Ethiopian Airlines and the Government of Zambia has taken a judicious step by signing a shareholder agreement to commence a joint national airline for Zambia.

In a joint communique signed by the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Mr. Mateyo C. Kaluba, and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines (ET), Mr. Tewolde Gebremariam, after a meeting, the two parties said they will facilitate the financing necessary to support the airline’s growth once it becomes operational.

As strategic equity partners on the national airline project of Zambia, IDC will hold 55% equity in the carrier, with Ethiopian Airlines holding 45%.

The initial investment as we start-up the national carrier will be US$30 million. Obviously, as we operate the airline, we will facilitate the financing necessary to support its growth. It is expected that the new airline will operate 12 aircraft and carry over 1.9 million passengers by 2028.

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.

Zambia Airways will launch local and regional routes while the intercontinental routes including Europe, the Middle East, and Asia will be added in the near future.

This investment represents our commitment to deepening and strengthening Zambia’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 through the different businesses in the aviation supply chain such as hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, publishers, and others.

“With the Zambian Government’s drive to build transportation infrastructure from the new airports, good road networks, and now the airline, we are confident that Zambia is destined to become Southern Africa’s regional aviation and logistics hub.

We look forward to growing this partnership from strength to strength and seeing Zambia Airways take to the skies this year,” he stated.
Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, said the investment was consistent with the firm’s Vision 2025 Multiple Hubs Strategy in Africa.

“As Shareholders, we have a clear sense of the direction we need to take in order to ensure the fortunes and secure growth of the national airline.
We will instill a performance-driven culture through strong corporate governance structures and make Zambia Airways commercially viable,” he stressed.

By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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