Zambia seeks new airline service after British Airways suspends flights

British Airways

Zambia is seeking another airline to fill the vacuum after British Airways announced suspension of direct flights to Zambia.

On Wednesday, British Airways said it was suspending its direct flights from London to Lusaka, the Zambian capital, due to low revenues generated from the route.

The airline said it intends to cease its flights on Oct. 27, but may resume operations once the business environment improves.

Zambian National Airports Corporation (NAC) Managing Director Robert Misipala told Xinhua in an interview that the decision was a blow as it will result in losses of revenue in landing, parking and air navigation fees.

“Of course it is a sad development because apart from getting money from passengers, we also get money from aircraft in terms of landing, parking and air navigation fees,” he said.

He said British Airways has been one of the longest customers having started operating in the 1960s, hoping that another airline will take up the void that will be created by the airline’s departure.

“There is nothing that we can do because they have made a business decision and we hope another airline will come and fill the void,” he added.

The official however said passengers will continue flying to Britain though he indicated that they will have to use other airlines to make connections.

The head of the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB) told local media that the suspension of the flights has come at a wrong time as the country was trying to increase tourist arrivals following the hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) general assembly.

Felix Chaila said the country needs more airlines to ensure sustainability of the tourism industry and that the move will have a negative impact on tourist arrivals.