

‘‘So as a ministry we have finalised documentation in terms of what could be done and it remains for Cabinet to give the direction to be taken,” he said.

Mr Mushimba, who is Kankoyo Member of Parliament, said that the Government was determined to open up all modes of transportation and had continued to invest and expressed hope that with the construction of airport infrastructure the country would benefit in various sectors such as tourism, among others.

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34 COMMENTS

    • First of all, the PF govt is broke and not bankable. Secondly, if this idea took off (pun intended), the airline would be stuffed with people from certain regions only and would be abused by PF by providing free services (the way Zamtel is never paid by govt) leading to massive losses. Thirdly, there are more pressing issues like provision of reliable power supply. Zambians are fed up of 8 hour power cuts when neighbouring countries do not have loadshedding. PF are masters of obfuscation, trying to confuse citizens with irrelevant projects.

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    • You are still recording BOP Deficits Quarter after Quarter and you still somehow claim that the economy is now fine …. and you can indulge in this nonsensical project that shouldn’t even be a priority. I will give you kudos if you mention that you want to invest in a top research center or if you want aviation then…..a top and modern aviation training center.

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    • Here we go again! Yes airline, No airline. Is this disagreement an annual event? Reminds me of Looney Tunes, Duck season, Rabbit season, duck season, rabbit season etc

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  1. Airlines everywhere are making loses, the few very well managed one’s line Ethiopian Airlines are just breaking even. Is this really a priority sector that warrants investments of probability $300million capitalisations? Will Zambian Airways (new) be able to penetrate the market and compete with the likes of South African Airways…?

    Is this a priority honestly? Are there no better priority sectors that can make a REAL difference to people lives? Can we not focus on agriculture at least until we normalise agro production and able to earn forex which could then maybe be invested in such an idea..?

    Zambia…lets make clear priorities, please.

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    • A priority sector that comes to mind is the power sector. Why do we still have 8 hour powercuts despite the floods that are being reported? Why is Mrs Wina now saying powercuts will continue until next year when Batoka Gorge will come onstream (a blatant lie)? Why does not PF even bring in old-style diesel gensets that Zesco used to post whole towns up to the 1990s? Why not construct more coal fired power stations, like at Maamba? What happened to that solar plant at Lusaka South MFEZ by IDC? Right now the power sector has to be priority #1, instead of an airline. Without power, even the mines will not capitalise on the improving copper prices.

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  2. What economic indicators are positives??? You can’t fund your national budget, you are getting loans from all over the place. Where do these PF minions live????

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    • @ Napapa Sana wipapa as what is being used to interpret “Economic indicators” referred to as positives is the Kwacha exchange rates which have held steady for a while without much fluctuation and probably gaining copper prices on the world market. Now here is someone who thinks all Zambians are gullible trying to give “alternative fact”! I wish Mushimba could answer your direct question?

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    • These PF minions live in Mayela Night club or are being bonked or are bonking Congolese instead of sweating over the running of the country.

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  3. In Zambia, copper prices are used as an excuse for almost every thing. Unemployment, poor agric input (FISP) distribution, high inflation, high poverty levels and now the airline establishment. Is the Govt telling us that that airline will depend on the copper price over which they have no control? If the answer is yes, then its another failed project.

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  4. I know that airlines are a very difficult business to run on profit but I would still go for it looking at the bigger picture of boosting our tourism. A loss from the airline could be mitigated by the inflow of revenue from. However it would need competent policy and implementation teams to synchronise the operations to maximise the gains and that’s where the trouble could be.

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    • Do you believe that tourist will flow with Zambian Airline whenever you have SAA, or EK flying in the country. Tourist will never trust such airline and won’t flight with whatever price is. This is non realistic project. They would better allow FastJet to get in the market since they are trying for years !!

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  5. I know that airlines are a very difficult business to run on profit but I would still go for it looking at the bigger picture of boosting our tourism. A loss from the airline could be mitigated by the inflow of revenue from tourism. However it would need competent policy and implementation teams to synchronise the operations to maximise the gains and that’s where the trouble could be.

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    • There will be very little tourism revenue to show from this investment. Instead, like Zimbabwe, the planes will be diverted to carry Lungu and his cadres to party abroad. That’s what happens to Air Zimbabwe where Mugabe can kick passengers off the plane so that he can go to Singapore for shopping.

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  6. To have any chance of diversefying our economy away from depending only on copper to agriculture, tourism, knowledge economy, etc, GRZ needs to invest in necessary basic infrastructure. For tourism, a national airline & airports, roads to places of interest are some of the necessary infrastructure. For agriculture, dams & feeder roads are some of the key infrastructure. For Zambia to kick start its growth, these investments by GRZ can’t be avoided. God Bless Zambia

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  7. Kikikikiki ala mwandepula. Ati economy stabilising omg that is the joke of the year. While people are starving country wide. Unemployment is rife and here some monkeys dreaming about air line Kikikikiki pf are useless

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  8. I think we should turn to witchcraft.

    Here me out here.

    If a witch can fly across the country on a spoon and a few stolen drops of blood, imagine how far this witch can fly in a shomeka and given all the necessary blood! Air Shomeka.

    We would have the an airline that would “kill” all the competition!! I mean, look, no need for an airport, or landing permits, customized flight plans and no need for the two hour check in etc.

    I think grz has a better chance with Air Shomeka than another Zambia Airways.

    #Bufi

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    • I think we should turn to witchcraft.

      Hear me out here.

