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Zambia to revamp flagging aviation industry

Oct 21, 2015 Zambian government recently announced its intention to revive the country’s aviation sector, as it prepares to re-establish a national airline. Over the last two decades, foreign carriers such as Kenya Airways, South African Airways and smaller operators like Fastjet have dominated Zambia’s airspace.

Prior to 2009, Zambia had two main airlines at different periods, both of which are now defunct.

According to the country’s minister of transport, the government is gearing up to invest in aviation, with a national carrier set to be unveiled in 2016.

Speaking about the proposed revamp, Yamfwa Mukanga, Zambia’s Minister of Transport said:

“We have contacted a number of people, a number of companies, a number of airlines that are doing fine to come on board. We have also contacted the manufacturers of aircrafts, like, you know we’ve discussed with Boeing. Beoing came and made a presentation, so that we may appreciate how expensive or how cheap the planes are, and also we contacted Airbus. Airbus did the same, to take us through, so that we know what it takes to create a national airline,”

Chisomo Daka, a flying student as the Zambia Air Services Training Institute, expressed optimism over the prospect of working with the national carrier.

“When I proceed to complete my commercial pilot training, I am going to come back and join the national airline when it does come and aim to be the best female pilot in this country, although they are already there, I want to be one of the best, knowing that this airline, or this aviation business is male dominated, and I would like to beat the men and do good or be better than them or prove to them that women can do it also,”.

Officials say the revamped aviation sector will boost other sectors like tourism and improve Zambia’s economy.  However, critics have cautioned that it will take more than optimistic promises to get the aviation industry up and running again.

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