Ethiopian Airlines on Monday announced it has finalized preparations for the launch of Zambia’s National Carrier in a joint venture with Industrial Development Corporation Limited (IDC).Ethiopian has 45 percent stake in the joint venture while IDC, a state agency in Zambia that works on industrialization, retains 55 percent, the shareholders have contributed $30 million dollars in capital towards the establishment of the airline.
“The strategic equity partnership in the launching of Zambia’s national carrier is part of our Vision 2025 multiple hub strategy in Africa,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.
The new Zambia Airways (ZN) is to join African sky with its initial domestic flight from Lusaka to Ndola on 1st December 2021.
It will operate at a frequency of six and five times a week to Ndola and Livingstone, respectively, according to Ethiopian.
Other domestic routes to Mfuwe and Solwezi will follow before introducing regional destinations, to Johannesburg and Harare, to its network within the first quarter of 2022.
“Ethiopian is committed to its growth plan in collaboration with African carriers and the new Zambia Airways will serve as a strong hub in Central and Southern Africa availing domestic, regional and eventually international air connectivity for passengers and cargo to the major destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Asia,” GebreMariam said.
The CEO also added that the Airways will play a key role to enhance the socioeconomic integration and tourism industry in Zambia and the region.
Through its multiple hubs strategy in Africa, Ethiopian currently operates hubs in Lomé (Togo) with ASKY Airlines, Malawian in Lilongwe (Malawi), Tchadia in N’Djamena (Chad) and Ethiopian Mozambique in Maputo (Mozambique).
Africa’s largest aviation group has already acquired stakes in Guinea’s and Democratic Republic of Congo’s national carriers.