THE two fire engines at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport spilling water over the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft in a picturesque arc of mist that glowed in bright sunshine during the inaugural flight to Ndola
THE two fire engines at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport
spilling water over the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft in a picturesque
arc of mist that glowed in bright sunshine during the inaugural flight
to Ndola

Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise in talks about founding regional divisions in Zambia and Chad and aims to buy part of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s national operator in a push to consolidate its lead as Africa’s biggest carrier.

Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam said in an interview that an outline plan for a joint-venture airline in Zambia should be signed with the government and private-equity investors in a few weeks, leading to a final agreement by November.

That will give Ethiopian a new hub in Lusaka serving southern Africa alongside Malawian Airlines, in which it has a stake.

Mr. Tewolde said parallel discussions are underway in Chad for the establishment of a new national carrier there.

Ethiopian also wants to take equity in state-owned Congo Airways, with which it already has a strategic partnership including technical assistance, the CEO said in Addis Ababa, where his company has built up a major hub targeting inter-continental transfer traffic.

While Ethiopian Air is pursuing alliances on several fronts, with Uganda mulling proposals for a joint venture and Equatorial Guinea’s Ceiba Intercontinental a candidate to upgrade a maintenance deal into something bigger, Tewolde said there’s no truth to reports that his company is seeking to buy Arik Air, the largest airline in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.

“We haven’t had any discussions and we have not submitted a bid,” the CEO said, adding that while there were talks last year, Arik is now under the control of national receiver Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria.

He said he was also unaware of interest in Arik from any other bidders.
Bloomberg

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30 COMMENTS

  1. The cooperation between Ethiopian Airlines and Zambia is welcome. It will facilitate the process of increasing tourist arrivals in the country. Without air presence at national airline level, it is difficult for the tourist sector to remain competitive. In the discussions between Ethiopian Airlines and Zambia, there is need to avoid political interference and instead focus on commercial ties and profit. This will create employment and revenue for the country.

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    • Dr. Makasa I don’t know what is your specialty? But I hope you are a PhD holder or medical doctor and not one like one Mushota! However, my take in having a national airline goes beyond political rhetoric and moves to a balance sheet! Some questions before we start even a feasibility report:
      1. What are the expected outcomes? Investment opportunities! According to IATA ‘’…… IATA revised slightly downward its outlook for 2017 airline industry profitability to $35.6 billion (from the June projection of $39.4 billion) owing to slower global GDP growth and rising costs’’
      2. Is it profitable? or losses only! Again according to IATA ‘’……. African carriers: In 2017, Carriers in Africa are expected to deliver the weakest financial performance with a net loss of $800 million (broadly unchanged…

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    • ……. from 2016). For each passenger flown this amounts to an average loss of $9.97.
      3. Will it bring employment to our ever-reducing job market? Labour!
      4. What is the expected future growth?
      In answering these basic questions, one comes up with a strategic plan. As you may be aware, the airline industry has developed so technologically that today, most forward-looking airlines look at downsizing in office space, labour as (you might be aware) that today, you can buy an air ticket in Kabompo, North Western Province in in Mushota’s village in KashiKishi at the tip of fingers instead of even calling or visiting an office! You don’t even have to print the ticket- just QR it! In case you are wondering what is QR (Quick Response) code is that is for another day!

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    • Quote: “Dr. Makasa I don’t know what is your specialty? But I hope you are a PhD holder or medical doctor and not one like one Mushota!” End of quote. Just focus on the issue: partnership between EA and Zambia.
      It is libelous to question someone’s qualifications. Regardless of academic titles, an individual is free to express opinions on matters of public interest, such as a National Airline. My argument is that cooperation between Ethiopian Airlines and Zambia is a commercial agreement. When partnership is successful, then the benefits include job creation and revenue. I have flown on EA several times and also on many other airlines. The EA is competitive and meets basic standards of safety and comfort. Observers consider EA as safe as can be for its category.

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    • Dr Makasa Kasonde ignore people who are in the habit of stirring delusional arguments. In the beginning I was sceptical about the revival of Zambia Airways but partnership with Ethiopian Airlines has given me hope. Ethiopian Airline is amongst the top carriers in the industry and has vast safe flying experience globally. Infact Zambia has worked with Ethiopia in this industry before. I as i grow older I can’t wait to start flying direct to global cities of the world like before. Connections really bore and tire me.

