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Friday, 20 September 2013

Abandoning Zambia!

British Airways recently suspended its flights into Lusaka due to low revenues the route has been contributing to the airline's business. The airline, which has flights directly into Lusaka on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, will cease operations next month and affected workers will receive a severance package.

"We have suspended our three flights into Lusaka from London with effect from October 27, 2013. The route has not been making a profitable contribution in recent past and affected staff shall be given a severance package," George Mawadri, the airline's commercial manager for east and central Africa, was quoted as saying by the Post.

He said the airline would, however, keep reviewing the suspended route with a possibility of resuming the flights once the business environment changes.

This was inevitable given the arrival of the much cheaper KLM on the European leg. BA has been making a loss and its prospects on the Lusaka route seemed bleak going forward. It's cost model on this route simply can't compete with KLM flying out of Schipol - and offering cheaper tickets.

BA has opted to drop the Zambia route and instead add three extra flights from Heathrow to Accra in Ghana from October 27. This follows Virgin Atlantic’s decision to drop that route from later this month. The airline is also to add an extra weekly flight from Heathrow to Entebbe in Uganda – this will take services up from three to four per week from the start of the summer 2014 schedule in March.

Chola Mukanga | Economist
Copyright © Zambian Economist 2013

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