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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Zambia Airways re-launches after a position shift by UPND which strongly opposed the project while in opposition

Headlines Zambia Airways re-launches after a position shift by UPND which strongly...

Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali has said that Zambia is poised to be a manufacturing and distribution centre in the sub-region following the re-launch of Zambia Airways.

Mr Tayali said this is why the government has committed to supporting the growth of the aviation sector as it has huge potential to contribute to the country’s economic development.

Mr Tayali also said that Government’s emphasis on sectors such as transport and tourism for accelerated growth present an enabling environment for operating a national airline.

Mr Tayali was speaking after the Zambia Airways Inaugural flight from Lusaka to the Copperbelt Province this morning.

He further encouraged Zambia Airways to consider expanding its flights to other routes that are currently not serviced.

And Copperbelt Province Minister, Elisha matambo said the introduction of the Zambia Airways scheduled flight is a bold step towards restoring the province’s old fortunes.

The support of the launch of Zambia Airways has been a major policy shift by the United Party for National Development (UPND) after strongly opposing the re-launch of the National Airline.


The opposition to the re-launch of Zambian Airways was led by President Hichilema when he was in opposition.

Speaking in 2018 when he featured on live Hot Seat radio programme on Hot FM, Mr Hichilema criticized the PF government’s move to relaunch Zambia Airways describing the decision as a waste of tax payers money and accused those pushing for the relaunch of Zambia Airways of planning to use the airline to bring in drugs, money laundering activities and corruption.

“Why do you want to form an airline instead of building toilets in the market? This thing is not viable,” Mr Hichilema charged at the time.

Mr Hichilema said the project to relaunch Zambia Airways which was defunct in 1994 was a waste of public resources as the project was not economically viable and advised the PF Zambian government to start constructing toilets in markets than forming an airline.

“An airline in Zambia today, given our geographical position in the center with so many neighbours and the nature of the business as our national airline is not viable. Have you seen what’s happening with South African Airways, which is a huge airline where they are putting in billions of dollars every so often? Why are national airlines not viable?”, he said at the time before adding, “I know the emotions, that you own a national airline, I am a business man. Sometimes you must walk away from emotions as a businessman and look at the dynamics of the business and the dynamics of the business are that Zambia national airline will not work, it will be a waste of taxpayers money.”

“Why? Because the dictates commercially do not allow, the dictates do not confirm that you can run a viable airline. British Airways as big as it as it is struggling every now and then. Now look at it, you can’t manage Cholera here in Kanyama, how would you manage an airline that requires more intellect, a lot capital,” he said in 2018.

Mr Hichilema further alleged that the people pushing for the restart of Zambia Airways were only interested in serving their selfish interests.

“These people are pushing for an airline because they want to use it for corruption, move cash around using diplomatic passports, they want to move drugs around. We hear those who are friends of the President are pushing for the airline because they want to supply food to the airline and other supply services. They are looking at personal gains,” Mr Hichilema said.

“Why do you want to form an airline instead of building toilets in the market? This thing is not viable,” Mr Hichilema charged at the time.

33 COMMENTS

  1. A rather small aircraft for re-launching such a huge project. Otherwise, I wish the new ZA crew and management team all the best and the entire country a profitable and successful airline.

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  2. You want the UPND government to saddle the country with another hefty debt like PF did with ZAMTEL. Some Zambians have short memories.

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  3. Did you want the UPND government to cancel something that had already been signed for and face hefty fines for contract abrogation? Canceling a commercial contract is costly. You never learn’t anything from the Zamtel saga.

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  4. And how are we supposed to buy tickets? How do you plan a launch without providing information as to how we can support the company?
    Also, good that HH has been quoted here, another question for journalists to ask him why he has allowed the national airline after being very opposed to it.

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  5. That silly headline? Now you want us to kill the baby bcoz we criticized the illegal underage pregnancy? Learn the laws of contracts/withdrawal penalties.

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  6. We can do better. What’s these Kapaso Hats about? The Uniform looks out of touch. The Old Zambia Airways Logo was far better than this. Go back to the Drawing Board, to redefine the logo and corporate colors.

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  7. Small turboprops and very small airtravel mkt+ Covid restrictions. Emirates,BA and Kenya Airways will eat you into bankruptcy soon.

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  8. THE GOVERNMENT HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO LAUNCH THE AIRLINE
    OR LOSE A LARGE AMOUNT WHICH PF COMMITED US TO …
    THE ONLY QUESTION IS HOW LONG WILL IT BE IN THE AIR

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  9. Poor decision making by this govt..firstly the climate is not just right for govts to backing up airlines and secondly you are promoting Addis International Airport at the expense of KKIA. We are also not doing any favours to our wholly owned Zambian airlines…very disappointed by this govt!!