      If a witch can fly across the country on a spoon with a few drops of stolen blood, imagine how far this witch can fly in a shomeka and given all the necessary blood! Air Shomeka.

      We would have then have an airline that would “kill” all the competition!! I mean, look, no need for an airport, or landing permits, your very own customized flight plans and no need for the two hour check in etc.

      I think grz has a better chance with Air Shomeka than another Zambia Airways.

      #Bufi
      #OneZambia

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    • Maikalange awe kwena wandepula. Enyushifye naumfwakofye bwino pali nyushi yonse iyelelo. Nkalasekafye for a week.

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  9. Surely the failed P.F government should start with Garbage collection, unblocking the putrid sewerage system, mending all potholes, cleaning our cities, ensuring our hospitals are stocked with Non-expired medicenes, & no longer death traps.
    P.F Corruption should first be brought to an end, coz as we speak Kambwili has NOT been charged, other P.F Lungu sycophants have not even been investigated for serious Corrupt practices/ unexplained sudden wealth.
    Without rectifying these anomalies, we know the reason P.F Cadres are screaming from the rooftops for “A National Airline” is because this will be a cashcow to further Milk Zambias treasury, mainly by 2 Tribes whilst others watch on helplessly, Coz we all know in the end Parliament will be told Zambia Airways II failed, with losses of up…

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    • Cont;
      Zambia Airways failed with losses of up to U$ Dollars 800 Million, whilst this money will be stashed away in P.F Cadres & Officials Offshore accounts. Sad part of this P.F- led failed visionless experiment is, “ALL ZAMBIANS” not only the 2 benefitting tribespeople, will be tasked with paying back this lost Money @ EXTREMELY HIGH COST/ INTEREST, whille Generations get stuck paying for Silly P.F Visionless misdeeds, & escapades!!

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  10. I hate PF because of it’s violence and oppression of the opposition and the killing of Mapenzi and others. but this is a project that I agree with PF 100% as long as Zambians are invited to be shareholders and we also bring in private partners to help run it. Problem with PF is that they’re good at making statements than fulfilling them.for those opposed to the setting up of the airline, i say it is better for us to have our own airline than to depend on other nations.GRZ should protect Proflight and invest in it too.

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    • @ KK Airport Cabinet

      Can you decide which option you prefer?
      New airline established 100% on borrowed capital competing against Proflight domestically and SAA, Ethiopian, Kenya Airways and Emirates on regional and intercontinental routes?

      On the other hand, instead of wasting taxpayers money on “study” for establishment of national carrier done by the incompetent non-entities, would it be better to FINISH F*CKING projects of “unprecedented development” which have been abandoned in last FIVE years???

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  11. Lungu, much of the little money in Zambia is borrowed cause not much money is coming from the mines. we borrow money for houses and cars etc even though borrowing for cars is not good. No need for national airline to compete against Proflight but to complement and to compete against SAA, Kenya airways etc.PF will always waste money whether on national airline or not. so better establish a national airline with outside help because we can’t depend on foreign carriers forever.

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  12. National Airlines have been failing under previous regimes. Can they succeed under PF? This PF? For a national airline to survive you need a very stable economy. Now in this country are we able to sustain that economy? The answer is NO.

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  13. @the Truth, national airline only failed under Kafupi and Sata who liquidated it. Private airlines failed failed because of jealousy by our past presidents like what we have seen with the Post.

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  14. TRINKETS, TRINKETS, TRINKETS!!
    Our People Muntu -Munyama’s always have their priorities back to front.
    You will find someone has a B.M.W, Cadillac, BUT has no house, & sleeps on friends & relatives floors / couches.
    Same as the Old Chief, & his nduna’s, who sold their people for beads & mirrors-Trinkets.
    ZAMBIA AIRWAYS WILL BE LUNGU’S & HIS NDUNA’S TRINKET, WHEN YOU CONSIDER, LOAD SHEDDING, CIVIL SERVANTS NOT BEING PAID ON TIME, NO MEDS IN HOSPITALS, DIRTY CITIES, I could go on.

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    • Cont;
      Today the Trinket is known as BLING -BLING, & Don’t our people just love all that useless Jewellery hanging form our necks, & weighing us down!!

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  15. First of all. Whats the connection between the picture above and the story itself? Second thing; TALK INDEED. If you want to work why cant you work first and talk later. Ubunonshi bwapa Zambia bwabafye pamapepala. Awe mwandini we are fed up. WORK AND TALK LESS.

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  16. How will creating a national airline bring more tourists? The airlines operating currently are having a tough time – not because they can’t cope, but because there isn’t enough business. Why did BA and KLM give up? We sure we can run an airline under this regime that cannot even distribute farming inputs efficiently?
    Meanwhile, the disgrace of load shedding continues with no end in sight. In a lot of countries this state of affairs would not have been tolerated. No power for business and households for hours on end? No compensation? No action. I don’t understand Zambians sometimes. This is an issue to demonstrate over and hold government to account. Citizens need to say enough! Sort this out or YOU are out! No need to wait for 2021.

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  17. An economy without power, is one that can’t capitalise on other sectors. Copper rebound is great, but we don’t set the price, and if we don’t meet production then its of no use. Airline is the least of our priorities, and only one airline is in the black being Ethiopia. Besides none of the international airlines stay at Lusaka airport even for a day. Even a new airport opened in Zimbabwe and that tells you Zambia has misplaced priorities. The project is capital intensive, boma is yet to pay all the contractors on road projects, but will get funding for an airline.

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