GRZ is allegedly in talks with three airlines about taking an equity stake in a new national carrier Air Zambia Ltd. and expects it to make its debut flight by the end of the year.
Transport PS Muyenga Atanga says, “We are 60 percent advanced in all our preparations. We are quite confident that before the end of the year we should have a national airline.”
The Government is bent on start a national carrier as part of its efforts "to boost tourism and restore national pride". Zambia Airways, the most recent government-owned airline, went bankrupt in 1994.
Zambia already has various international airlines operating including British Airways, KLM, Ethiopian Airlines and others operating.
I still think is misguided and money can better spent on other areas. But I suppose now its a case of "let us wait and see" how this deal is structured.
Tough questions must be asked going forward: Where is the money to invest in this equity going to come from? More borrowing? A Chinese loan? These are the questions people should be asking. What will be sacrificed to make this happen?
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2013