Zambia Airways has announced 30th September 2021 as the date for operationalization of the national airline.
In August 2018, the Industrial Development Corporation Limited (IDC) and Ethiopian Airlines Group entered into a joint venture establishing Zambia Airways limited to operate as a national airline in Zambia and in the joint venture, IDC owns 55% while Ethiopian Airlines has 45% of the shareholding.
In announcing the launch date, Zambia Airways Board Chairman Mr Bonaventure Mutale said management successfully achieved all milestones needed to operationalize the National Carrier and would therefore operationalize the airline on 30th September 2021.
Mr Mutale said the airline would commence operations with domestic routes to Livingstone, Ndola and Solwezi, with regional routes to Johannesburg and Harare.
He added that the airline would commence with the initial three aircrafts namely two Bombardier Q400s and one Boeing 737-800).
“Zambia Airways will take advantage of the new state of the art airport infrastructure at the new Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola and Terminal 2, at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport to establish its base in Lusaka and contribute positively to the growth of civil aviation and tourism in Zambia,” he said.
Mr Mutale said the airline was anticipating the COVID-19 pandemic being experienced in the country and in the region would improve, thereby boosting demand for travel.
And IDC Group Chief Executive Officer Mateyo Kaluba says the operationalization of the national carrier will play a catalytic role in reviving the tourism industry which has been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Mr Kaluba commended the Zambia Airways Board for announcing 30th September 2021 as the date for commercial operationalization of the National Carrier.
Mr. Kaluba further commended the Board, Management and staff of Zambia Airways on the attainment of the key milestone and for the professional manner in which they have managed the fulfillment of regulatory requirements that were a pre-requisite to the launch date of the National carrier.
Mr. Kaluba reiterated the Shareholders quest to ensure that the Airline operates as a commercial enterprise so as to achieve viability and return on investment.
“I strongly urge the Board and management to manage the airline in accordance with international best practice. They have the responsibility to make Zambia Airways an airline that will bring pride and jobs to the Zambian people,” he said.
Mr. Kaluba was confident Zambia Airways would soar to greater heights as it leverages on the newly commissioned Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka and Simon Mwansa Kapwepewe Airport in Ndola.
So far, Zambia Airways has trained 25 Zambian cabin crew at the Ethiopian Aviation Academy and has recruited five Zambian flying pilots, who will leaving today for Ethiopia to receive additional training.