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    • I disagree with everyone here who thinks that this is a good thing!
      Zambia needs to do this kind of thing with either an American or European airline thats where the big money is forget EA do you want to always go through Addis on your way to Europe and North America? I don’t!
      Think mwebantu mwe.

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    • @carlos in a partnership with EA we will have some planes in Zambia’s flag that will be flying directly to global cities. Having direct flights will win customers from other airlines that fly to zambia through connections and will boost tourist numbers.

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    • Dr Makasa I appreciate where you stand on qualifications and I regret and am sorry if you are offended! No deliberate intention on my part! However, if you as you say have travelled frequently on ET, you will appreciate state run airlines such as Qatar, ET are facing stiff competition in this heavily contested western hemisphere operated industry! One wonders why we don’t have cheap and fast travel between the African cities? My take on Zambia partnering is that ET get to benefit more as we are going to subsidize them. I believe to develop our airline, we must first develop Zambia as a hub for attracting airlines to connect from Zambia. All the rest will fall in place. Look at Dubai, the reason most of us transit there is that we can buy a lot of stuff there duty-free! What’s better than…

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    • Ethiopian Airline has its own agenda for its growth. If Zambians think someone else will run a national carrier for them or bring tourists?? Good Luck. It is shame to see leadership with no Vision. ET and Zambia airways were at par but see how our friends have exceled. It is because they have a strategic plan and a vision for their country. Our ministers/ Government official lack serious innovative strategies. This is because they get to these positions with No clue of what to achieve.
      The spirit of dependence has to change. This is why we failed to run the mines because we are fools as a nation. Now Indians are making billions on our heads. Disgusting country and its leaders.

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    • I am glad that we can address issues together without calling each other hate speech. As for partnerships, yes they are more profitable than one-man-show. Some routes need different connecting flights but others do not. Routing or programming different flights can reduce the problem of unprofitable routes to a manageable level. Any routes that are political rather than commercial need to be monitored and evaluated on a case by case basis to minimize loses. There is no need to avoid connecting flights when that is necessary. Variables here include seasonal variations and political climate in the media.

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    • @The prince
      you said ….”Ethiopian Airline has its own agenda for its growth”… Of course, there is no business activity without benefits… The question must have been, how can both benefits from the business.

      you also said ….”Disgusting country and its leaders” …. you can discuss and disapprove what is going on in Zambia, WITHOUT insulting a nation of millions. Rational people usually focus on positive result and direct the direction that leads towards that end. There are many beautiful countries without airlines, including Zambia…. What is Disgusting about it !

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  2. This is welcome news indeed. We need a solid plan for the national airline and not just a short term fix. Trade and tourism is partly dependent on this. God Bless Zambia

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    • The Chosen One I very much agree with you. And we must not subsdize Ethopian Airlines which is wholly owned by the Ethipian Government! But what is interesting is:
      DID YOU KNOW ZAMBIA AIRWAYS ONCE TRAINED ALL ET STAFF INCLUDING PILOTS? Oh Zambia, how hath thoust fallen!

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    • MB :
      You said “DID YOU KNOW ZAMBIA AIRWAYS ONCE TRAINED ALL ET STAFF INCLUDING PILOTS? Oh Zambia, how hath thoust fallen!” ….. It is false. You got the fact wrong. Zambia gets its independence in 1964. Ethiopian Airlines was establish 71 years ago in 1945. Zambia airways was even establish in 1964, not as independent airline but a subsidiary of Central African Airways. Your assertion that Zambia was aviation hub to train Ethiopian et others while under British colony, is factually wrong. Please share your reference.

      Zambia is a great country and tremendous economic potential. It deserves a good airline that carry its flag all over the world.

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  3. Zambia Airways planes had their major servicing by Ethiopian in Addis. Zambia Airways collapsed by lack of effective management … staff & entitled family abused seat & cargo quotas in favour of themselves other than paying customers, what is to say that this won’t happen again ?? For family read cadres & families !!

