LUSAKA, (Xinhua) --
The Zambian government and the Ethiopian Airlines
on Monday agreed to put in an initial investment of 30 million
U.S. dollars to commence a joint national airline for Zambia.
In a joint
communique signed after a meeting, the two parties said they
will facilitate the financing necessary to support the airline’s
growth once it becomes operational.
“It is expected that
the new airline will operate 12 aircrafts and carry over 1.9
million passengers by 2028,” the communique said.
The airline, it
added, will initially launch local and regional routes while
inter-continental routes will be added in the near future.
Mateyo Kalaba, the
Chief Executive Officer of the Industrial Development
Corporation (IDC), a government agency responsible for managing
its businesses, said the investment represents the government’s
commitment to deepening and strengthening the country’s
The establishment of
the national airline will spur growth in the tourism sector and
will have a significant multiplier effect on job creation, he
Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, said the
investment was consistent with the firm’s Vision 2025 Multiple
Hubs Strategy in Africa.
He said the airline
believes that African carriers will only be able to get a fair
share of the aviation industry through partnerships.
Under a shareholders
agreement signed on Sunday, Zambia will have a 55 percent stake
in the airline, with Ethiopian Airlines having 45 percent.
Zambia has had no
national airline since the demise of the previous one in 1994.