Ethiopian Airlines has signed an agreement with Zambian development agency – Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – to relaunch Zambia Airways at an initial cost of $30 million.
Zambia Airways is set to start operating from 1 January 2019 and the strategy is to turn Lusaka Internatonal Airport into a hub for regional and international flights in southern Africa.
The two companies said in a joint statement that IDC will hold 55 per cent equity in the new national carrier of Zambia with Ethiopian Airlines holding 45 per cent. The new airline will aim to operate 12 aircraft and carry over 1.9 million passengers by 2028.
Zambia Airways will launch local and regional routes while the intercontinental routes including Europe, the Middle East, and Asia will be added in the future.
Previously, Zambia Airways was state-owned and had launched in 1964 but ceased operations in 1995 due to financial problems, but had run a network across Africa and beyond.
Ethiopian Airlines has been taking stakes in carriers across Africa and has also submitted a proposal to the Nigerian government to the start-up of new carrier Nigeria Air.
Africa’s biggest carrier already has equity stakes in five African carriers including ASKY Airlines, Malawian Airlines, Chadian Airlines, Zambia Airways and Guinea Airlines.