• Zambia has people all over the world in Aviation with a lot of expertise.
• The Covid-19 has impacted negatively on the Aviation industry.
• Wait for the right time which also might include the right leaders with the will and vision.
An Aviation Expert says government’s decision to appoint Ethiopian nationals to manage the National Airline does not reflect the interest of Zambians who are supposed to own the airline.
Captain Charles Musenge noted that the country has adequate man power to manage the airline without the need to look up to another foreign entity to run the business.
Captain Musenge, who is also Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) aspiring Candidate for the Matero Parliamentary Seat, said now that government intends to re-launch Zambia Airways which was liquidated in 1994, there is need to concentrate on the existing capacities and resources in order to develop a long term plan for the project to be successful.
Meanwhile, Captain Musenge reiterated that now is not the right time for government to go ahead with the relaunch of the national airline, stating that the project should be put on hold until all key fundamentals such as the economy and leadership are in the right place.
He said this because the Covid-19 Pandemic has impacted negatively on the Aviation industry as most airlines have been grounded, and some of them have had to completely liquidate or close down, while those that are surviving are doing so on subsidies from their governments.
“So this is not the right time to embark on a project of this magnitude. Looking at our Zambian economy, the indicators are not good, inflation and exchange rate problems, debt which is our biggest issue, so we simply cannot afford to do this project. We have to be patient and wait for the right time which also might include the right leaders with the will, vision, and a complete understanding of what they have to do of which one of them we have to look inwards as far as experts and professionalism are concerned.”
“We have the capacity, we have the trainings. Zambia has people all over the world in Aviation with a lot of expertise, so we can stick there and use the resources that we have,” Captain Musenge explained
Zambia Airways is a joint venture between Zambia’s state-owned Industrial Development Corporation and Ethiopian Airlines.
According to the shareholder agreement between the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC) and Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam was appointed group Chief Executive Officer, Rahel Assefa as vice President Marketing and Kassim Geresu as vice President internal audit and compliance to spearhead the process to operationalize Zambia Airways.