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  10. Tikki – It was better to cut their losses now than pay later three times the amount that was put in this IDC company…..plus at moment passengers are not flying due to covid-19

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  11. In politics opposition means “Against” so they oppose everything that the ruling party is for. So be careful you blind voters who get taken in by how much the opposition is arguing against the ruling party. They just want to grab your attention. And of course to make the ruling party jittery

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  12. Which GRZ linked business venture has ever been a great success? Hey,new baby Turboprop ZA and others i’m waiting for an answer?

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  13. Turboprops are for small regional airlines to airports without sufficient demand .That’s ZA’s negative message about KKIA and Zambia at large.

  14. No need to scap it……..

    Money has already been spent……….

    If ZA targets the Zambian market then regional countries , with a strong buy Zambian message , ZA can be the go to airline for Zambians travelling to neighbouring countries ……….

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  15. Ba UPND niba Chilandelande. No wonder we have a UPND President who knocks off from work at state house at 16.00 hours. Around 16.30 hours his motorcade is already on its way to New Kasama. Ala bane tefintu na ba NEW DOWN or NEW DARK. Nabo banakulu ba WK she takes the 1996 Zambian constitution to go and initiate debate on estimates of expenditure for the office of the President in Parliament. She also is not yet in the Vice-President’s official home but coming from her farm somewhere in Lusaka East. She has no time to prepare adequately for her parliamentary role. No wonder the only thing they can do is just to cut ribbons to officiate at functions for PF initiated projects. Abo ba WK thinks being Vice-President is about adding more initials to your surname, wearing a shinny wig and…

  16. … being cantankerous in Parliament. We really miss madam Inonge Wina in Parliament. She was calm and composed when she stood on the floor of the house to explain matters and very clear in her contributions. Ba WK is miles apart in terms of performance from Bo Inonge. I am Bemba and will always give praise where it is due and not support anyone on the basis of tribe. If someone is underperforming, it will have to be said this is the case.

  17. BACK IN THE DAY GOVERNMENT FRIENDS AND RELATIVES OF EMPLOYEES WERE FLYING
    FOR 10% OF THE FARE …….. I WAS REMOVED TO ACCOMADATE AT 10% FARE

  18. #21  tikki 
    December 2, 2021 At 9:48 am

    “BACK IN THE DAY GOVERNMENT FRIENDS AND RELATIVES OF EMPLOYEES WERE FLYING
    FOR 10% OF THE FARE …….. I WAS REMOVED TO ACCOMADATE AT 10% FARE..”

    Yep , that happened to me, was told
    “we are carrying a heavy crew” ……..

    I demanded to get accommodated in intercontinental hotel for 1 week until the next flight and left them with a very large bill for partying every night at the bar and in my room…….

    Some one got a very large bill………

  19. Can someone design better uniforms please. Ask the local designers to do this in a form of a competition and choose the best.
    On the other hand promote our local enterprenuers

  20. Here we go again! HH insulted the project while in opposition and the supporters clapped.
    Today he sees Sense in it, now that he is in govt, and guess what? The supporters still clap!
    Zambia forward indeed. It’s not a question of what’s been done, but by who. If it’s ECL, it’s grand corruption, if it’s HH, kudos.
    The people whose houses upnd wants to demolish in forest 27, haven’t they also already spent money? What’s the difference?

  21. From what the former PS at Transport and Communications said there was already a downpayment of more than $3m towards the purchase of the planes? And it seems those funds are non-refundable. Well, let’s not be too pessimistic. All we can say is that it is a wait and see situation.

  22. Don’ t mind them, we told you that HH has courage in abundance and not the real grey matter. He says things that he little understands. He likes parroting things. Know them for who they are. Good luck. We are in real auto pilot mode. Chipante pante was actually the real acronym for UPND.

  23. The reality is UPND will have a hard time undoing a lot of the PF rot due to contractial commitments PF commuted the country to

  24. This looks good. I know the anti-zambia who always criticise Zambian project are too many for a small country like Zambia. To them nothing is good. Criticised firetruck, roads,election, ECL,HH, they even criticised the kwacha when it gained in MMD got.. now its the airline ….poor negative minded Zambians

  25. It will require innovative thinking to keep it afloat. many airlines in the region especially small ones are closing. What we need is a pan african airline that is regionally to have commercial viability. Such planes should be feeders for this pan african airline jointly owned by number of countries. Look at scandanavian countries, they have joint airlines becuase are in small in population compared to western big countries. Ethiopian airline is afloat becuase of the size of its population.

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