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    • Stop yapping on things you don’t understand. Zambia Airways had expatriates from Ethiopia based in Zambia. We had fully trained indigenous pilots and engineers with the help of Italians and later Ethiopians. Zambia Airways did not collapse because of mismanagement, it collapsed because of selfish politicians who wanted to loot its assets. In fact, given that we only had one plane that flew everywhere, the managers did a damn good job to ensure that plane returned home safely. KK even used QZ to bring Mandela to Zambia when he was released because he did not trust SA. Zambia Airways and Eithiopian Airways go a long way. Ethiopia has some of the best engineers on the continent.

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    • ET engineers were servicing QZ planes. They used to live in QZ accommodation where you now have Chrisma hotel, Longacreas area. A Chiluba era MMD Minister of Finance, almost single-handedly, destroyed our national airline at a stroke of a pen. QZ was healthier than KQ at the time. All that was needed for QZ was a management partner like KQ did with KLM.

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    • Guys Stella,Futurezed and Nkhata Bay you are all right ET used to conduct C check in Addis for QZ planes.QZ and and ET engineers used to conduct A to B check at Lusaka Engineering department.
      Greedy MMD politicians killed QZ.Who liquidated QZ ?Brig.Gen.Miyanda as VP of Zambia.
      Before ET,QZhad technical and commercial agreements with Alitalia, and Er Lingus of Ireland

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  4. when you at addiss in day you see mostly ET touching and taking off like power tools buses at intercity.

    i guese these are not really ET machines but just business ventures with others such this here.

    air travel in Ethiopia is basically for all to afford not just tourist class according to our perceiption

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    • @ Laughing matter,

      ET is not a business venture, it is 100% owned by Ethiopian Government. You are right to say that most of the travelers are not Ethiopian, and my estimate is more than 70% of them are transit passengers to Asia, Europe, west Africa and both north and south America. The case is the same, if you look at the Emirates or Turkish airways. Most of the passengers are not the national of that country or destined to the carrier’s country, but on transit. Suppose Lusaka is a hub, million of SADC passengers pass through LUSAKA.
      ET has more than 92 planes and most are bought with bank loans. The biggest challenge in airlines business, I think, is getting the financial resource for the fleet and ground facility. The banks or the creditor need assurance that they will…

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  5. Zambian Airline will be successful if ET runs it, like Malawi air, keep the Govt people out of it , they are just silent shareholders, wonder if ET will use those Russian planes or Boeing/Airbus?
    As for “”Future ZED” comment about SAA , the reason why SAA didn’t fly to Zambia with Mandela was there was still Sanctions against SA and SAA at the time, in those days SAA flew over the ocean to avoid flying over African countries as some threaten to shoot them down. (except Malawi and Zim)

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    • You are wrong on that one. Kaunda did not trust the South African government at the time because of what they did to Samora Machel.

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  6. MB :
    You said “DID YOU KNOW ZAMBIA AIRWAYS ONCE TRAINED ALL ET STAFF INCLUDING PILOTS? Oh Zambia, how hath thoust fallen!” ….. It is false. You got the fact wrong. Zambia gets its independence in 1964. Ethiopian Airlines was establish 71 years ago in 1945. Zambia airways was even establish in 1964, not as independent airline but a subsidiary of Central African Airways. Your assertion that Zambia was aviation hub to train Ethiopian et others while under British colony, is factually wrong. Please share your reference.

    Zambia is a great country and tremendous economic potential. It deserve a good airline that carry its flag all over the world.

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  7. So even DRC has an airline sure? I remember when one former Vice President came on TVZ to announce the liquidation of Zambia Airways without showing any remorse. A lot of our property was seized in various countries where The Nkwazi operated.

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  8. Here you have it, Kaunda wouldn’t have tolerated this nonsense to appease donors.
    The workforce is increased by 12.1% in 1994 to 2,130. In early spring, the government announced plans to restructure and privatize the carrier. Managing Director Kaoma is given another ZIMCO post and he is succeeded by George A. Lewis.
    Traffic figures are reported through July and show passenger boardings up 14.5% to 108,730. Cargo recovers, moving ahead by 24.6% to 7.81 million FTKs. The airline is at least $100 million in debt by fall; international donors threaten Zambia with loss of its aid packages if the plan to save the airline is continued. As a result, the company ceases operations on December 3 and is liquidated, its 1,200 remaining workers being dismissed.

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