Zambia looks to profits once national airline starts operation

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The Zambian government has projected to earn about 500 million U.S. dollars annually from ticket sales once its national airline starts operating.

Minister of Transport and Communications Brian Mushimba said the aviation industry was one of the country’s biggest revenue spinners in the country, generating about 1.5 billion dollars in revenue from air tickets per annum.

According to him, Zambia was currently serviced by more than 10 foreign carriers transporting about 1,500,000 passengers per year but expressed concern that the country was not benefiting as foreign carriers were not required to pay airport fees if they stay at an airport for less than two hours.

He added that with the coming on board of the national airline, the government expects further growth in other sectors such as tourism, agriculture and mining.

Late last year, the Zambian cabinet approved the reestablishment of a national airline which will be run in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines as a strategic partner.

The government was expected to hold 55 percent in the national airline while the Ethiopian Airlines will hold 45 percent.

The two partners were expected to inject about 30 million dollars in the airline for the first year to cover start-up capital.

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