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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Zambia, Ethiopian Airlines agree on joint airline

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 industrialization.

The establishment of the national airline will spur growth in the tourism sector and will have a significant multiplier effect on job creation, he added.

Tewolde Gebremariam, 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.

             

 

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