A Copperbelt based pilot has praised government for considering establishing a National airline. Gift Bupe said that the coming of the new airline will create Job opportunities for most graduates from the Zambia Aviation Service Training Institute (ZASTI).
Mr. Bupe told ZNBC news in Kitwe that creation of a national airline is long overdue. He said the national airline will not only be a flag carrier but will also help boost the country’s tourism.
Mr. Bupe has however urged government to work closely with Technocrats in the aviation sector who will advise what is required as the 30 million dollars that has been channelled is coming at a huge cost.
On Tuesday Transport Minister Brian Mushimba presented the re-establishment of a National Airline as a mega Christmas gift to Zambians.Speaking during the ministry of transport and communications cocktail held at intercontinental hotel yesterday, the minister disclosed that cabinet, in its sitting , approved establishment of a national Airline. He said the national airline will be run in partnership with Ethiopian Airlines.
“Zambia’s government will be majority owner, operator of the airline. We want to make sure we go with a strategic partner, we share the risk, so we don’t burden the treasury, ” Said Hon Mushimba
He disclosed that the Partners will invest $30 million in first year. Hon Mushimba revealed that the First flight carrying the national flag is expected by october 2018.
The Minister clarified that the initial focus of the National Airline will be domestic routes before expanding to internationally.
Meanwhile, the minister has recounted successes scored in his ministry which among others included the reduction of road accidents by 20%, Commencement of Construction of the New Copperbelt International Airport, the increase of Zamtel subcribers by close to 1 million customers from 2016 to date.
The cocktail was attended by management and staff members from Zambia Airports Corporation Limited, ZAMTEL, ZICTA, Zambia Railways, ZAMPOST, RTSA and Mpulungu Harbour