Turkish Airlines has announced that it will start two weekly flights between Lusaka and Istanbul on December 13, 2018.
Turkish Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Bilal Eksi said the Turkish flag carrier will service the Lusaka route via Dar-es –Salaam with flight arrivals on Mondays and Thursdays while departures from Lusaka will be on Tuesdays and Fridays.
This came to light during a meeting between Zambia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey, Dr Joseph Chilengi and Mr Eksi in Istanbul on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.
Mr Eksi said Turkish Airlines would gradually increase the frequency of weekly flights.
He said Turkish Airline was willing to cooperate with Airlines that are operating on the Lusaka-Dar es-Salaam route by signing a Cooperation Agreement in compliance with International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards of operation.
He also informed Dr Chilengi that Turkish Airlines would send an official to Zambia to hold meetings with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Zambia Airports Corporation Limited (ZACL) and the private sector on September 25 and September 26, 2018.
And Dr Chilengi commended Turkish Airlines for working towards starting a direct flight between Zambia and Turkey.
He noted that a direct flight between Turkey and Zambia would boost trade and investment between the two countries and also enable people to move easily.
Dr Chilengi observed that Turkish Airlines would have more leverage for clients travelling to Europe, Middle East and Asia when the direct flight between Lusaka and Istanbul starts.
He further proposed that in an effort to generate interest in the Lusaka route, Turkish Airlines should consider working with the Zambian Embassy to disseminate information to potential business and tourism groups.
The establishment of a direct flight from Turkey to Zambia was part of the discussions during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s official visit to Zambia on July, 28, 2018.
This is according to a statement issued by First Secretary for Press Jerry Munthali at the Zambian Embassy in Turkey.